Friday, August 31, 2007

The coming battle between web 2.0 and productivity

We know that internet use is giving TV use a run for its money in most developed parts of the world, but the definitive survey on our web 2.0 habits is still not out.

BTW, it is odd we need surveys and research reports to ‘identify’ and ‘define’ things.

Businesses would like to know how much time their employees spend of web 2.0 activities instead of doing ‘real’ business work.

The recent Surfcontrol report about Facebook costing Australian Businesses $5 billion a year is but a trailer of things happening in most of the Wired Workplaces everywhere.

An article describes a typical web 2.0 savvy worker’s daily routine:
the real killer has been anti social networking. "I start my day by updating my blog… "That always takes me longer than I thought. Then it's the company blog. Then I've got to find links. Then I might update the company web site. And download whatever patches the IT industry instructs me to,"

That’s not all of it,
After lunch, the simpleton then starts work on his podcast …followed by a zany video for Youtube, not forgetting to read and reply to every message that generates.

Is Web 2.0 gabbing the new IM, or is it the new Mobile Yakking?
It ought to be. Twitterers consider themselves to be hipper than the rest.

Sadly, businesses and gullible individuals are falling under the spell of web 2.0 technologies, influenced in a big part by nonsense research reports that businesses everywhere subscribe to, slavishly praising magazine articles and TV shows and ‘late-on-the-scene-I-have-discovered-manna’ bloggers – here in India, social networking sites, funded by well-heeled conglomerates are spending millions of TV rupees evangelizing that social networking is better because, as an ad puts it ‘Friends Stay, other things go away’.

The daily routine described above suits some folks because it helps them further career and brings better business prospects.

Examples – Steve Rubel (PR man), Seth Godin (marketing man), Robert Scoble (deperate blogger), Jason Calacanis (shanelss self promoter), the HR guy who likes to trool social networking sites looking for potential hires and make pointless videos titled “the new career paradigm” or the SEO expert who copied someone else’s content to launch his career. Then there is this friend of mine who works for Blog Rewriting Outfit (aka Blog Network) who has a similar daily routine except that he is particularly heavy on the girls on the Social sites.

If web 2.0 tools help your business get more customers and give better service (in the process building your brand), go for them.

For starters, can blogging help small business?
Yes, as long as the CEOdeosn’t start writing about his latest visit to the proctologist.

Taken on a case by case basis, each web 2.0 tool can be analyized for effectiveness and then used for ‘business’ purposes.

Peter Drucker used to say that the primary aim of a business is creating customers – businesses that think it is cool to have employees roaming around Facebook, take note.

When existing online business issue press releases stating that they now have web 2.0 tools, it is safe to assume that are late on the scene and business is slipping away from them.

I hope web 2.0 doesn’t become a pointless thing in future - maybe it has already pointless.

Related Story
12 problems with Facebook

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