Oct 29, 2008


There is a lot of buzz around (here comes the laundry list...man we marketers suck!) collaboration, unified communications, knowledge mgt, social media, social networking, web 2.0, web 3.0, semantic web, presence, iphones, tags, folksonomy, user contribution, social bookmarking.....yadda, yadda, yadda. Whether you view these as technologies, services, apps doesn't really matter. What matters is what you do with them and what you get out of them.

Social media and collaboration can be broken down into five key experience categories:
  1. How it makes us feel. We are using it to emotionally connect with friends and family. To build a social support mechanism so to speak. Examples: Facebook, mySpace, Twitter.
  2. How it builds on what and who we know. We use tools and services to build our knowledge and our network of people. We want to know things, know people and some of us want to be known. Examples: Wikis, Blogs, Friendfeed, Linkedin, Ning, Squidoo
  3. How we use it as a soapbox to tell people what we think about things.We write posts and comments about things that matter, things we like, things we don't like and ideas we have and invite people to join in the conversation. This conversation creates an iterative thinking dynamic where people can interact, persuade, argue and explain. We voice our opinions and test our thinking. Examples: Blogs, Ning, FriendFeed, Knol
  4. How we use it as a gateway to share our information, experiences, successes and failures. Whether it's pictures, career successes or a video of that big ass fish you caught we want to share. Examples: Flickr, YouTube, Delicious, Google Reader, Google Notebook, Facebook, Linkedin
  5. How it enables us to do stuff. Whether it is to make an idea real, raise money, manage a project or do something on the side we want to get things done. Examples: Basecamp, BatchBook, Freshbooks, eBay.
My question is when will a social media application do these five things in an integrated fashion? Perhaps the better question is should it? From a business perspective the social media application that can accelerate and institutionalize knowledge, create tribes of collaborators and subject matter experts, build strong professional AND productive relationships that create results will be the killer app! If you've got something in mind...I'm all ears.

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