By now most companies understand the power of enterprise social networking, yet building a successful one remains elusive. Here's how health insurer Humana, a company with 40,000 employees went from 0 to more than 26,000 members in 3 years.
A couple of big companies ended up with mud on their faces last week when their public relations gaffes went viral on social networks, but they could have nipped the problem in the bud if they had been monitoring social and listening to their customers.
Nobody reads your brochures. The days of interrupting people to get their attention are over. If you're not engaging with your customers online, you are already at a competitive disadvantage playing by yesterday's rules.
Google has proven it's the 10,000 pound gorilla in the software industry, and nothing drove this home more, than when it announced the other night it was getting out of the RSS reader business. Sure, Reader fans like me howled with despair.
And after the Google Reader fan base very quickly went through the 5 stages of grief, something happened. We all picked ourselves up and dusted ourselves off and went to work. Users started exploring alternatives, ones we never paid attention to before because we relied on Google's offering. And we began sharing our ideas on social networks.
I've been looking at Feedly and Reeder and so far I like what I've found. It's a different experience, so it takes getting used to, but change is always going to take some getting used to, and having social networks to share information and ask for advice is proving incredibily valuable.
Meanwhile, the vendors heard the hue and cry and they went to work too:
And this kind of innovation happened in less than 48 hours since Google made its announcement.
As I wrote on Google + earlier today in a comment, it could actually end up being a good thing and we discover lots of great tools we didn't know were there because we were fixated on Google -- or entirely new tools and new ways of dealing with RSS could emerge because Google is getting out of the way.
Turns out necessity is the mother of invention and that was never truer than on the social web.
Photo Credit: stu_spivack on Flickr. Used under CC 2.0 license.
Remember the Microsoft Surface table? This table-sized tablet I saw at CeBIT, attempts to marry form, function and IBM social software into one $50,000 behemoth. You have to truly see it to believe it.
Marissa Mayer caused quite a ruckus last week when she announced a ban on telework. In this week's Editor's Corner, I write an open letter to her and suggest she get together with Andrew McAfee, the MIT professor who coined the term "Enterprise 2.0." He could teach her a few things about how enterprise social software could encourage the very type of innovation she is hoping to foster without banning telework.