Welcome!

Release Management Authors: Liz McMillan, Jnan Dash, Lori MacVittie, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Mobile IoT, IBM Cloud, PowerBuilder, Weblogic, Linux Containers, Adobe Flex, Symbian, Open Source Cloud, Eclipse, PODCAST.SYS-CON.COM, API Journal, IoT User Interface, Silverlight, PHP, Wearables

Agile Computing: Article

Web 2.0 - Web 3.0 - The "Social Web"

The Web is very different now, some call it Web 2.0 or even 3.0, perhaps we should just call it the "Social Web"

Jeremiah Owyang, of the popular Web Strategy by Jeremiah blog (and now an analyst at Forrester), wrote a post several months ago entitled The Irrelevant Corporate Website. And in typical Owyang style, it is thought-provoking and has been translated into several languages, including Greek, Swedish, and German. As one of the owners of a digital marketing and communications company, I'd like to extend Owyang’s argument that the corporate Website is irrelevant, and present a framework that just might make it more relevant than ever.

Let's consider the pages of a traditional corporate Website. They include an “about me” page, a contact page, a careers section, and probably a page with news and press releases. The words look good on paper, and, more than likely, a committee gave the final sign-off on the site's content. Visitors frequented these pages because they wanted to learn about the company's products and services, contact the company by phone to request more information, or find a job.

The Web is very different now. Some call it Web 2.0 or even 3.0. Perhaps we should just call it the Social Web, because that is exactly what it is. Communities have formed. People are socializing around products and writing reviews, leaving job tips for one another, and even filming do-it-yourself commercials for the products that they are passionate about.

On a daily basis, I am reminded of the pioneering book on networked marketing, The Clue Train Manifesto, whose premise was that markets were conversations: You and me, over a cup of coffee talking about great (maybe even bad) products, except that we are separated by thousands of miles of fiber-optic cable. I'll be honest – it’s an exciting time to be in marketing.

It is important to remember, though, that your market isn't stupid. They are the ones who really know about your products, and they use natural language to tell their friends about them. So when the coffee is too hot at the drive-through, they’ll use simple and poignant language when describing the experience. When your cable technician falls asleep on their living room sofa, they’re going to talk about that – perhaps with a video to help tell the story. When they try to cancel their Internet access and can't, your market is going to talk about that, too. And these conversations have been taken to the Web.

Social networks, social media, and online communities have received a lot of hype; however, they are not a fad. These tools complement how people naturally interact with one another. People are social. Not only are people social, but they are naturally curious. Imagine a customer performs a Google search on your company and the results include a reported problem with your product. If this person investigates the issue and the trail goes cold in the comments, what does this say to the searcher? Now let’s imagine the same situation, but the comments includes a representative of your firm providing some clarity on the issue or even demonstrating how they have incorporated changes for the next release. Of the two scenarios, which would you rather see as a social and curious person?

At my company, we have designed a social media distribution framework (www.r2integrated.com/social). After several conversations with my team, I realized that we weren't necessarily distributing social media; rather, we were aggregating it from the outer edges of the Web where the conversations were. Because we know that customers are out on the Web socializing, our thought process behind the framework was that we would create content for these communities in order to connect to the market. The following framework illustrates how you can use social media as part of your comprehensive Web strategy. We like this framework because it presents an opportunity for all companies to experiment and work within their comfort levels. For this scenario, we have framed these examples within the context of a product release.

If you are new to social media, in terms of the tools and technology or how to integrate them into your product release strategy, consider the following activities.

Sign up for a del.icio.us account. It’s a free social bookmarking service. As you release your product, find some interesting articles or blog posts on the Web and bookmark them. Because your prospects and customers typically search the Web for reviews and recommendations, you can help them save time by rounding up some of the more interesting ones. Even when the articles that you find aren't necessarily positive, you should bookmark those, too. Your customers will find them anyway (you did), and you'll earn their trust by presenting a different viewpoint. Furthermore, your R&D department will appreciate the fact you did some of their work for them. By using some of the tools that come with a del.icio.us account, you can even integrate those links directly into your Website.

If you want to try some more intermediate or even advanced techniques for using social media, you can move from collecting third-party content to producing your own. There are two principal ways that you can do this. First, as part of your product release strategy, you can develop some video content. Because we know that customers and prospects are searching the Web for reviews and testimonials, you have a lot of in-house knowledge that you can tap and distribute on the Web. For example, as part of your product release strategy, you can interview some of the engineers and quality assurance personnel who ensure product quality or safety. Start with an inexpensive video camera and conduct some informal interviews. Ask them about your product and how their role at the company directly shaped the product that we see in the marketplace.

Just as your del.icio.us account provided the tools for embedding its content, popular video sharing platforms, such as YouTube or Blip.TV, also provide this functionality. If you’re not sure where to put these bookmarks and video on your Website, you can always start a blog. WordPress is a popular open source blogging product that is easy to install and configure, and the framework allows multiple content items from various sources. As your product gains or loses traction in the market, consider posting some additional videos. If you really want to be out on the edge, interview your customers and ask them what they think, what they like, and what they dislike.

If you’re ready to move beyond bookmarks and video, you can always release your product in a blog post and experiment with comments. If the thought of not having control over the content comments is worrisome, we recommend having a solid set of guiding principles in place that illustrate what behavior is suitable. Because comments can always be placed in a queue, you can always review them for quality and value.

Social media isn't for everyone. If you are the type of company with enthusiastic customers, it might just be the type of content that you need – not only for R&D, but also to earn trust. If you are committed to innovation and customer loyalty, consider adopting some of the tools that we have discussed here. If you are as honest with your customers as they are with you, your products and services will only get better. So, Jeremiah, we think the corporate Website is as relevant as ever.

More Stories By Matt Goddard

Matt Goddard, head of digital marketing strategy and operations, leads R2i's strategic direction while providing valuable support to client digital marketing projects. Hid business expertise and understanding of social network theory are frequently called upon by R2i clients and partners as they develop their short- and long-term strategic plans. Matt is also responsible for R2 ventures, a division of R2i that makes equity investments in start-up companies launching unique and innovative technologies. Prior to his work with R2i, Matt was co-founder of Impreza, a leading website development and software firm. Impreza was acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) in 2000.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Paul Chaney 10/31/07 12:35:20 PM EDT

You included a hyperlink to a site that was password protected. Why? You yanked my chain!

Jeremiah Owyang 10/31/07 11:23:15 AM EDT

Thank you so much for extending the conversation, you've provided some practical 'how to' steps for those to start and keep relevant.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.