Web 2.0 Swan Song?

by Michael Cayley on 10/27/2008

This post originally appeared at www.socialcapitalvalueadd.com on June 18, 2008.

If you are reading this post you likely already understand that social media is “game changing”. The challenge ahead is to make this case to seasoned decision makers in boardrooms globally.

Perhaps it is because I watched as the public relations profession worked over the last 20 years to attempt to tune the corporation into being more socially motivated. Perhaps it is the lingering fear of the first Internet bubble. But every time I read a blog post about what is better Twitter or Plurk or see a debate raging about whether one has to be a blogger to “get” social media, I hear Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson and this song in my head (sorry – not every time and minus the first 51 seconds, heh, heh). See original post for the video & swan song 🙂

I don’t want this second wave of the internet coming to crest before crashing through the boardroom door. The prospect of changing the dialog about Web 2.0 and social media is what prompted me to start down the the path of writing “Introducing Social Capital Value Add” last May.

SCVA is a management method rooted in accepted financial theory that connects the pioneering intellectual enterprises of social capital and social network analysis to value based management and the priorities of marketers. SCVA proposes that we establish the link between social media and corporate valuation, in a way similar to the connection made between brand and corporate value in the late 1980s.

Investors and managers need to access the risks to future earnings and stock value associated with social media. When we evangelize Web 2.0 and social media in these terms … risk, future earnings and stock value … the focus will change from saving a few thousand dollars on a web campaign and the quest for that elusive viral story. This is the opportunity to stress the commitment, investment and special management methods required to develop the social capital that underwrites long term success in the networked age.

Over the last month many people have joined in to support the idea of “Introducing Social Capital Value Add” at www.changethis.com/proposals. Thank you very much. It is not over yet. Voting closes sometime, probably end of day, June 19th. It might not come together tomorrow.

UPDATE: Social Capital Value Add is quite a little case study in how ideas spread. It was the 8th most demanded proposal in ChangeThis history and it was published along with new manifestos by Seth Godin, Jonathan Salem Baskin, John Kotter and others in their 50th Issue on September 10th, 2008.

The odds are against this prospect of changing the dialog. I must admit though, the process of engaging as many people as I can about these issues and the response has been inspiring.

{ 1 comment }

Dan October 31, 2008 at 12:33 pm

I’m a little stuck on the social media / corporate prospectus. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle states that the position and momentum of a particle cannot both be known simultaneously. The more precisely known the value of one, the less precise is the other. In other words, how can corporations apply social media if it behaves as a function of their interaction with it.

This is my primary motivation to see Social Media stand apart from the corporate construct – so that we can see it and study it. After that, we can rapidly and profitably re-associate it with the corporate structure like any science.

The motivation to sell corporations on social media is obvious, someone has to pay for the development of the new information, knowledge, and innovations associated with Social Media. What is not so obvious is that these same corporations may not be the greatest beneficiaries; Xerox was not the greatest beneficiary of photocopying innovation, Motorola was not the greatest beneficiary of Six Sigma; the list is long. As such, we may be providing an unintentional disservice to the company(s) that finance Social Media today by limiting their access to the benefits later (ref: heisenburg).

The opportunity is to get several companies to fund the research in an open sourced project. This is likely the best way of going about this. For the reasons stated above, we need to design it, test it, build prototypes, and iterations for corporations as a global productivity application, like “social software”, not as a the master of “Social Hardware”.

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