Data reveals trends, business issues that are critical to stay ahead of competition and market developments.
There is internal data and external data. Actions must be aligned to close the cap of performance, customer satisfaction, market developments before your competition does.
As we examine the emergence of the social web we constantly review the market data, the user data and the potential shifts that will or are impacting businesses, people and entire markets.
Lets consider the major developments within the web which are reflected by data. Is it real or hype? The opinions vary based on perspectives, positions and objectives of the viewer but on a macro level the raw data suggest there is something going on worthy of our attention.
- Traffic is growing rapidly on a global basis. Traffic is indicative of attention.
- People and businesses are relying on the web to use as a productivity improvement tool.
- The social web is removing friction of market transactions and influencing buyers
- All business models and beliefs are subject to revolutionary changes
- The social web is creating a new order of things to come.
The new order of things is being created by individuals using technology, the social web, to connect, create, converse and influence, one to one to millions. The social web represents transformational change of order for businesses globally. 2011 is likely to be the year where we see massive transformation as a result of the new order of business.
The change of order can be a threat to those inclined to loose the most by not adopting the new order. “There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all who profit by the new order. This lukewarmness arises partly from fear of their adversaries, who have power in their favor, and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not believe in anything new until they have had an actual experience of it.” –Machiavelli
The difference today is that the power has and continues to shift from institutions to individuals who when they speak with a common voice create swarms. The power of swarms is the collective voice and subsequent behavior which gets the attention of the old order.
The problem is the old order of things do not understand the dynamics of the medium which has enabled a power shift. The old discount it, suggest it is just a fad or for the youth. Gartner says “Many companies are thinking about how they can take advantage of social-networking technology, but analysts at Gartner are warning against getting caught up in the hype.”
Hype is defined as is a figure of speech in which statements are exaggerated. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, and is not meant to be taken literally.
OK, so the data presented in this post is hype? The fact that over a billion people are engaged in the social web, exchanging ideas, having conversations etc etc. has no meaning for businesses?
Again some of the statements being made from those protecting old models of thought fly in the face of meaningful data which suggest the very opposite of their positional statements. Just maybe the hype is actual in the old statements about the new order of things to come.
Answer some simply questions:
- Should businesses align themselves in activities, conversations and “places” where the customers are engaged spending time and money?
- Should business adopt innovation that reduces market friction and reduces cost?
- Should business stop pushing what they think markets should have and instead listen to what markets want?
- Should business enable or steal productivity?
- Does business recognize that we are in revolutionary times which requires revolutionary thinking?
To answer no to any of the above questions means you are still trying to control the old order of things which means you haven’t even begun to recognize the new order. The new order isn’t about controlling the old rather enabling the new.