Ever wonder where all this--social media, new communications, etc--is going on the corporate side? Sure, the consumer side is exploding--YouTube, MySpace, Digg, and so on. But what about the business folks? I posed this question to Robert Scoble earlier this week at lunch, and he had some observations.(Scoble, of course, is Mr Blogger, originally of Microsoft fame who went on to write a cool book, Naked Conversations and become a BIG NAME in the blogosphere. He's also an amazing "Super Connector" in the Tipping Point tradition.)
First, companies are very slow to get on this wave, and are trying to figure out where and how to fit it into their existing communications paradigm (PR, marketing, etc). It's not an easy fit. Example: who wants to read a professionally written blog by a ghost writer or PR manager?
Most are not exactly welcoming this trend with open arms; they seem to find it fascinating and scary at the same time. But they are edging into the water.
Scoble seems to have found some of the business "seams" and is carving out an interesting niche, cashing in on the explosion in video. Armed with his camera, he goes in and interviews geeks, developers and corporate chieftans about a wide variety of subjects--he even had Guy Kawasaki on recently. Scoble's style is rather loose and casual (don't expect Mike Wallace) and the result highly entertaining--and, I'm assuming, lucrative for him.
Part of his job is educating the corporate unwashed masses. Many think that they can simply wave a magic wand, create a video, have it go viral and reach millions magically. Some do--Scoble rattled off one example of a company president who began experimenting with his blender, throwing in all kinds of odd items, brooms, iPods, etc--to see what would happen. That one caught on, but these "planned accidents" that hit the mainstream are rare.
I think all of this will eventually catch on with corporations, especially podcasts and videos. But don't expect it overnight.
Oh one other thing I found fascinating about Scoble--he peruses over 1,000 posts a day. Many of them are ten seconds but this
guy covers a lot of ground. He's looking for specific trends and
patterns, and I'm assuming by his blog he finds plenty of them. He also
makes me feel like an information slacker.