Hello to everyone who considers themselves to be 2.0 – I suspect that many of you are descending on Boston this week with the one and only one goal in mind – to showcase and to absorb as much of the new and shiny 2.0 world as possible. I am doing exactly the same. If you are just arriving into Boston and asking yourself what to expect and what to look out for, I’d love to share some thoughts that I think will be pretty central this week at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference:
Yes, after years of building, using and rebuilding the social software, only about 10% of it can make any sort of remote claim of being relevant to the business. Would you be shocked if I told you that Twitter by itself, in its birdie-naked form, is not business relevant at all. Connections, although currently being values more than transactions (just look at the Linkedin IPO), need to fuel the transactions in order to maintain their claim to fame. Definitely look out for new and improved ways to put social software to work for your business. Spend lots of time with the usual suspects but please don’t focus on the “feed” as the central feature of their tools. Instead look for ways in which your CRM can become a Social CRM and find out how social process can help flood your pipeline with quality leads. Inquire how new approaches to getting work done can improve productivity associated with your project management and look for new vendors who are transforming the way people work and the way people get things done together. If you walk out of the conference without at least few takeaways on tools that can help your business, well then you, my friend, are 1.0! (Probably the worst thing to call someone at the e2.0 Conference!).
Look for new and improved ways to search.
Because we are so social, we are dealing with exponentially accelerating amounts of information in all areas of the enterprise. Finding “things” in these situations can be tough and search happens to be an area that is in desperate need for innovation. Don’t get me wrong, Google is still awesome, but ask yourself how Google can help you find information in your private network. Ask yourself how a reliance on search can be lifted with new approaches focused on semantics, recommendations, natural language and sentiment. Definitely look for new ways in which information can come to you, instead of you going after the information by searching. This will help you and your business be more 2.0 and will likely put you at the forefront of social goodness.
Look for something awesome!
Just walk around and find at least one thing that you’d consider to be totally awesome. Don’t ask yourself how it can help you, don’t spend time analyzing the details of how your organization would use it – just pick something and try it. You see, a trial is the best way to innovate in the world of social software. Most of the benefits that we now associate with Facebook didn’t come form the deep analysis, instead they came from us using this tool. So do yourself a favor, find a new approach or a new app and see if your love at first sight transforms into a new daily routine that adds new beat to the life of your business. Don’t leave the conference this year without something awesome in your pocket!
I hope you find these suggestions helpful. Looking forward to seeing many of you at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston this week. Thanks for reading.