A lot of old established companies are in turmoil right now over what to do with social media.
I also think Facebook missed a huge opportunity by not selling Facebook as a service along with mail and applications. I am happy they didn’t but I thought that would be the next logical step for them. Bundle it all up and sell Facebook Corporate Edition so that companies could buy an internal Facebook that most people know how to use, put Web2.0 social media, video, files, photos, apps and communications and sell the crap out of it? Did I just give Facebook an idea they don’t seem to have?
When my check shows up I will let you all know….
So what is a company to do. The upside is Microsoft has nothing of substance to offer in this area. Again all you Microsoft people out there who think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread, and you could not be more wrong, they have nothing to offer the brave new world of Web 2.0, unless you count ASP or .NET (which are both pretty much dead now.(Oh and C# is not doing so well either is it?))
So with Microsoft out of the way lets move onto who can provide you those Web 2.0 social media services.
If you guessed Google you would be right, and right next to them is Lotus. What? Lotus? Did you say Lotus?
You came to a Lotus based blog and expected me not to have Lotus in the post at least once?
Google has GOOGLE APPS, and it’s OK. It’s a suite of apps you pay to host by Google and then use them like you would the free ones only they are behind your own domain name. Kind of neat. My take on Google is they are a company that has nothing to sell but the tools they invented to run a company that does not sell anything but the tools they created. It’s an odd company, but I still love the idea of working for Google. They seem like a neat company that thinks and working out the kinks in ideas that have been troubling them for years.
Lotus on the other hand actually offers up a Social Media application called Lotus Connections that integrates, not perfectly, with Lotus Notes, Sametime and other Lotus products. I still think that in the next few years Lotus will move everything into Connections and call it Lotus Collab or something fancy but right now it seems very half baked.
So what to do with all this stuff? Do you embrace it and welcome it in opening up your firewall and allow those crappy good for nothing employees Facebook all day long? Or do you clamp it all down and tell your crappy employees to use Facebook at home? It’s a good question and to that I say embrace it like you did the phone on the desk, the computer, the fax machine(why are these not dead) and the Internet….embrace it because in the next 3 – 7 years every person coming into you company is going to know, understand and love these ways to communicate. Get your company employees smart phones and get them all talking about everything. Social Media is just like the phone or the computer, it is the evolution of communications.
While it is easy to see this now, what is next? What will be the next big communication thingie?