[David Weinberger Keynoting at New Communications Forum. Photo by Shel]
Along with being a co-author of the legendary Cluetrain manifesto David Weinberger, is my favorite speaker on the social media circuit. That's because he is among the most passionate and knowledgeable of us. If you have not yet read his new book, "Everything is Miscellaneous," hurry up and read this interview he gave me for the SAP Global Survey. Then click on my Amazon Affiliate button over on the right side of this page and buy his book. Here are my questions and David's answers.
1. David, how have the social media changed the world since Cluetrain was
Social media have continued to do what the Web's been doing from the beginning: Enabling people to connect. But with the growth of social networking sites and all the rest of the loosely-defined social media consortium, the relationships themselves have some more visibility and persistence. In one sense, it's the story of the growth of metadata.
2. Where do you think it's going over the next 5-10 years?
Other than saying that we'll continue to connect and continue to innovate ways to manage the increasing scale of our social connections, I don't have any idea.
3. What are the biggest barriers to social media adoption in business?
Social networks can look like distractions from the "real" work of business. Sometimes that's the case, but more often, increasing the richness of social relationships makes organizations more robust, resilient, and innovative. Then there are the privacy issues, although generally those are manageable, within a reasonable tolerance.
4. Do you see business adoption trends forming in similar or different ways
along geographic lines?
There are obviously differences in how different cultures adopt technology. Am I missing the point?
5. What tools do you think will emerge as the most popular in business over
the next 5- 10 years?
Jeez, if I knew that...! In the shorter term, a business has to be in a state of denial to miss the immediate benefits of using a tagging system to enable knowledge sharing and social networking software to enable expertise to emerge.
6. Here's a simple one for you. How will social media change the fundamentals of business over the next 5-10 years.
It will leech authority from corners of the institution that don't deserve the authority they've had. It will change the nature of leadership -- ask yourself what leadership looks like on the Web and assume that that's what it's going to look like in your organization. It will form alliances with great value and weight among employees and customers. It will cure cancer and make everyone's feet smell like clover.
7. What do you think will happen in business as the Online Generation replaces the current generation in the workplace and in the marketplace?
They'll value loose ties as the enabler of advancement (of the business and of careers). It will look like slacking to their older generation bosses. But it's what knowledge work is going to become.
8. Could you comment on the business future of two specific social media
power tools: online video and social networks?
I can comment, but I can't comment interestingly.
Video will enable person relationships, helping the social network to loosen, scale and deepen, all at the same time.
The existing, popular social networks are setting expectations for how we want to deal with the cloud of people we now move among. Business isn't just going to use FaceBook and the like. FaceBook and the like will be the new face of business -- first internally but eventually inside and out.
10. Additional comments?
I have never made a true prediction.