[Robert Scoble with Camera at the Maker's Faire. Photo by Shel.]
According to Technorati, Robert Scoble is the world's 35th most popular blogger. If you slice it down to the category of technology or technology business, he is in the top half-dozen. There is no person I know who has a better ear for the sound of social media's heartbeat than Robert Scoble. He simply knows what's going on. He finds out by tirelessly conducting conversations with geeks everywhere all the time and he has some clear answers for the SAP Global Survey.
The following are his views on what is happening and is about to happen. The executive summary: Have a FaceBook strategy.
1. You are a recognized industry leader and pioneer. How has social media changed since you first got involved?
It's gotten faster and the world has gotten smaller. Today I have thousands of friends on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Jaiku, and Pownce. When the Mexico City earthquake happened earlier this year seven people were on Twitter WHILE THE EARTHQUAKE WAS HAPPENING! That was a very different experience than, say, 9/11 where lots of people were online, but mostly talking through IM.
2. How would you describe the state of social media today?
Expanding and expanding fast.
3. Where do you think it is going over the next five years?
Video and mobile. Video and mobile. Video and mobile. Video and mobile. Video and mobile. Video and mobile. Video and mobile. Video and mobile. Video and mobile.
I think I said that enough times. Heheh.
4. When I first discussed this survey with you, you said all I had to do was look at FaceBook, Kyte.tv and a few others. Just what did you mean by that.
I've only been on Facebook two weeks and I have 2,000 friends there already. On Kyte.tv my video channel has been visited tens of thousands of times (and it, too, is only a few weeks old).
5. This is a Global Survey. What is your perception of how social media is evolving in the world's different regions?
Watch http://www.twittervision.com and you'll see every country in the world represented. It's growing extremely fast everywhere.
[Scoble and son Patrick at home, checking out what's happening online. Photo by Shel]
6. What differences --if any--do you see in how small to medium business is adopting social media v. huge corporations.?
Small ones usually do a more human job of communicating. Employees at small companies take more risks, generally, by doing something different. Look at "Will it Blend" over on YouTube. Would a big-company executive have done what that guy has done?
7. This is, of course, an SAP Survey. Hugh MacLeod told me that the lines between social media and SAP's core application, ERP are getting very blurry. Do you agree? If you were advising SAP on strategic adjustment, what would you tell them?
I'd agree. I've seen enterprises pick up social software. BEA's application now has wikis and tagging and blogging built in. So does Sharepoint from Microsoft.
For big companies the marketing challenge is to appear small and nimble. It's why, if SAP announced an iPhone version tonight, the world would pay attention. The problem with big companies is that they move too slowly to really capitalize on the attention of the early adopters. By the time SAP adopts Twitter it'll be old news and not many people will pay attention.
So, how does SAP build one hot feature in every quarter? That's what I'd try to do.
8. How will businesses reach your son Patrick? What will they need to get his attention, gain his loyalty and make him willing to tell others about their goods and services?
Copy Apple. Er, understand what Steve Jobs and Apple has done. Whatever Apple is doing they are reaching young people very effectively.
But, right now I'd have a FaceBook strategy. Every startup in the valley is having to articulate whether or not they have a FaceBook strategy and if they do, what it is.
Does SAP have one?
9. What social media tools are on the rise and which are sinking? Is this the same or different worldwide as far as you know?
Hot: Twitter/Pownce/Jaiku (Pownce is hottest this week).
Cooling: blogging (Twitter is taking a lot of attention away from it).
Hot: Photosharing services and Scrapblogging stuff.
Steady but not sexy: Wikis.
Cooling: Second Life.