Monday, 24 March 2008

The Death of Society Not Yet!

In a series of fascinating editorials in the New York Times and various blog spheres pundits have declared that Society is not falling apart and in fact it is getting a resounding "Hurrah" from many big names such as Pepsi Cola. The two articles referenced in this blog are just the tip of the iceberg of the avalanche of support for Society. What I mean by this is that both individuals and major corporations believe strongly that Social Media is a force to be reckoned with.

This comes as no surprise to this author, or anyone else that currently occupies space above ground. What is a surprise is that it has taken an age for business to grasp the obvious. For eons people have been working in social structures because it simultaneously benefits the individual and the great good. However in the business world the concept of "Social" seems to have been largely avoided. Let me explain this briefly.

People do well because they chat, share, help each other build barns, and generally like being around each other for support and an occasional giggle. But corporations have always been somewhat anti-social in their approach to interacting with their customer base. "Here is a new product -- buy it!" seems to be the limit to their conversational skills. Even their feint attempt a customer relationship management was no more than building databases so that they could better estimate customer value and make more efficient the "handling" of customers.

Social interaction is one of the fundamental traits of humans. And perhaps that is why Corporations have missed it -- because it is a human trait. But since Corporations are fundamentally made up of humans it was only a matter of time before the light bulb went off in someone's head.

In these last few years we have seen a transformation on how product and service information is communicated. With an increasing amount of content and still only having 24 hours in a day we will see people becoming increasingly selective of how they spend their time. People chose to socialise with other people for a variety of reasons, but mainly it all boils down to one reason -- it adds value to their life. In the age of an audience of one, corporations will need to understand better the basics of human nature -- we are foremost social beings.

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