Do you know enough?
If not, what are you doing about it?
If so, who do you think you're kidding?
[Interesting side alley: I was talking to a friend yesterday and encouraged her to speak at an upcoming conference. She said, "No way. I don't know enough." I explained that volunteering to speak was the best way to be sure that she'd end up knowing enough by the time she was through.]
When I recently got a chance to speak at our annual strategic input conference, I thought Why Not. I am no expert (yet J) and opportunities like these help me learn more about areas of my interest.
I spoke about the web and mobility. My presentation was divided broadly into four parts. I started with a recap of Web 2.0 and some changes from Web 1.0, and getting the audience to check their Web 2.0 Quotient. I followed this up with some trends that I have been observing and how companies can/should use the Web to connect with their customers. Finally I left the audience with what I believe are two critical tools to get started on the Web and some next steps for them to get started with Web 2.0.
My main message – You can’t ‘learn’ about Web 2.0 in classroom or in a conference. You have use it and experience it to leverage its power.
Here’s my presentation on SlideShare and some notes about what I spoke.
- There are enough demographic studies to tell use that the workforce is getting younger. The younger workforce is more adept at using technology, and this is not limited to a particular socio-economic section. Depending on where the audience is from, they will be relatively more tech savvy. How are we going to connect with them, train them and also leverage their inherent tech savvy mindset is going to be the opportunity in coming few years.
- While Second Life is clunky, slow and can’t be accessed through most corporate networks, we should watch out for 3-D virtual worlds. While the current use in training and business is limited, their use will increase in times to come. I encouraged everyone to get a Second Life account and try out the 3-D worlds for themselves just to get an experience. It is a little hard to imagine what it is like without actually being in one.
- Telepresence will increase and will not be limited to just high quality video conference, even though that is what it seems in the first instance. The video of John Chambers and Marthin De Beer is a good example of what telepresence can do and give rise to new applications.
- Mobile phones have a far greater penetration than the Internet, at least in India. In India, while 3.7% population has access to the Internet, nearly 30% population has access to a mobile phone. With the increase in sales of the smart phone, the Internet will reach the people faster on a mobile phone than on a PC. It is going to be a great tool to reach out to the customers and applications using mobile technology will increase significantly.
- Web 3.0 will provide even more freedom to the users.
Connecting with the community
- When you see Baba Ramdev talking about Google Chrome in his billboard advertising, you know times are a changing. So how are you connecting with your customers? Your customers are everywhere on the Web. What’s your company’s web strategy in connecting with your customers?
- With the Web, there are a lot more channels for your customers’ voice. Your customers may not always communicate directly with you. With so many websites primarily aimed at carrying customer’s voice, it is imperative that companies listen to what their customers are saying in public forums.
Critical tools to get started
- The most common issue with managers is that they don’t have the time to do all what I have said above. While all this Web 2.0 mumbo-jumbo is fine and sounds great, where is the time to try all these things? Well, I suggest that all managers start with Feeds and Google Alerts. Feeds allow you to scan your selected sites quickly for updates. Alerts help you track what’s being talked about on the Web. Most managers have a smart phone with Web access. We need to start using the smart phones for more than just email.
- Most feed readers have a mobile version available allowing you easy access to updates without necessarily being on your laptop.
- Google Alerts provide you with daily email alerts about your search keyword. This is a great way to track what’s being said about your company or your area of interest.