One's own opinion on any subject matter can create a bias which then becomes influenced by an article or news report which supports the bias. There are always two sides to any story as there is always two opinions on any subject matter.
The growth and influence of the social web is creating diverse opinions coming from everywhere and everyone. Here is what the traditional media is saying:
Business Week recently gave us their opinion titled Facebook Fatigue which says " Social network fatigue will set in as people tire of getting yet another invitation from so-called friends to join yet another social network. And, in the wake of Facebook's fumbled social ads initiative, it will become even more apparent there's no obvious way to pitch products on these sites without turning off members. Social features will wend their way into all kinds of Web services, from search to news, but the gold rush in social networks themselves will begin to wane."
On the other end of the spectrum of opinions a Wall Street Journal article titled "Wall Street Firms Increasingly Adopt Web 2.0? the writer states "With their ability to foster online collaboration and build user communities, Web 2.0 technologies â€" including wikis, blogs, RSS feeds and social networking sites such as Facebook, Linkedin and MySpace â€" are attracting millions of people every day. In a bid to stay ahead of the curve and reach investors where they spend their time, Wall Street firms also have been exploring the Web 2.0 landscape: some cautiously while others have jumped in wholeheartedly â€" making their applications more compelling to their clients and their employees.
"The list of financial firms deploying Web 2.0 applications, both within the enterprise and externally, is growing. TD Ameritrade, Bear Stearns and Wells Fargo all have announced new 2.0 applications in the last few months. "Enterprise social networking is still in its exploratory stages," observes Matthew Nelson, senior analyst with TowerGroup. [Ed. note: At press time, Nelson left TowerGrouo to join Omgeo as director, market intelligence.] "But it is going to become standard. The industry simply can't afford not to go this way because that's the way people in general â€" employees and customers â€" are shifting."
Now here is what the people of the social web are saying and what businesses are doing as indicated by their conversations and adoption of the social web:
- Over 550 Million people global are engaged using the medium of the social web.
- The annual growth rate is in excess of 30% .
- IBM, Toyota, Wells-Fargo Bank, Nationwide Insurance, Bank of America, American Express and a host of other major brands have invested serious money into use of the social web to reach and converse with people.
- Business Week recently partnered with Linkedin to reach its 15 million + people with its news feed (Maybe the author of the recent article should have checked with the editors before making his prediction)
- The social web appeals to the innate desire of people to connect with people and converse freely. There are over 6 Billion people in the world yet to discover the enabling capability and self satisfaction of the social web. Just maybe it will continue to grow.
So what should one conclude based on the varying opinions?
Not that our opinion is the right opinion however the data and the emotions of the social web suggest to us that just maybe people have found outlets for open and responsive conversations with anyone, anywhere about everything and everyone. Just maybe people are tried of being put on hold when calling customer service, tired of conversing with machines, tired of business environments that squelch self expression and open conversations, just maybe.
But one might ask what about businesses themselves. Well just maybe business have figured out that to reach people the social web is just possibly an optimum tool for reach and richness. Maybe business are discovering the efficiency and effectiveness of the technology to facilitate multiple organizational objectives like speed to market, customer communications, employee participation, process efficiency and all that drives a business systemically. Just maybe and then again this is just another opinion.
What say you?