Social media’s status as a largely grassroots phenomenon has done little to reassure corporates more accustomed to centralised control of software and media.
This time he was an executive at a Brisbane construction company sitting at a table with peers from other industries: coffee, horticulture, manufacturing, legal and financial services. Symbolically, he represents the crossroads Australian business is at vis-a-vis the adoption of what is variously called social media, digital media or Web 2.o.
It was a meeting to mentor business wheelers and dealers on social media trends. The session was lead by Mark Jones, former It editor for the Australian Financial Review (AFR). Think Facebook, blogs, podcast, YouTube, social networking and Web 2.0 – Internet jargon that’s gone mainstream. One cynical participant professed he knew nothing about this particular Internet phenomenon and promptly folded his arms with a wry smile.
Over the past 12 months, Jones says this scenario has become increasingly common as more companies try to understand the fuss over social media and, more importantly, why it matters to those in ‘real business’. “We’ve got a good website and email; surely that’s enough,” just doesn’t cut it anymore.