Someone at work asked me how to 'leverage the power of Web 2.0' and what I have done to take advantage of some of the new technologies. I responded by saying that Web 2.0 technologies are useful for creating conversations with my customers, not just for pushing content (why pushing content isn’t good enough anymore is a post of it’s own). Then I was asked what training wheels I would suggest for someone looking to get started. I came up with this list of things I started with and would love suggestions from expert readers on others:
Blogging: Corporate blogs are becoming more common with companies like Cisco, HP, NetApp and Boeing which already active participants in the blogosphere. The common platforms for business or corporate blogs are WordPress, Movable Type and Leverage Software which goes beyond blogging to create communities.
Wiki's: Corporate wiki’s are collaborative websites which rely on a community of users to generate content and build pages. Wiki’s can be used in so many ways here are some example that come to mind –improve internal communications and expand the reach of your internal knowledgebase, use it to build a community within your customer base to create user generated documentation, use it with partners to co-create proposals. Some examples of external corporate wiki’s sites are: Linux Questions, IBM and Adobe. Three popular corporate Wiki platforms that come to mind are Confluence, SocialText and TWiki.
Social Networking: There are many social networking sites and although most of the one’s I’ve come across are personal in nature they do touch on certain business topics and can be exploited to reach a community that shows interest in topics related to your business. This site lists a few of the more popular social networking sites.
Second Life: Second Life is a ‘3-D virtual world’ – it offers a platform that can be used to host online events and collaborate with a broad audience in addition to just starting a hallway conversation with other avatars online. Notable companies on Second Life are Cisco, Reuters, Sun Microsystems and IBM.
LinkedIn: An online community of business professionals – this site can be exploited to build an expert within your company on a specific topic by taking advantage of the ‘Answers’ area of the site. It can be a good place to find potential clients and partners – and of course it’s more obvious use is finding potential job candidates.
I have limited this list to ‘conversation enablers’ – I'll be working on a follow up post around widgets and which ones are most likely to have “business value” which I think is even more interesting.