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Old Dog, Web 2.0 Tricks

December 18, 2008
at 12:00 pm PST

imageOK, so, lets be clear: I started in this industry when the DEC MicroVAX was considered controversial and the vampire tap was the pinnacle of networking technology. So, needless to say, “Web 2.0″ and “Social Media” left me a bit skeptical and certainly scratching my head (thank you @deanna24 and @ethanbauley for your patience!).But, I have to tell you, having been an active participant for the last year and watching things evolve, I am a believer--I think we have seen a permanent shift in how folks interact with each other and how companies interact with customers. Speaking from experience, that shift can certainly be brain stretch, but I think it is a change for the better for both companies and customers.Colin McNamara’s recent post on using our online config tool is a great example of pulling all the pieces together via blogging, embedded video, and Twitter to educate readers--at the same time, we get to immediately understand what works and what does not work for customers and sharply reduce the cycle time to address issues. Same thing last week, when I could follow the real time conversations around our C-Scape analyst event by following #cscape.I think the further mainstreaming of social media is illustrated by a recent article in the WSJ on the Secrets of Marketing in a Web 2.0 World, which will help more companies feel comfortable engaging and helping them engage more effectively, although I think there is still a while to go--even in Cisco, traction for social media is somewhat uneven. For me, the most interesting aspect right now are the real-time, distributed, stream of consciousness conversations happening on Twitter and Friendfeed. I was following an interesting thread this morning on we will need to adapt rules of engagements with folks active on Twitter and use mechanisms we use with other media outlets such a content embargos. A great indicator of how the medium is evolving to meet the needs of both company and customer.

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1 Comments.


  1. Deanna Belle

    Hey Omar, thanks for the shout out ;)I too, am a believer in the power of social media and not so much because it is a part of my job but because I see the tremendous impact that it can have on customer relationships. Companies can build credibility and more personal relationships while at the same time help to improve products and services when they interact and collaborate with and respond to customer concerns via social media tools such as blogs and Twitter. Information can also be shared in real-time, it’s amazing to me how quickly information travels across social networks — another huge benefit to engaging in social media …and the part that I’m most intruiged by: being able to interact with the PEOPLE behind the brand… and the list goes on…One final point is that building an online community takes time, patience and most importantly participation.. it certainly will not happen overnight.. and as you mentioned Omar, once you do see the benefit, (no matter how skeptical you may have you been) you can’t help but get excited about the opportunities that social media presents to both companies and their customers…Cheers,Deanna

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