Yesterday I met with my friend Stefan Meister who runs Intercultures, a leading provider of services related to intercultural communication. Over a good Japanese dinner we updated each other about what we currently up to, his holidays in India, my current challenge to loose around 15 pounds, etc.
Part of our conversation centred around Web 2.0 and I did a kind of sales pitch ("Why should one like you observe and exploit what is currently happening in social networks on the web"). It gave me a good preparation for my keynote next week. Now, I don't know how much of what I going to summarize here is any news for my blog readers. Interesting question, indeed - can I assume that because somebody is reading blogs they know all about Web 2.0?
Coming back to my conversation of yesterday, Stefan said that he had made the decision to focus on other means of PR, which I found fair. I mean, I do spend about 20-30 hours a month, if not more on writing or reading stuff on the Web.
So, why should consultants and trainers actually observe and exploit Web 2.0? There is a couple of good reasons to do it:
1. If you are a good and productive blogger or tweeter, you become a kind of thought leader in the field. The same applies to your activity in social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Xing, etc., where you can build up your reputation as an expert in your field.
2. People who do read blogs, tweets, or discussions, often reference them and link to your website. It is creating traffic, no doubt.
3. Search engines see every blog entry like a new webpage. So, if you have 200 articles in your blog, that is 200 entry points to the your website, i.e. the place were you market your goods (you do have a website, have you?).
4. Building up networks takes time. It took me like ten years to get connected to the current 14,000 subscribed readers of the Change Management Toolbook. With the new tools this process is much quicker. I like the spirit of the blogosphere and the twittosphere, where you kind find a lot of mutual support be referencing, retweeting, etc.
5. It is the future. The younger generation will certainly use social networking tools for communication more than they do email. The sooner you learn to meet them in their communication channels, the better.
6. It educates you. I learn a lot of cool things which I probably wouldn't have found if not some other people have told you on their blogs, tweeds, linkedin comments etc. The tools have a lot of side benefits. For example, I will use Twitter and blogging in the future to get a better documentation of the workshops I lead.
7. It creates change. That is the essence of what I will be talking about next week: Open Space Technology, AI, World Café etc. was yesterday. Web 2.0 is today. The possibility to initiate change in large groups has multiplied by about 1 000 000 times (why I am saying that? The largest Open Space or Workd Café workshops I know were with about 3,000 folks. There have been some AI processes with a couple of ten thousands. Nearly half of the world is now connected by the Web. That makes potentially a group of 3 billion people which you can engage in a process). I deeply believe that virtual networks are the answer for the problems of the 21st century.
By the way, I encourage you to subscribe to my Twitter account, I am posting regularly about interesting stuff I discover on the web.