…maybe. Certainly the phrase is. Ok I hear ya about the evangelism and all the hype, but that happens whenever you have a new thing on the block of any magnitude. Over time it dies off and we get to making the most of the opportunity. I’ve been around long enough to know, and the Internet was the last time we had such frothing at the mouth.
Back then people argued the toss over the ‘fad’ – some didn’t think anyone would use a credit card online, post a picture, talk through instant messenger, shop, date, etc etc blah blah blah in any numbers worth worrying about. But those that argued against it lost themselves in the hype just as much as those that were doing the hyping. And in doings so, lost sight of the opportunity. It’s rarely about the headline.
‘Social Media’ or ‘realtime collaboration’ or whatever you want to call it is just as big a deal. In fact its bigger IMHO. And will have a more significant impact. You see, it’s not about social media at all. It’s really just the Internet coming into it’s own after 20 years. Social media is just a rewiring. An upgrade in neuron connectivity. And what an upgrade. We can now do en mass, as humans, what we have been trying to do for decades – communicate with who we want, when we want, where we want. On our own terms.
In a few years when the hype has died down there won’t be endless talk of ‘social media’, certainly not if this student experiment is anything to go by. It will be embedded in our lives, in our communication DNA, blurring forever the lines between work and personal. And organisations are not dictating the terms because they don’t control the technology (as I’ve blogged before), and they cant control the conversation. There won’t be directors of social media just like there are no heads of Internet now.
The social dynamic is often seen as the devils spawn in organisations and widely feared by HR and policy makers alike. To those people I say look past the hype, to what is actually going on. There, and only there, will you find the answer. Don’t miss the opportunity to innovate because you drank too much negative kool-aid when others were drinking too much of the positive stuff. Otherwise you will both get drunk and miss the party.
And no one likes to miss a party, right? 😉