The Forrester ‘Social Computing’ Paradox

    February 17, 2006

Charlene Li gives an overview of Forrester’s new “Social Computing” report. Key “tenets of social computing” outlined by Charlene:

  • innovation will shfit from top-down to bottom-up
  • value will shift from ownership to experience
  • power will shift from institutions to communities
  • The third point is the one that caught my eye in particular, as it seems to be another point of validation on the idea that we are moving down this path:

    Transactions => Conversations => Relationships => Communities (much more behind the link)

    And then we get to the heart of the matter. Charlene:

    “As I often stress, it’s not about the technologies but about the new relationships that users will form. Technologies will come and go, but the power built on the relationships created by social computing will endure.

    To fully appreciate the value of social computing, companies have to let go of control. That means letting customers control the brand if you’re a marketer, and it means enabling new enterprise tools that IT can’t easily control to attract and support employees with high social computing needs. In many ways, this is the source of the great distress that I routinely hear from corporate managers.” (emphasis added)

    Now the paradox…the report is only available to Forrester clients. If anyone has a copy, I’d love to see it.

    Christopher Carfi, CEO and co-founder of Cerado, looks at sales, marketing, and the business experience from the customers point of view. He currently is focused on understanding how emerging social technologies such as blogs, wikis, and social networking are enabling the creation of new types of customer-driven communities. He is the author of the Social Customer Manifesto weblog, and has been occasionally told that he drives and snowboards just a little too quickly.