Tom Davenport argued on BusinessWeek that Web 2.0 and social media, which “let everyone share ideas, opinions, favorite tunes, and relationship statuses with each other”, are not priorities during the financial crisis as they are not improving our productivity and contributing to the real economy.
In Tom’s “opinion”, people should emphasize on other priorities such as “what kind of products and services will make for better, healthier lifes and relationships?”, “How can companies improve their performance?”, or “how can teenagers improve their maths and science skills instead of texting skills”.
It looks real at first. And a large percentage of the comments supported this argument. But is Web 2.0 only about interfacing and sharing with each other.
I’m sure many of the professional bloggers reading this would disagree.
1. As companies are experiencing the downturn, they are actually paying more attention to online advertising. That explains why Google is weathering the economic gloom so well according to their latest quarterly results. It means Adwords + Adsense and Search advertising. People are actually spending more time online to look for information and do research because it saves a lot of money. And a large portion of advertising revenue comes from advertisements that are placed at different positions on people’s blogs. Check this out: Intel community marketing: fishing where the fish are.
2. For the same reason, they are looking for ways to market their products, services, brand images, etc. online because that again saves a lot more money. “The new rules of PR and Marketing” is an obvious evidence that this approach works. Plus, more people are spending time online, which is another good reason to do marketing that way.
3. Blogging is not all about expressing our mind. It’s more than that. It’s about cultivating an online image and personal brand that reach to a lot more people than a single business card. Take Tai Tran for example, he got a lot of job offers through his blogs. Or Chip, she’s got contacted by a lot of her “idols” simply because she writes good stuffs on the blog. I wrote a review about Cyvee.com and the director of Caravat.com invited me to a Saturday coffee, which was the start of a long-lasting relationship the is bettering me everyday. Web 2.0 matters, dude. But you have to be serious about, it’s not a place for crappy things.
4. I was wondering if Tom ever used LinkedIn, and would he stop using it because it doesn’t matter to his business relationships and career opportunities. Don’t you agree that social networks actually save us a lot of time from building business relationships should that be done offline?
5. Take a look at Jeremiah. He’s a web strategist who writes blog to communicate with and educate his readers. He’s using the so-called “lethal generosity” to actually drive traffic to Forrester Research, his company. According to his “confession”, web-strategist was the forth referrer to FR’s website. Would you argue that blogging doesn’t create any business opportunities or enhance productivity. Doesn’t it make our lives better off?
6. Twitter is fun. It was when I start twittering that I began to meet more geeks than ever before.
However, just like everyone else, social media cannot escape the “financial tsunami” as it leaves no one unscathed. Many social media companies are laying off and people are in fact reducing their time playing online. But my verdict is that the demise of social media will not happen anytime soon.
What would you say?