I've spent the last eight months immersing myself in the world of social media. During this time I've joined 20+ online communities, attended weekly virtual world meetings in Second Life, and have 39 followers on Twitter. I've absorbed a tremendous amout of information and am struck by three things.
1- Open Source - When people hear and think about open source, they typically think about open source software. But with social networking the idea of open source software has expanded into open source knowledge. I'm amazed at the wealth of free information you can obtain on the World Wide Web. Professors, business leaders, innovation specialists, moms who use twitter, people over 50, etc. are all connecting and sharing information online. Open source knowledge is a valuable outcome of the social networking trend.
2- Collaboration - Eight months ago I would have told you collaboration was getting a group together to work on a common problem. While this is true, I have a whole new appreciation for the term. It is more than just getting a group together. It is about group diversity and the collaborative tools that we use to solve problems. I'm fascinated with the idea that we can create a solution or solve a problem and not be able to attribute that solution to a single person.
3- Multi-tasking - As I write this blog I have 11 browser pages, two Excel worksheets, one PowerPoint file, Outlook, and one e-mail open. I'm using two monitors (and wish I had a third). I've always been fairly good at multi-tasking, but I've taken it to a new level. Social media is challenging my multi-tasking abilities and I like it.
The launch of Customer Connection is the first step toward fulfilling a vision that we have at Walker. A vision where customer-focused professionals come together to collaborate and share knowledge about using the customer perspective to drive business results. I'm truly excited about the future possibilities for customer advocates like us.
Note: This post was originally published in Customer Connection on 11/6/2008.