Corporations Like Web 2.0 But Not Blogs. They're Afraid Of Their Own People.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on April 3, 2007

McKinsey is out with a Global Survey that shows business execs love user-driven collaboration, especially peer-to-peer networking, web services, social networking, podcasts, wikis and RSS feeds. But execs do not like blogs very much. They say they do but they aren’t investing in blogs.

Only 16% of the companies surveyed said they were investing in blogs, compared to 63% for web services, 28% for peer-to-peer networks, and 19% for social networks.

78% identified web services as the Web 2.0 technology/tool most important their their business.

McKinsey doesn’t try to analyze why execs aren’t investing in blogs as a Web 2.0 tool but I will venture to suggest that most managers are afraid of blogs. Very few blog themselves and when they do, it runs through the marketing or PR departments. Managers in general still worry about loss of control with blogs. Letting their employees and consumers into the conversatohn and allowing them their say frightens them.

That’s a huge mistake. Check out Jeff Jarvis’ post about Dell. He and Dell got into quite a pushing match some time about about his terrible experience with a Dell laptop. He triggered a major rehaul at Dell that included building blogs and consumer conversation sites that helped the company remake itself and its reputation.

The great challenge to companies these days is to learn how to let consumers in, how to open a conversation with them that is honest and real. It looks like lots of managers have yet to get that signal. Wait until they get their own Dell Hell.

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"The great challenge to companies these days is to learn how to let consumers in, how to open a conversation with them that is honest and real. It looks like lots of managers have yet to get that signal."

Uncertainty paralyzes. Companies aren't used to letting their customers have a say in how their marketing message is shaped and formed. Not many are in a hurry to be the first to try sharing control. The ones that are strong enough to brave the uncertainty are the ones that will win. Thanks for a great post/wakeup call.

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About

Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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