Communities are a powerful way for businesses to grow
Used correctly, communities can impact the top and bottom line of company's financials: from brands encouraging customers to self-support each other (reducing costs), to spreading word of mouth to each other (efficient marketing and increased sales) to crowd sourcing innovation (streamlining R&D) communities matter more than ever --especially during a recession.
Among other things, the Israeli military has started its own YouTube channel to distribute footage of precision airstrikes. And as I type, the Israeli consulate in New York is hosting a press conference on microblogging site Twitter.
Actually, Internet collaboration is hardly a new development in what some military theorists and practitioners call "fourth generation warfare," abbreviated 4GW. (Which is now upgraded, in conflicts like Somalia's civil war, to 5GW). Revolutionaries long ago embraced instant messaging, discussion forums, and streaming video. Micro-blogging, whether used by the insurgents or the counterinsurgents, is just another potential edge in the information war.
At Forrester we tend to look forward, not back. In fact, right now we are preparing our predictions for what 2009 will bring in the social application space. But the end of the year is also a time to reflect. So we looked back at our 2008 predictions to see how we did. Overall, we had one big mistake (vendor relationship management went nowhere) and we were too optimistic on several other predictions. Optimism, it seems, comes along with this space. But we were pleased that the entrance of corporations into the social world seems to be coming along fine, despite the recent Motrin kerfuffle, to cite one example.