The Great Web 2.0 Evolution Within the Web Me.0 World

September 3, 2008 at 6:14 am Leave a comment

Over the past couple of years, the term Web 2.0 has become a household buzz word within our associations and the larger world.  As in the early dot.com days, the promise and potential of Web 2.0 has become the well-hyped social media darling of the online world.  Yet, there continues to be struggle over how to flip the peverbial switch in leveraging and mainstreaming these social technologies for the rest of the world.  At the same time, users of “sit forward” online technology are still somewhat skiddish in terms of pledging online trust and so many still prefer the comfortable confines of anonymity. 

On the other side of the aisle, the expectations that the “harvest” of web 2.0 potential will somehow be reaped overnight has led to premature impatience and skepticism.    

Based on learning and observation to present day, my belief is Web 2.0 and the social web, in general, is still in its infancy and is far from reaching full maturity in terms of value and engagement… not just for the association world, but also for the for-profit world as well.  However, in my mind that is the natural evolution of any technology.  

We’ve been feverishly constructing Web 2.0 and 3.0 worlds, when all along what we’ve needed to focus on is the Web Me.0 world.  The same basic public relations principle of “so what, who cares, what’s in it for me” is highly applicable to the evolutionary change process occurring in the true Web Me.0 world.     

One thing I’ve learned about change, in general, is there is often considerable lag time between visualization and realization.  Measure it however you want, whether it be radio-to-tv or dial-up-to-dsl… we must accept the fact that even the most ground-breaking innovations take time to find status quo critical mass within the mainstream.  Patience and progression are essential virtues of the day.

Why does it take time?  Well, since we are heading out of summer, I’ll use a vacation analogy.  Visualize the last time you sat on a semi-crowded beach in front of the ocean during off-season.  The sun is shining, the waves crashing, yet most people remain on the beach.  For those who venture into the water, they typically take quite a bit of time to slowly adjust to the temperature while at the same time mentally assessing how far they are willing to venture out into greater depths.  However, there is always the courageous few who will see the ocean’s allure and sprint full stride toward the water, splashing wildly as the water begins to obstruct motion and diving face forward toward that first set of small crashing waves for the decisive plunge into the cool depths. 

Over time, as the months go by and the season change, the heat of summer eventually returns, the water temperatures rise, the beaches become more crowded and eventually most people take to the water… why? because the conditions are ideal, peer pressure is moving the crowd toward the water and, ultimately, the transition is far more comfortable and relaxed.

The translation is we must realize that the summer season for the social web is on the way and we all must begin by testing the waters.  Further, we must be careful to pace rather than drown ourselves in the mad rush out into the water.

More importantly, while we might be able to invent all sorts of clever whiz-bang social web applications, widgets and worlds, we must never forget the mainstream Web Me.0 world whose measure will always be real world relational value based upon the age-old principle of “so what, who cares, what’s in it for me”.

The good news is I believe a killer set of waves are forming off-shore and setting a course toward our association shore.  SM

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Entry filed under: Innovation, Web 2.0 and Beyond, Web Me.0. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Innovation thought for the day – Ideas Succeed in association business innovation by seperating it from “the pack” in the developmental phases

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