Being Bruce -: Business Social Media Tip #31 - Anticipate Change

Monday, November 9, 2009

Business Social Media Tip #31 - Anticipate Change

Social media use in business is increasing and changing in form and applications. These trends will continue. Don't deny or ignore change or, if you do so, ignore the transformations at least knowing that you will be missing out on opportunities - which may be just fine for some enterprises (I'm frankly at a loss to think of one, for even religions, art, and poetry have found great use of computer technologies, so I expect the same from social media).

The business healthy strategy is to expect change in technology including social media and make the best of it as soon as it's practical (please note, 'practical' does not mean the same as 'economical' or 'when we have time'). Practical in this sense means you should utilize relevant technologies as soon as they are stable and proved to be valuable in your business.

Even better than expecting and adopting technological change is anticipating change. If you can predict, for example, which way social media is heading, you can be among the first to enjoy the advantages of change. How does that sound? Pretty cool, huh? Well it is, but be aware that being an 'early adopter', while often exciting and sure to provide cocktail chatter, often comes with a price - newest technologies often sputter when they first hit the market and take a while to become stable. The cost to you can be money and time - two important resources indeed. If you can anticipate and get ready for social media change without over-committing time and money until the technology is stable and at least beginning to deliver, you'll be in the best position.

It's also important, when attempting to understand and predict change, to keep the subject in context. In the case of social media context includes personal computing and personal communications technologies, Internet access and speed, technology adoption and acceptance, and a growing world market.

Looking forward right now, left-brain trends to consider as you attempt to anticipate social media change include the increasing adoption of mobile communications devices (especially but not only phones), cloud computing (where applications and data reside on the Internet, not on physical devices one owns), the continued explosion of personal video, collaboration or collaborative utilities for various social and personal media sites, location technologies, and personal identification and tracking technologies. On the ever more influential right-brain side of development design, play, empathy, social reach, personal touch, and story-telling are all significant. So throw all those factors in a hat, pick any two or three and make your best attempt at anticipating the next big social media business application.