Earlier this week I served on a panel at SXSW called The Future of Blogs with Lionel Menchaca, the lead blogger at Direct2Dell; Mario Sundar, the community evangelist at LinkedIn and was moderated by Mack Collier, a talented marketer and blogger at the Viral Garden.
There are some great overviews of the session from live bloggers:
- Scott Monty was pretty thorough and caught some of the nuances we were trying to get at.
- Ben Lavender gives a great outline version for those that like it quick and in bullet form
- Vanessa Tan has a thorough post that even captures the audience's questions
- Wendy Sight has a very detailed recount of what was said and adds a little from my 7 Habits post (see sidebar)
- And, a Sun Blogger named Heidi says that she got something out of it even though the tech community was already on board
So, instead of covering what we said, I will tell you that our preparation session the day before the event got me to thinking about what the current explosion in technology really means to companies in the future.
- Heightened customer expectations for a company to talk with and listen to them in real time
- A need by corporations to learn how to incrementally release anticipated information
- The need to accelerate solutions to customer problems
- A requirement for integrated internal collaboration for the team tasked with listening and response
- Accountability for effective communication that meet measurable business objectives
Blogs are a great facilitator of the two-way conversations needed to achieve the goals above, and there are certainly a myriad of monitoring and measurement tools to help fill the gap. But in the end, the issues are less about tools and more about the quality and effectiveness of communication.
As a conversational approach to customer service and care evolves, it takes the internal team to make it work. It seems there is a need out there to develop better tools to tie all of the various social media tactics together and provide cohesion.
In other words, the needs of the communication should drive the development of the tools, and not the other way around.
You can check out the links that I put together for the SXSW panel. I am sure that over time my thinking will evolve around this issue and as it does I will add more links.
Additional Reading: Shel Israel writes about how the market will dictate the terms of the success or failure of social media. The pragmatists view that Shel takes is also my way of looking at these things.
Photo by Jeremiah Owyang (Bonus: If you click on the link you can read Jeremiah's post about how the audience took control at SXSW)