In its upcoming issue, BusinessWeek writes it missed the mark three years ago on describing the social media revolution as limited to the surge of blogs. Well, hindsight is 20/20 and I think the main point here is the lag between early adopters, early settlers and the general population in adopting technology -- not smart journalists missing a beat.
I do remember feeling empowered by that issue. Back then, when few had figured out how companies could engage online influencers, it gave me more immunition and proof that social media was a force to be reckoned with and it made business sense. This week's article may be a fast read for those of us immersed in interactive media, but it's great support material to bring those who are on the fence about social media into the fold.
In particular, Jeff Jarvis's quote about the evolution of companies into customer communities is worth noting. Jarvis predicts three years from now, BusinessWeek's cover will be about companies as communities. Not suprising the comment comes from the person who built a community of dissatisfied Dell customers around his blog and applauded Dell, when the computer maker launched IdeaStorm--a terrific online feedback community where customers can tell the company their ideas for new products and services and Dell shares some ideas in its pipeline.
Assuming that word of mouth will continue to be more trusted than other communication channels when consumers make decisions, we'll see more IdeaStorms. Companies such as Passenger, Communispace and BrandNetworks that build private and public communities for companies are headed in the right direction with their clients. Market research, customer relationship management, influencer targeting and brand advocacy will converge on the same platform.