“Blogs take bribes, marketers write news, journalists spread lies, and no one is accountable for any of it.” Ryan Holiday
New technology always breathes claims of novel corruption. But it’s the technology that’s novel—human nature doesn’t change. Holiday’s book bears witness to the underside of social media where workers are mean nasty brutish and careers, short. But social technology isn’t just something that helps a few journalists traffic in falsehoods. Social media transforms the basic way billions of people interact with friends and family. “Dark socials” drive people apart, Facebook brings people together. Both have a common enemy—the business model. Holiday’s tell-all and Facebook’s IPO fiasco tell us the novelty phase of social media is over. What comes next is business transformation.
Pop-culture exhaustion leads to business. All through the dotcom bust of 2000 – 2002, investment in Web technologies actually increased as the business value of Web-enablement became obvious to managers of the firm. Social technology driving business investment will happen not for lying on blogs and creating fake social network identities. Stuff in your home will blog updates to your mobile device. Your electric meter will tweet usage data to you and retail electricity marketers. Corporate communications will discover the power of blogging and tweeting as a strategic notification infrastructure inside the firm. Once you understand the technology, there’s almost no limit to how social technology can be applied to business processes. But the shocking lessons of Ryan Holiday are still fresh and that raises the question…
When business acquires social will it be a “friendly” takeover?