Sunday, April 24, 2005

Is this stuff worth $250?

I joined in on Jennifer Rice's Brand Humanity Webinar last week. I was interested in the topics which included social trends, the impact of the blogsphere, social technologies (wikis, forums, etc.) and more for business marketers. And I was curious if she could get $250 for a one-and-one-half hour Webinar on this topic. I consider myself pretty far along the learning curve, though I've only been using these tools for less than a year. So, I was a little concerned that this would cover a lot of ground over which I've already trodden. It was the promise of the ongoing conversation that made me decide to use a large part of my personal development budget on this one Webinar. I wanted to interact, not just learn. THIS is the promise of social technologies. For the $250, I got to participate in an intimate gathering. Ms. Rice was open, interactive and well-prepared. If I was new to the world of social networking tools, this Webinar would have been a perfect. The slides she provided will help me educate the organization I've just joined. One thing became very evident to me. Those of us preparing strategies in the social communication space: shouldn't spend too much time thinking about what is available today. It changes too fast. I asked about Podcasting during her presentation. I've been following podcasts all of 3 weeks, but see that it could be a very compelling medium for a percentage of my customers and prospects. We're just getting our head around corporate blogging and now this. This is but one example. New tools supporting the blogsphere are becoming available. RSS readers are popping up in unexpected places. Unexpected businesses are using blogs to build their business... and others are using them to shoot themselves in the foot. Is this stuff worth $250? Yes. But, like our emerging customer base, I'm expecting to get my value from the on-going conversation.

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