Robert Godden’s musings and rants

I muse. I rant. This is my outlet!

Posts Tagged ‘social change

It’s not Web 2.0

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Web 2.0 is here, and entrepreneurs and marketers are rushing to cash in.

And most of them just don’t get it.

Web 2.0 is often described as interactive information on-line. And for those people who want to describe it as such, then go ahead. Because it’s also about diversity of opinion. About welcoming that diversity, and airing those opinions.

No longer is it the loudest or strongest that can have an opinion.

Take web star Dave Mendoza. Dave is a humble, quiet, thoughtful sort of guy. Ten years ago, in any group of three, Dave would be the one who would struggle to get his point across.

Yet with sheer hard work, he has built into the world’s most respected recruitment blog, opened up great possibilities for himself and built a dream business, can now travel and have everyone else in the room – virtual room or real room – hang on his every word.

Is it just a geek phenomenon? Is thoughtful and insightful, or just plain clever, the newest fad? Take Shally Steckerl, Sourcing Guru, who specialises in deep web searching within recruitment. He seems uncomfortable in front of the huge crowds that flock to his seminars, and it’s easy to imagine him happiest in a dim room with a double screen and a bottle of water, typing away and looking satisfied as the magic he weaves brings forth the results.

So, is it just the rise of the geek, as foreshadowed by Bill Gates many years ago?

No; I don’t think so. Take Kevin Wheeler.

Kevin’s smart, but he’s no geek. A serious entrepreneur; a passionate advocate for change; a polished performer. If it wasn’t for the complete lack of arrogance, he’d be like so many before him.

But Kevin’s different. Shally’s different. Dave’s different. Yet they are all Web 2.0 stars. So where’s the connection?

It’s easy. They are all incredibly generous of spirit. They are passionate givers, providing information in the second information age. They all believe that if you give enough of yourself; people will see that and reward you with front-of-mind status – you will be the only logical choice when there’s serious consulting to be done.

Which brings me to my point: Web 2.0. It’s really not about the web at all. It’s about people.

The web is a refection of twenty years of collaboration. It’s bringing together people who found their PC was the place to care and share; to find stuff out and to help others.

People are changing. Web 2.0 is just a symptom; a necessary technological mindshift.

Henry Ford. Neil Ludd. Steve Jobs. Bill Gates. That guy from IBM who predicted there would be no market for home computers. None of these people are famous just because of who they were – rather because of the technology that changed in a manner that was intermingled with people; and the way they embraced or rejected it.

I’m not sure that in 100 years people will tell Dave, Shally or Kevin stories. But they will tell stories about people who broke the rules, who gave their time and expertise freely; who transmuted that into a business and personal opportunity that those who merely try to sell content – without giving – can only dream about.

It’s the rise of the individual; the winds of change for the corporation; it’s a wakeup call for politicians; theocrats and ideologues: You won’t change people with the Web – the Web is changing to suit the will of its user-base: it’s the ultimate democracy and its leaders don’t represent a party; they represent the kind of person many of us would like to be.

Written by robertgodden

May 1, 2008 at 6:40 am