As a community manager for Best Buy Remix I am facing some pretty daunting challenges. They are resulting from a number of things. I wonder how many people are trying to use web 2.0 tools to these levels? Am I trying to stretch it too far? Is there a solution I don’t know about? This post will cover what I believe to be the Holy Grail of the internet as well as a list of some of the smartest minds in the space today!
Web 2.0 technologies like facebook, twitter, yammer, plurk, google docs, etc. are mainly free. This is an inherent problem in my mind. There is VC funding for these projects but these services only offer mainly “play fun“. The data is rich and the results for marketing, customer information, crowdsourcing, and collaboration are among the most powerful we have seen in our history. The problem with these services is they just skim the top. It’s a very rich chocolaty top layer, but it’s very difficult to get to the cake. You put the knife in to slice and portion it and you are barely able to scrape the frosting off the top without a PhD in Web Ninja’s. Right Chris? This is hardly a new topic and is constantly being discussed by community managers and web professionals alike.
Services in Beta
There are many companies out there that are trying to help you harness the internal data of these social networks. There are companies that are in the Media Monitoring business, there are companies in the business of providing content solutions, there are companies offering CRM (Customer relationship management software), some are offering specific web based CRM. The problem with many of these services are that they are very expensive and offer limited initial testing and from my limited testing experience your Results may Vary. These solution providers are nearly as fragmented as the web 2.0 services that have created this gluttony of information.
The Holy Grail
The holy grail in web 2.0! I am going to tell you what it is! Allow me to bring all of my feeds into one central place where they can be easily viewed. Allow that information to be selected and dropped into buckets that can be used by the enterprise managers and distributed to the correct departments. After that data is dropped into these buckets, I want to be able to drop them into a database that allows me to create action items and integrate with my calendar. Lastly we need to have the ability to export this information back to the public sector (Blog,Wiki, Community Group)in a way that it can be easily shared and collaborated on.
Cleaning up the mess
The holy grail of social media is simply Cleaning up the Mess. Getting information out of social networks, into the enterprise where items can be acted on, then repurposed in a clean manner so that they can then be used by the the community in a way that benefits the whole! Check out this snippet of conversation that I’ve had with Community manager extraordinaire Connie Bensen of Techrigy.
Is this possible/The opportunity?
Teach me. Please. I am being humble here in saying that there are probably ways to route RSS feeds, manipulate keywords, and get all Ninja like on this information. I just don’t know what it is! There is an opportunity here folks. Create this holy grail, sell it to large, small, and individual sized organizations and you have made yourself a business that will last as long as the internetz! Ok, maybe I’m being a bit tounge and cheek here, but the fact is, “I am searching for the solution”
If your a company and you solve all of these problems! Awesome, Please share! However, I am hoping this turns into more of a solution oriented discussion rather than a pitchfest. If your a service provider that fills one of the needs here really well, share it!. the comment section is ALL yours. In the meantime I am going to make a call out to some of the smartest people I know on the web today. I would be honored to hear and field test any solutions anyone may have.
If your not following what these people are doing in the web 2.0 space. You should be! Use the list for resources, but I am using it to ping the sharpest minds I know. If your not on the list. Ping Me! Leave a comment. I am hoping this subject becomes a journey to a solution! I am generating the list largely from memory!