Content in the Social Web

How many times did we hear in the late 1990’s and the early part of this decade the term “content is king?” Back then, it was about content for portals. Today, it is about the Social Web.

There are many sites managing different types of content: YouTube for video, Slideshare.net for presentations, and several hundreds, if not thousands more.

In the enterprise some of those sites matter. YouTube allows people to post useful materials like training videos, marketing videos for external viral consumption. Slideshare.net allows people to virally distribute presentations from conferences, other events, and even ideas.

In the enterprise, there is a plethora of content management systems. However, what is missing from the web and content management tools is the marrying of content assembly that leverages the collective intelligence of social networks.

Enterprise Social Network vendors are starting to crop up. A number of them focus on Web 2.0 characteristics of content as the key element of their Enterprise Social Network strategy. This is important, but surely not the sole driver of social networks for the enterprise. Content in the Social Web isn’t just about collecting content with Web 2.0 characteristics; it’s about adding social intelligence to that content. The market as a whole is not there yet.

Corporate workers, like sales reps, want to be able to leverage the best content to assemble that winning presentation or proposal. By leveraging the collective intelligence of your peers you can infer their knowledge into your winning presentations. We all do that today, but looking for the high quality material is a time consuming manual task.

Tools for corporate users must allow them to find the best and most frequently content like slides, and then to assemble those slides into that winning presentation with minimal effort on their part. Searches for the slides need to result in content that is time bound for relevance, of high quality, contextual for the situation and highly focused for the targeted customer. For example, I may want to find presentations on Green Tech that where published in the last 6 months, has a rating of 4 out of 5 stars or better and that my target audience has expressed interest in.

Once those winning presentations are put together people will want to share them with their corporate colleagues, partners and best of all, their customers.

Content is indeed king, but it has to be easy for high value users to leverage that content, not just find it and sift through it for hours on end.

Alicia

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