Friday, February 24, 2006


With Elizabeth Albryght at the New Communications Forum, I will be examining strategies and tactics we need to focus on building, extending and nurturing the entire universe of connections (people) possible for an organization. But how do we do this? We will postulate that relationship management strategies will play a key role.

But first there are some givens.

The first is that the Internet is capable of reaching the majority of the population. By this I do not mean that everyone has to be connected. They do, however, need access and this can come in a variety of ways. However, we have to recognise that 70% of the population has some form of Internet connection and even more have a cell phone connection.

The second is that there are many forms of communication. Some are traditional and social, some are mediated and many are on-line of which a lot are un-mediated. In addition many of these media are conversational (e.g. Chat, SMS, IM, Usenet, Blogs, Wiki's).

Finally we have to recognise that not all communication can be monitored effectively but that there is enough that can be to give us some effective intelligence about what is going on in cyberspace.

We will also have to take into account that corporate users of the Internet are pretty poor at using interactive technologies.

With the exception of email and cell phones, the use of the Internet by senior management in most organisations is pretty well limited to searching using Google. Most corporate managers are too busy to do many of the things that 'ordinary folk' seem to have time for.

While some people surf for fun people turn to the Internet to maintain social networks.people’s communities are transforming:

The traditional human orientation to neighborhood - and village-based groups is moving towards communities that are oriented around geographically dispersed social networks.... People’s networks continue to have substantial numbers of relatives and neighbors — the traditional bases of community — as well as friends and workmates.”

For many practitioners there seems to be a fundamental disconnect between the interactive communities and corporate managers who are being discussed on-line and their organisations which makes the role of the New Communications practitioner hard.

I will post more on where all this is going over the next few days.

Picture: The Connected Project