I’ve always found it a tad weird when I have these flashes of intuition. I’d be the first to admit that it comes from being influenced by what I read and such, but lately I’ve been shying away from a lot of my traditional tech sources. Not sure why, but I really have been getting a feeling like there is a change looming. Not big, not significant, but a subtle one.
I’d spent the better part of this year exploring social media networks, techniques, blogs, people and more. It’s been a great experience and a learning one for sure. However, I’ve been getting a feeling since early September that there is something happening. While I can’t quite put a finger on it, I smell change coming.
Blame it on my bloggers block last month, and subsequent lack of regular posting for the past month and a half. Blame it on reading some of the talk about a new tech bubble. I think Steve Rubel has identified the problem with “Web 2.0” – on the tech side. There is a little too much self-pollination going on out on the left coast in regards to the current web hype.
But there is more to it. There is a definite lack of advancement in taking some social and web technologies into the enterprise. All these “great” Facebook apps have little no usefulness in a business that is trying to keep up with the changing face of their customers. In an environment that is trying to simply sell product and make money, technology barely steps up and answers the hard questions of meeting financial & oversight compliance, privacy requirements, EPA compliance, overseas competition & compliance, marketing costs, rising employee & health costs, increasing tax burdens, and shipping challenges.
How is the current crop of social network toys stepping up to answer the call? It isn’t and it can’t. Yes, these tools need to be part of the next generation of enterprise IT, but the talents that built these cool technologies and tools need to take note of the real challenges that face businesses today.
I’ll give all of you a hint. It has little to do with communication. We already communicate everything to death. That was one of the problems I watched at the old job. As the company grew, the communication increased. The need for everyone to be involved and communicated to so they could give their $.02 on a project/idea slowed the processes to a crawl. It hasn’t changed, and it won’t soon.
I guess what I’m getting at is that there is an over-emphasis on what I’m really starting to think of as “kiddie tech”. Yes I still use Facebook, and am very interested in social media, but the reality is that a lot of these “fun” technologies simply do not solve a business need. That is one problem with technology. As soon as the fun starts to evaporate and you start serious talk about monitization, the trouble starts.
By the way, I’m predicting about a 5-year boom to bubble for technology as an ongoing natural cycle. I think it’s the industry’s way to innovate and then clean out the technologies that didn’t pan out.
What’s your take? Am I out of touch with it all, or close to the target?
Photo credit: Andrea in Amsterdam
UPDATE: Steven Hodson did a *great* writeup over at WinExtra on this topic. I highly recommend stopping by and reading The Great Web 2.0 Con Job.