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The Future of the Social Web – Take it Seriously Posted in Digital Strategy, Social Media, Concocted by LouisJvR,
Published on 28 May 2009

**Article republished from World Wide Creative’s Johannesburg Manager, Louis J v Rensburg’s Ka-Pow! blog.

soial web

Yesterday I wet your appetite with this excerpt from Forrester Research’s latest analyst report on The Future of the Social Web…

“…not just social networks, but every brand site will become social — whether you include these features, or visitors bring them along.”

This excerpt was taken from the diligent work of super analyst-cum-celeb blogger, Jeremiah Owyang, who a few years back stated the obvious (in a very credible way) through his post on why corporate websites are irrelevant.

Jeremiah, working at the Forrester Research Group, continued to add to the credence of Forrester’s Groundswell work through this report which, quite frankly, is above the heads of most local marketers.

That being said, the report has some real relevance to South Africa’s web landscape. I’ll highlight some of the main points of the report:

  1. Every experience online will become social
  2. Currently, the web has evolved by prioritizing relationship building (Era of Social Relationships)
  3. Already we are seeing a more functional utilization of these relationships via applications and widgets (Era of Social Functionality)
  4. Gone are the days of isolated websites – all becoming part of a greater, integrated social web; web technologies will focus on making web users online identities central and portable i.e. visitors to your site will bring their identities with them (Era of Social Colonization)
  5. Inevitably, this will lead to communities of web users who will define future products and service (Era of Social Commerce)

Taking this into account, Jeremiah in his post does list a couple of pointers for brands to consider – of which, the one heads-up for companies that stood out for me was this:

“…prepare to fragment your corporate website and let it distribute to the social web. Let the most important information go and spread to communities where they exist; fish where the fish are.”

As Jeremiah puts it… “Shatter your corporate website”. Brilliant.

Clearly though, this shift to a fully envisioned social web isn’t happening over-night. Forrester themselves predict social commerce only to really take shape in 2 years time, maturing in 2013.

Still, fact is how consumers are communicating with brands have changed.

In a recent conversation I had with the Client Service Director of one of South Africa’s leading automotive brands, he stated:

“I have a problem. My phone doesn’t ring anymore.”

His phone… “doesn’t ring”?

Why?

Did his customers disappear?

…not likely.

Jeremiah and team, love your work.

*An entire overview of The Future of the Social Web report can be found on Jeremiah’s blog –> HERE. It’s a riveting read.

Read more posts by LouisJvR

LouisJvR

Louis is the Johannesburg manager of web marketing firm World Wide Creative. Louis is also known as the ‘Case Study Guy’ with an encyclopaedic knowledge of research resources to support the strategic initiatives he is involved in. In between organising Heavy Chef Sessions in the Gauteng region, Louis happens to have a mean sidestep on the rugby field. With his silky skills, dashing good looks, Colgate smile and cunning wit, Louis is the high school quarterback of the World Wide Creative marketing team.

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