Dan has linked to a great call to action from Richard Millington. His Online Community Manifesto expresses the view that we know a lot about technology but relatively little about communities – how they form, how they interact, the talents needed to facilitate them. Learning technology, says Richard, is easier than learning people, but we've forgotten that "technology exists to make communication easier. It doesn't exist to let us do things we wouldn't have bothered to do anyway". I like this people-first approach.
I met Adam Tinworth yesterday. Adam is one of those people who is driving significant cultural and operational change in his organisation. The kind of change that will enable his company to adapt to the new world and quite possibly ensure it's survival. His recent post on "Saving B2B Publishing By Loving People" makes a great point – that the shift from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 was the shift from topic-focus to person-focus:
"We need to shift the balance from topic first, person second, to person first and topic second in every element of our publishing process"
People first. Sounds easy when you say it like that. This kind of change is at one level very subtle, but at another wholly transformational. It speaks of not only the myriad smaller changes that need to run through a business but also the huge shift in mindset that needs to be adopted.
Perhaps advertising's version of this is the shift from message first, person second, to person first, message second. Thoughts?