"All our relationships are built on favours...ultimately that's how you make money." (RH)
Distinguishing between the social media platform and the activities, sometimes these issues are conflated (AS)
Emergence of new infrastructure for businesses and on top of that the ways we support client development etc...(AS)
How to bridge the gap between all the technical skills and the person/client/community. How do you bring the benefits of social netowkring to more people more of the time?
It is clear that these tools have benefits. It is time to get a little more political (CM) - it's about sharing information and succeeding globally.
Vijay notes that there aren't really many of these kinds of conferences engaging small businesses particularly out of London. We need to get out there and connect with business groups etc... Creative Coffee Club then fits in really well with this idea.
Caroline from PCM Creative - If you could only keep two social media platforms what would they be and why?
Twitter because it's fascinating and Facebook. Niche social networking is important but the grander interactions with people you don't know are it (RH)
Chris thinks it's a good idea to have only one that can do all sorts of things. That could be more exciting rather than another thing appearing and another thing we need to learn.
For Andrea it's delicious and news aggregator that tracks all the blogs so that she can stay in touch with a whole community of people.
Facebook allows Vijay to connect with colleagues and clients which as a small business helps develop a social relationship which helps build trust.
Question from Karl Craig West: He explains that his clients should use social networking but they come back saying "so." Why should small businesses get into social networking, where's the business incentive.
Vijay: How many people run a small business (half the delegates). How do you get your business (networking). Vijay says social networking can only help. The value in getting to people.
Chris reminds us what Jim said, that online social networking lets you do more for less. What about the tailor who went from "zero to hero" (RH) and Jim Benson solving a problem within 25 minutes after asking the twitterverse. That's got to be important to a business.
There are ways to expand markets, to get that kind of reach with social networking. Also where you need expert knowledge. Using social media to participate in channels where you can get that kind of information (AS).
David Terrar: it doesn't matter what the business is, there are always tangible benefits. Dell using the platform to talk to customers etc... There isn't a killer feature other than collaboration.
Michael: consensus that social networking is worth investing in but isn't it a bit oversaturated and actually aren't consumers way more savvy? Consumers know there's an agenda behind it.
Chris Meade says this is why it's important to pick one kind of platform and stick with it. It's better that people have a focus and know what they are after. Vijay reminds us that there are companies who began a blog under the pretense that it was written but a real, unaffiliated person. We need rules on transparency.
Toby Moores: One question we haven't yet addressed is the dramatic shift in landscape, the fact that India and China are producing more grads than we are producing children. So doing the innovative bit of business is going to shift so the value of social media is amplifying that process. How much do you believe that social media will be adpoted and support this shift in landscape?
Andrea thinks it will. It is a collaborative, open, social platform. It supports emergent swarm activity. But right now China has the greatest number of bloggers around so she wouldn't underestimate their involvement in the creative side of business.
Could we live without the web? RH says we assume it'll be there forever in the shape it is now.
Vijay says the whole thing about social networking is allowing people to be creative, letting go of some of that control. We know big businesses will adopt it but will smaller businesses?
Question from Andrew (?): what is really different with social networking? Moved from relationship marketing to meeting needs of the customer but today, social networking enhances that relationship, makes that conversation much better. Forces traditional thinking businesses into rexaming the way they do business if they have come from a "command and control position." But the younger businesses will do things very very differently. Suggestion from Andrew to FSB and BusinessLink to do some case studies to move this into the real world and out of academia (note: this isn't an academic conference!). Note from Sue: Shani has been working with Creative Coffee Club to do exactly that.