A recent Heidrick & Struggles poll found that 56pc of senior business people had never logged onto Facebook. Clearly there’s a generation gap issue, as most CEOs are in their 40s or older. CEOs who got burnt in the financial fallout of the dotcom bubble in 2001, or over-invested in preparing for the damp squib that the Y2K computer bug turned out to be, typically have deep reservations about investments in technology
This isn’t surprising, really. If you’ve been burned or lost a lot of money you’re going to be sceptical and it’s going to take a while before you can seriously consider that sector again. It’s also not surprising that the older generation has not logged into FaceBook (or even LinkedIn) because they may need convinced of the value. I’ve seen the value of LinkedIn this week with replies from some major media companies that would have been almost impossible to find elsewhere. Likewise with Facebook – it tells you not only what a person presents but also a lot more qualities about someone, for example, whether you’re more or less likely to get on and, frankly, whether they spend a lot of time fighting werewolves and zombies online.
We’ve heard of the effects of Facebook in hiring: make sure your profile says the truth about you, you never know who is looking.
Visionary business leaders hope that Wave Three will include businesses waking up to and fully embracing the true potential of the internet. Narayana Murthy, CEO of Indian IT services group Infosys, states: “Web 2.0 has been focused on social communities, on individual relationships; things not focused on the office. I would like Web 3.0 to be about more interaction between customers and vendors and competitors, on making life better for the customer.
I’m sorry, Narayana, Web 2.0 is already about interaction between customers and vendors and competitors, it’s already about conversations, it’s already about improving the experience of individuals online. When someone trots out “Web 2.0”, I think that they may be telling me something about some new social / interactive / conversational / user-generated internet phenomenon. Web 2.0 is simply a way of saying “Not Web 1.0”, “Not static pages”, “Not one way communication”.
In contrast, when someone trots out “Web 3.0”, I think they’re an idiot.