David Pogue of The New York Times
wrote about a recent conference where attendees were asked why they weren't taking advantage of Web 2.0. The responses were not out of the ordinary:
The audience loved that one; within seconds, there were 132 responses on the screen in a huge, scrolling list. "Not enough money." "Don't understand it." "No technical resources." "Not enough manpower." "No visible return on investment." "Fear of ridicule." "Fear of slander." "Fear of permanence." "Fear of the public running amok."
But here's the thing - whether you realize it or not, these conversations about your company are already taking place somewhere on the web. Rather than pretending it will all go away if you ignore it; be encouraged that there are people passionate enough about your brand to talk about you, and that you have a phenomenal set of tools
at your disposal that enable you to bring your expertise to the table and engage in meaningful conversations with your customers.
When a company embraces the possibilities of Web 2.0, though, it makes contact with its public in a more casual, less sanitized way that, as a result, is accepted with much less cynicism. Web 2.0 offers a direct, more trusted line of communications than anything that came before it...Yes, you'll have to moderate this stuff. Yes, it means spending money with no immediately visible return on investment. Yes, it's more work for everyone. But you'll gain trust, goodwill and positive attention. You'll put a human face on your company. And you'll learn stuff about your customers that you wouldn't have discovered any other way.
It's the difference between letting fear run your business versus having the courage to be honest about who you are.