Transitioning to web 2.0: 'Isn't ready' isn't a problem

It's becoming increasingly apparent to me that it's going to be harder for some organizations to transition from web 1.0 to web 2.0 than others. This is really no big surprise but I've had some conversations lately that have only solidified this in my mind. Take for instance a conversation I had today with someone representing a local publishing company. The company isn't known for its creativity or technological savvy, but they've got a nice little business that fits their niche. This company is now ready to evaluate their website and the representative I spoke to today is aware of my interest and leaning toward all things web 2.0. With that in mind the representative repeatedly informed me that the organization "isn't ready for that" and just wants a few suggestions to update their site and online strategy.

In a way I agree with the representative's assessment...they aren't ready for it, but that's about where our agreement ends. The fact that they're not ready is all the more reason to help them down this road. The representative was really saying, "they're not ready for web 2.0 ideas, but they are ready for the old ideas, so let's shine them up a bit and give that to them." What is really being stated here is that the company is now ready for something that they should have done a few years ago. The next logical step following this reasoning would be that in a few years they'll be ready for the web 2.0 strategies. By then, however, there will be new technologies available and they'll again be behind the times.

Transitioning to web 2.0 strategies doesn't mean that all the good web 1.0 ideas are thrown out the window. Instead the good ideas are used as needed and the new technology enhances this for a stronger delivery. A solid web 2.0 strategy is built upon a foundation of web 1.0 strengths. To state that any organization "isn't ready" is to say they aren't ready to take advantage of easy, effective, free tools that will spread their message further and faster. I doubt the representative would go back to the president of the publishing company and say, "Hey, Mr. President, just want you to know there are some communication tools you could implement into your website that will bring you up to the front end of the technological curve, increase your exposure, and did I mention it really won't cost you much money?" That conversation won't happen yet to say the organization isn't ready is basically the same thing.

An organization that's not ready is a great candidate for web 2.0. In fact, a company that's just getting started is the absolute best candidate for web 2.0 because they can launch right now with these tools without the baggage of an established organization. If you don't believe that, just ask Scot Justice, the President of CPA for Small Business. He talked about this a little bit yesterday and is a perfect example of someone launching a new venture and taking advantage of the tools available today.


Michael said...

Nice insight Bill as usual it goes back to "if you're not moving forward then you are moving backward, there is no holding steady when you are considering technology."


Joe Suh said...

"An organization that's not ready is a great candidate for web 2.0" - great sound bite Bill. I may have to borrow that line when talking to pastors, some of whom haven't even heard of a blog! :)