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Introduction to the Readings
There are many ways of how technologies can be used to improve the quality of a human life. People believe that the concept of technology should be associated with something new. However, the idea of the technological worth is as old as a human society because technology refers to a kind of craft and the discussions that take place around arts (Woods & Woods, 2011).
This paper aims at discussing the role of innovative and emerging technologies in modern society and the ways of how social media can be used in business, communication, and other activities. There are three main readings that can help to comprehend the development of the technological aspect and discuss social media as the means to find and exchange information.
The work by Nambisan and Nambisan (2008) introduces social media as a chance to involve customers in product design, development, and support. McAfee (2006) discusses the worth of Enterprise 2.0 as a good chance to promote collaboration among employees. The project developed by Bernoff and Li (2008) describes the sources with the help of which people can stay connected with each other, share information, promote communication, and use technologies to improve their business affairs.
Social Media Technologies and Its Worth for Business
The project by Nambisan and Nambisan (2008) examines the concept of a virtual customer environment (VCE) and the number of benefits of the possibility to engage ordinary people, who perform the roles of customers, in such activities as product development, design, support, marketing, etc. The VCE initiatives that can be interpreted as various social media technologies help companies learn better their customers and analyze their needs and expectations.
There are many methods that can be used to gather information, share experience, and introduce new ideas. Regarding the current technological progress and the opportunities available to people via the Internet, it is not appropriate to consider online technologies as the only ways of exchanging information. Such organizations as Nokia, Nike, and Microsoft want to develop close relations with their customers using different technologies and gathering as much information as possible.
The access to information helps customers perform new roles in the organizations and become the partners, who are ready to provide many other customers with product support services (Nambisan & Nambisan, 2008). Customers may share several types of experiences using technologies. For example, they can be pragmatic and use the opportunities to learn better the properties of products and services.
Technologies and the possibilities available to customers also help to develop hedonic experience when customers enjoy and get pleasure from everything they are involved in. Rating systems, knowledge centers, forums, and customer recognition programs are the best examples of how social media and the technological progress may be combined.
Benefits and Challenges of Platforms and Channels for Users
People like to share information and use the Internet to find or deliver something. They promote tweeting and using Facebook or MySpace but fail to understand how many platforms and channels should be used to make such communication possible (Resmini & Rosati, 2011).
The article written by Andrew McAfee is the source that explains a variety of technologies and their rightness in regard to knowledge work that has to be performed by people, who have to collaborate with technologies regularly. Among the existing variety of sources for communication, exchange of information, and discussions of thoughts, it is hard to understand if all of them are appropriate for people and their obligation to use and develop knowledge.
McAfee (2006) offers to use Enterprise 2.0 technologies as an alternative for people to overcome the potential threats and help knowledge people benefit not only use technologies but make considerable contributions that promote development and survival. There is an evident fact that there are more users of technologies in comparison to their developers. People find it normal to use the already offered ideas and technological achievements to meet their personal and professional needs.
However, they make themselves blind in front of innovative and emerging technologies. McAfee (2006) underlines the potential of Enterprise 2.0 “to usher in a new era by making both the practices of knowledge work and its outputs more visible” (p. 28). Still, the situation remains to be complicated because even if being confident in the importance of a new program, McAfee is not sure if the changes are appropriate for ordinary users and if people are ready for any kind of change.
The Power of Social Web for People
The final article is developed by Bernoff and Li (2008) to discuss the peculiarities of blogs, social networks, and other means of communication and their impacts on people and their achievements. Barney (2011) proves the fact new information and communication technologies have been developed considerably during the last decade. Bernoff and Li introduce groundswell applications as a concept to be terrified about and fascinated with.
On the one hand, people want to benefit with such application due to the possibility to consider the cultural, political, and personal aspects of communication. On the other hand, people do not want to have access to all sources of information and know a little about what they can do with all those possibilities. People have different attitudes to the technological gifts. Some of them like to write and develop blogs.
Some people are interested in reading texts. Many people want to use social network sites, share the latest news, and exchange personal information. A number of people cannot resist the opportunity to watch video online. In other words, online technologies may provide people with a number of options, and people are free to choose what they prefer.
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However, it is necessary to comprehend that technologies may be used for not only entertainment or meeting their professional goals. It is important to contribute to the technological development. It is time for people to start thinking about their abilities and stop paying and using services only. The development of groundswell applications is the change to conduct research, promote marketing, develop sales, etc.
In general, the usage of social media and innovative technologies is a burning topic for discussions. People are able to introduce various opinions and attitudes to the role of technology in a human life. Still, there is one common idea that is supported by Bernoff and Li (2008), Nambisan and Nambisan (2008), McAfee (2006), and many other researchers: people have to know how to develop appropriate relations with technologies and use them to meet their professional and personal goals as well as contribute the technological development by means of personal ideas and skills. Customers, managers, employees, and ordinary users of social media should not be afraid of the abilities they get with technologies but learn how to enlarge their chances to succeed from a technological point of view.
Barney, D. (2011). Communication technology. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.
Bernoff, J. & Li, C. (2008). Harnessing the power of the oh-so-social web. MIT Sloan Management Review, 49(3), 36-42.
McAfee, A.P. (2006). Enterprise 2.0: The dawn of emergent collaboration. MIT Sloan Management Review, 47(3), 21-28.
Nambisan, S. & Nambisan, P. (2008). How to profit from a better ‘virtual customer environment’. MIT Sloan Management Review, 49(3), 53-61.
Resmini, A. & Rosati, L. (2011). Pervasive information architecture: Designing cross-channel user experiences. Burlington, MA: Elsevier.
Woods, M. & Woods, M.B. (2011). Ancient communication technology: From hieroglyphics to scrolls. Minneapolis, MN: Twenty-First Century Books.