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Making the Case for Social Networking

Speeches by technology experts can sometimes be a bit dry, but not when the speakers themselves admit they find technology boring.

That was the case today with a presentation by Jeff Howe, the author of the book Crowdsourcing, and a contributing editor for Wired Magazine.

Howe made clear that he’s more interested in “the social behaviors that technologies engender.”

His book and presentation addressed the impact of the social networking phenomenon, and he made some connections to the retail world.

“Don’t think of this as Linked In, Twitter, or technology,” he said. “Think of the human behavior, what people are doing, the passion at the heart of this. People are passionate about brands and the places they interact with brands. So, whether a community forms around photography or a local Safeway store, companies must interact with these communities.”

He said all of indicates that boundaries are eroding in society and that companies must take notice.

“Whether this involves boundaries between employee and management or company and customer, your attitude needs to be that they are all stakeholders in a community.”