Web 2.0 is not about technology: it's about human relationships

John Griffiths

Picture a status meeting in a modest-sized marketing department. The marketing director has asked the junior marketing executive to report back on the Web 2.0 conference he sent him on. The youngster was chosen to go officially because it was good for his career development (he'd also been most useful in helping the marketing director to set up his Facebook page) and unofficially because the marketing director wondered if anybody else in the department would have been able to make head or tail of it.

The junior exec took the floor and for 15 minutes bombarded the team with talk of blogs, social media and user-originated content. When he had finished the marketing director sat back: 'This is all very interesting but what tangible recommendation would you make?' The reply was something called a research community, which would cost two-thirds of the annual research budget and would provide apparently 24/7 contact with a range of customer stakeholders.