In evaluating the benefits of Web 2.0 for business, I've always been inclined to think it had more potential within the enterprise, primarily because:
a) there is just going to be a higher standard of accountability for the quality of content users are building/sharing, and
b) lots of professional folks are hesitant about parting the veil on their most valuable professional secrets to people outside their own company.
I was reminded of the latter trepidation a few weeks back when I attended a sales meeting discussion on how to mine LinkedIn for potential contacts while being careful not to jeopardize your own most valuable contacts via the social networking platform.
I was hit in the face with it this morning as I debated with myself on whether I should post a LinkedIn question about possible vendors for a technology we are considering here at IT Business Edge.
Mind you, the decision we are mulling over has nothing to do with any proprietary, patentable thing we are dreaming up. We are just trying to further refine a list of best-of-breed vendors to evaluate.
But still, I was hesitant to publish my question out there where the whole world will see it. Obviously, there's a mish-mash of megalomania and paranoia going on here, I thought, so I checked with a fellow VP (he was likewise paranoid) and my boss, who saw no problem with this little bit of insubstantial disclosure.
So, I posted the question on LinkedIn. No answers at the time of this posting, but I do know somebody is reading. Our sales rep with another vendor we have demoed gave me a call to say that his marketing team had seen my question, and he just wanted to touch base with me to see if there was any more information he could provide.
Makes it seem kind of silly to try to keep secrets in the world of Web 2.0.