I had planned to live blog this ALI meeting, but found out when I got to the room that there was no wireless internet access. So, here are some highlights from the presentations, less detailed than if I had blogged contemporaneously.
Michael Rudnick from Watson Wyatt gave the conference introduction and overview. He talked about the Google applications that make it possible for consumers to buy a new computer and never purchase Microsoft Office. There are likely security issues for businesses, but in five years we could see business using on-line applications instead of the desktop. That would be a huge blow to Redmond.
He referenced a McKinsey & Co. report on social media use in business, and his summary advice was helpful:
Focus on benefits, not technology or risks. Security and legal issues will stop anything. Focus on business benefits first and foremost.
Don’t position this as something ‘completely’ new. People instinctively fear radical change. Let them experience the real difference for themselves
Use betas and move quickly. Deploy a quick beta site and let it loose on the users. They’ll tell you if it’s any good or not, what needs changing and what needs adding.
Don’t get hung up on measurement. The tools are inexpensive and easy to change; if it takes off, the users will write the business case for you.
Or, as Zig Ziglar would say, “wait until all the lights are on green, you’ll never leave the garage.”
Christopher Barger, the former “blogger-in-chief” at IBM who moved to General Motors about a month ago, reprised much of his presentation from the San Francisco conference. He has new challenges with GM, moving from a tech company to one that is more traditional.
Likewise, it was good to hear from Mark Jen again, too (and to join Chris, Mark and several others for dinner this evening.) We also heard presentations from Jim Goldstein from Informatica, who attended the San Francisco conference and went home and applied what he learned, Susan Russ from the Reader’s Digest Association and two gentlemen who worked with the Acuvue-sponsored podcast for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care.