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Hard Boiled Social Business: a zone of engagement

A while ago on Twitter I somewhat bad-temperedly remarked that “This E 2.0 or Social Business debate is about as useful as which end of a boiled egg to crack open 1st”. My reasoning here was that for any of us actually battling as practitioners in the enterprise, a discussion on nomenclature is not exactly high on our priorities. Since then I’ve been reconsidering whether ‘social business’ is a better term to use than ‘Enterprise 2.0’ (or its shortened form as E.20).

So far I’ve reached the conclusion that E.20 still has mileage, but that social business offers a chance to both widen and deepen what we mean by the use of collaboration technologes in the enterprise and more particularly what we hope to achieve by them.

Gia Lyons at Jive recently posted a really useful article on this topic: Social Business Strategists: Social Media vs. Enterprise 2.0. Gia was responding to the Altimeter Group’s The Two Career Paths of the Corporate Social Strategist. Be Proactive or Become ‘Social Media Help Desk’ and the Corporate Social Media Strategist and the role of the Enterprise 2.0 Strategist.

I’m coming to increasingly think that it’s essential that these work in tandem, or that a new over-arching role or team is needed in the enterprise to synch both internal collaboration and communications (E2.0) and social media marketing and PR. This creates an holistic sense of the brand as something that has meaning both inside and outside the company. What this means is in part:

  • Internal Communications as articulating the brand inside the company
  • Saying internally, what the enterprise says externally to customers, media and stakeholders
  • A conversation that engages both customers and employees

Where these activities overlap creates an interface, a new zone of engagement.

I’ve tried to create a diagram of how this might look:

Social Business / E 2.0 zone of engagement
Zone of Engagement

(please don’t steal my image & if you must ‘borrow it’ do provide a clear citation of source and link…)

On the eggs

“…our histories of six thousand moons make no mention of any other regions than the two great empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu. Which two mighty powers have, as I was going to tell you, been engaged in a most obstinate war for six-and-thirty moons past. It began upon the following occasion. It is allowed on all hands, that the primitive way of breaking eggs, before we eat them, was upon the larger end; but his present majesty’s grandfather, while he was a boy, going to eat an egg, and breaking it according to the ancient practice, happened to cut one of his fingers. Whereupon the emperor his father published an edict, commanding all his subjects, upon great penalties, to break the smaller end of their eggs. The people so highly resented this law, that our histories tell us, there have been six rebellions raised on that account; wherein one emperor lost his life, and another his crown. These civil commotions were constantly fomented by the monarchs of Blefuscu; and when they were quelled, the exiles always fled for refuge to that empire. It is computed that eleven thousand persons have at several times suffered death, rather than submit to break their eggs at the smaller end. Many hundred large volumes have been published upon this controversy: but the books of the Big-endians have been long forbidden, and the whole party rendered incapable by law of holding employments. During the course of these troubles, the emperors of Blefusca did frequently expostulate by their ambassadors, accusing us of making a schism in religion, by offending against a fundamental the Blundecral (which is their Alcoran). This, however, is thought to be a mere strain upon the text; for the words are these: ‘that all true believers break their eggs at the convenient end.’
Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathon Swift

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