Social Media Resistance: Déjà Vu All Over Again

Thoughts on Yogi Berra's quote.

“This is like déjà vu all over again.”

– Yogi Berra

Last week, I railed against sites that appeared to be stuck in the 1990s. In my view, many sites lack a compelling reason (read: content) for people to ever come back. It’s something that I’ve discussed with quite a few people lately.

Against this backdrop, I recently read an interesting post detailing the six reasons that companies are resisting social media. I’m a little surprised that more organizations haven’t gotten with the program. According to some numbers I’ve seen, something like 80% of organizations don’t use social media at all. What’s more, according to a Robert Half International study (admittedly a whopping seven months old), 54% of companies ban their employees from using social media at work.

Haven’t we been here before?

Does anyone else remember the discussions that took place in many business circles in the mid- to late-1990s? I have vivid recollections of many senior people doubting that their organizations even needed a web presence. Period.

Fast forward to today. I can’t help but think of the following questions:

  • Have you heard anyone make the “websites don’t matter” argument (sans intoxicants) in the last five years?
  • Do you see any parallels between that period and the inception of social media?
  • Is everything old new again?

philanimated

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5 Comments

  1. Jill Wanless

    Great rail (rant ;)) Phil!
    It was 2000, and I just started a new job. Access to the internet was only available through stand-a-lone pc’s. In order to get it on your own machine, you had to write a business case and get Senior Management approval.
    Same organization, 10 years later. Everyone has access to FB, Twitter, etc., and corporate strategies are dependent upon employee and customer collaboration. Funding is allocated and programs are in place for web strategies, collaboration tools, content management, information architecture and governance however there does not seem to be a line of sight at the senior level between these types of initiatives and business value. I wonder if they need to. As long as others within the organization are driving these changes on their behalf and they see their strategies are being realized, do they really need to know the details?
    Thank you
     

    Reply
  2. Jim Harris

    Nice post Phil,

    Social media doesn’t matter, websites don’t matter, e-mail doesn’t matter, the Internet doesn’t matter, computers don’t matter, electricity doesn’t matter, indoor plumbing doesn’t matter, companies don’t matter, other people don’t matter…where does it end (or begin)?

    Rambling rant aside, my point is that I agree that there are many parallels between the Dawn of the Internet and the High Noon of Social Media.  Everything old might be new again, or perhaps we just like repeating the some cycles, mimicking the changing of the seasons:

    For every thing there is a season, and a time for ever trend, a time to get Social Media Religion, and a time to lose our faith in what has worked before, a time to keep old ideas, and a time to embrace new ones, a time to read blog posts, and a time to write blog posts, a time to tweet, and a time to like someone’s Facebook status, a time to love our online community, and a time to be hated by our online community, a time for a war of words, and a time of being at peace with whereever the next wave of technologies takes us.

    Best Regards,

    Jim

    P.S. As Yogi says: “Ninety percent of social media is half-mental.”

    🙂

    Reply
  3. philsimon

    @Jill – Thanks for the comment.

    I don’t know if everyone needs to know all of the details, but I certainly don’t think that keeping everyone in the dark is the best idea.

    @Jim – Thanks for the comment.

    Totally agreed. Great counter-Yogi quote as well. One of my favorites is – When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

     

    Reply
  4. Lesley Aveyard

    I dont think it is a case of resistance it is more  the inability to comprehend. As humans we cannot related to something that we cannot benchmark – so if people are not active on the Web they really cannot comprehend what it is like and what it can do for them.
    I too am astounded at peoples cynicism and reluctance, but that human nature. There are still those out there that haven’t even got a website yet – I found a new client the other day in this very situation – she thought Social Media was chat rooms etc and full of ‘bad’ people and didn’t understand what she needed a website for!
    It is our job to make them understand and appreciate what they are missing and how it can help them. It a long process, after spending a full day on the Web whilst my client  ‘shadowed’ me and watched me work online and connect and share and inform and listen she grasped part of the message – but this only lengenths the consultation process – which again is viewed by those who are cynics as some fat fee that could be a ‘con’
    The old school way of doing business is still rife – if there are still those out there that can’t see value to online presence at all – ie no website – then we will still be having this conversation in 15 years time!
    Lesley Aveyard
    oneplusone marketing

    Reply
  5. Andrew Gossen

    It’s the age-old tension between what’s convenient for the organization — maintaining the status quo is pretty easy — and embracing change. Both the public and private sectors also tend to default to organization-centric worldviews, rather than trying to get a grip on how their constituents see the world. The organizations that succeed, however, are the ones willing and able to reach out and engage their constituents wherever they are and on their terms.

    Reply

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