Last week we held the RADVISION Unified Communication Summit in Tel-Aviv. I was tasked with giving a key-note presentation on social media, and decided to look at it from an inter-personal communications perspective. These two concepts may seem very different, but my point was/is that they are set to meet, one way or another.
On one side you have the social media people, who are now regarded as cool and trendy. They tend to look down upon the "old" marketing tactics (from the '90s, that is), and they talk about how Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the likes can help your company make millions with hardly any need for investment.
On the other side you have the unified communication people, all suited up and ready for their corporate daily work. They talk about business processes, presence as the new dialtone and how the latest and greatest UC tools can increase your ROI.
As someone coming from the UC crowd, but who employs social media tools on a regular basis as part of his day job (Yes, I am part of the marketing team - sue me), I must say that something is missing on both fronts. Both parties need to understand that they both operate on the same continuum - the communication continuum.
From an inter-personal communications perspective, both unified communications and social media are just different types of applications, providing different user experiences for different tasks. People use what fits them best for a given scenario, without necessarily labeling the application chosen.
As I've already said before, sometimes voice is really all we need. Or even text. Sometimes a face to face meeting is the right solution. Or a video call. But, as you see here, video is just one of the options, a piece of the puzzle, definitely not the only one, or the right one.
I believe that now that both sides are ready technology-wise, and vocal enough so that people take notice, they are bound to meet. And when this happens, I hope they will merge into something even better.
Until then, you are invited to review my presentation at the Unified Communication summit: