I spent a large portion of last evening reading a pretty interesting book, “The Cluetrain Manifesto”. Written back in 2000, the book describes the major impact that the internet (especially social media in particular) will have on business. It is a phenomenal description of what we are witnessing take place on the web and in the business world today. What I find to be particularly impressive about this book, is the relevance that it still holds even though it was published over 6 years ago.
This book hit home with me as social media has become a focus of mine over the past year. What I find to be particularly fascinating is how many corporations and communications professionals are still very much clueless about the impact that social media is having. When you can readily access published military intelligence or buzz about rats in a store it is no wonder that corporations and government are increasingly nervous about their lack of control in the marketplace and media. As a result, the growing impact of social media will require greater resources to be dedicated to managing social media interaction. All bloggers will tell you how to succeed: join the conversation. For corporations, joining the conversation can be a daunting task depending on organization size and the relative importance of internal information. Thus the need for individuals who are in charge of such activities.
After a little research I was able to come up with companies that have already filled this position. Eastwick Communications recently appointed an employee to Vice President of Emerging Media. A year ago, PRWeb created a position titled Vice President of Social Media. I believe these companies are early adopters and we will see this position become increasingly popular within organizations. As social media continues to expand, so will the need for oversight and strategy.