It looks like social media (wikis, blogs & social networking) are going the way of e-learning and knowledge management (KM). That means big companies charging big fees for cookie-cutter solutions. Jon Husband reports on this phenomenon for 2008 and advises Caveat emptor:
Big firms either 1) develop standardized methodologies and practices (their business models depend upon it), or 2) if their business model does not depend upon the standardization, they will charge you a mint and a half (McKinsey ?)
The organization(s) [clients] will in my opinion get better advice rooted in critical thinking and experience and focused on results, as opposed to maintaining an expensive dependency on canned rhetoric that may not be based in much experience. For example, what exactly is “Advanced” Web 2.0 technology ? Blogs with lots of colourful widgets ?
As I’ve said before, Free-agents and natural enterprises are better. The upstart independents and small consultancies have Clayton Christensen’s disruptive Sword & Shield which the incumbents (large consultants) don’t have. With early motivation to enter this emerging field (Shield) and now with with years of experience and skills (Sword), we the “upstarts” should be able to hold our own.
When e-learning and KM first came out, it was difficult to market your services without expensive campaigns. On top of that, the IT tools were expensive. Now the best tools are open source, leveling the playing field even more. The rules have changed for 2008, and we upstarts can significantly engage in a conversation with our markets using our own tools with which we’ve developed a certain expertise.
The game is afoot!