A while ago, I was asked to describe the Social Web in just 5 keywords. Here are the 5 tags which I have chosen to summarise it:
- disclosure: the social web is about changing the way we communicate. It is therefore about transparency and stating clearly who you are, what you do and who your work for.
- openness: is in my eyes one of the essential qualities required for those wanting to use the Social Web for business. It requires that you give away your “secrets”, and share openly. A creative Commons license is key. All the principles explained by Seth Godin in unleashing the ideavirus.
- collaboration: in the etymological sense of the term, i.e. in Latin: cum laborare (to work together), that is to say that all users become contributors; UGC is at the heart of the Social (and even non social) Web.
- quid pro quo: the social web and collaboration is about exchanges online and also off-line. Collaboration takes place when people share things together.
- mutual benefit: lastly, collaboration implies that all contributors benefit from the common work. This is crucial because in the social web, there should be no winners and losers, just winners. If you don’t believe in that, maybe the Social Web is not made for you, and the fact that it’s fashionable isn’t really important (read meatball sundae).