Today, most corporations still do little, if anything, with blogs, wikis and social networks, but that will change quickly over the next few years as more companies integrate these technologies into their daily routines. And if early signs are any indication, the evolution will lead to blogs replacing blast e-mails, wikis strengthening collaboration software and social networks taking conversations around the water cooler to a meta-level never envisioned by the most enthusiastic evangelist of the Internet boom.
Those buyers and sellers of technology that embrace the power of social media services early in the life cycle of this new tech sector will no doubt gain a key competitive edge over rivals, provided they figure out how best to use the newfangled Web tools. Those decisions could well be the most important ones that the storied C-suite makes in the coming years.
So far, there are few obvious signs of the best corporate strategic use of social media services. The two high-tech powerhouses most out in front of the public curve with blogs are Sun and Microsoft, both of which have established blogging Web sites for customers, partners and employees to see and use. Sun President Jonathan Schwartz and Microsoft evangelist Robert Scoble are two of the best in the corporate blogging business today.