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`We are watching but we are not waiting.'
on August 13, 2009
This book was originally published in 2000, when the potential of the Internet was becoming apparent to many traditional businesses and managers. At that time, many were seeing the Internet as replacing traditional markets (at least in some areas) and millions were starting to explore the knowledge potential. Smart search engines were starting to reshape the way in which many of us obtained instant information.
That was at the end of last century: is this book still relevant today?
Yes, and no. For many of us, world-wide connectivity is still new enough that we have not fully embraced the rules of engagement For others, unfamiliar with a different way of doing business, much of what is written in this book will seem obvious and self-evident. But is it?
Much of this book is about the conversations that occur continuously in the virtual world. The spontaneity of these conversations; their breadth and instantaneous coverage is now a given. Good news and bad is disseminated instantly. Product recommendations (good and bad) can be published by anyone with an Internet connection. Of course, not all aspects of these instant connections are good. The virtual world has its own demons.
I reread this book to remind myself of where we were a decade ago (or last century, if you prefer). I also wanted to check whether the potential of so many interconnected conversations was becoming reality. My answer (there are surely others) is yes. The conversations of connectedness are changing both the business we do and the way in which we do it.
Is it still worth reading, or rereading, this book? Yes. Perhaps the ideas could have been condensed for easier digestion, but there is something in the enthusiasm of the delivery that is also part of the message.