Web 2.0: Are Cisco, News Corp., Viacom, Gannett really clueless?

In the Web 2.0 social networking “users are in control” world, mega corporations must be feeling we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t!
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor

In the Web 2.0 social networking “users are in control” world, mega corporations must be feeling we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t! 

I polled a few weeks back “Poor Google?,” noting a string of setbacks and a underwhelming 2007 beginning. Google, of course, is “everyone’s favorite garage band” start-up that could, and voters overwhelmingly came out in support of $140 billion market cap Google, 4 to 1.

What about mega corporations Cisco, News Corp., Viacom and Gannett Co.? 

All four legacy powerhouses are integrating Web 2.0 principles and technologies within their operations in rational and shareholder friendly ways. Instead of being welcomed for their forward thinking embrace of the power of social media and the social Web, however, they are facing ridicule and threats of legal retaliation.

Viacom of course is the “old media” whipping boy of choice, having stood up to Google’s YouTube in the name of pre-Web 2.0 standard business practices such as copyright protection and content compensation. Viacom is even facing class action lawsuit threats: "Google YouTube ‘victims’ championed by Chilling Effects, EFF, Harvard Law School"

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman nevertheless reaffirmed loud and clear to its shareholders last week: “Why Google needs Viacom, big time!” 

What about Cisco, should it follow the generous advice of Om Malik to “Stick to what you know best - plumbing hardware.”

NO, Cisco is making the RIGHT bet on Social Networks. It already boasts a Cisco enabled Human Network, as I discuss in “Andreessen vs. Cisco: Web 2.0 platform competition heats up

Malik not only mocks Cisco for what he deems to be an ill advised attempt at being “cool,” he doubles down to assert that while social networks may in fact be cool, “This social software thing – it is too marginal, doesn’t make money.” 

In “Web 2.0 Social Networks: Cool but marginal and unprofitable?,” Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. CEO, $1 billion MySpace revenue projections make for a powerful social network cash is indeed cool comeback.


How about Gannett? It made a bold move into the social Web today: “Web 2.0 meets USA Today: Citizen journalism for the masses.”


Despite USA Today’s elaborate efforts at enabling readers to “engage our website in whole new ways,” reaction includes “USA Today social redesign-92% don’t like it,” Don Dodge and “USAToday.com goes social, sorta,” Stowe Boyd.


Are USA Today, Fox Interactive, Cisco and Viacom really Web 2.0 clueless?


NO, Gannett, News Corp., Cisco and Viacom may not be "cool," but they more than get it and, more importantly, their shareholders will undoubetdly be geting it too, soon!


ALSO: Web 2.0: Does ‘old media’ get it? and
Social Capital Theory Meets Web 2.0, by Donna Bogatin

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