I had intended to talk about social media in a business setting from the point of view of technology, tools and applications. After mulling this over in my head for a few days I realised that I was falling into the trap that so many people fall into. Social media cannot be defined by its technologies. Social Media is a phenomenon. It is about connecting people to each other, be they individuals, organizations or the whole spectrum in-between. It is about learning through collaboration and creating a new social structure to enable this to happen. This is not static: it is changing constantly. These connections are enabled through technology, and so, if we follow this train of thought, the technology and the way we use technology cannot be static either.

At tcg we have two areas of focus, Professional Services and Technology. Both feed each other but stand apart. Our Professional Services really drive our understanding of the phenomenon of social media. It allows us to truly understand each situation from the perspective of our client and the audience, stakeholders or users. We don’t only look at the now, but we look at where they have come from and where they are going.

Our second area of focus is Technology. It became clear to us that technology cannot be produced in isolation. It needs to be relevant, and yet it is not financially or time viable to start from scratch in every engagement. That would be silly. This is why we have created our technology in a modular fashion that can constantly change and adapt. We recognize that technology needs to talk to legacy applications and it needs to be expandable to incorporate new technologies, ones that we have not even thought of yet. Not only do we expect new applications, tools and widgets to become more relevant to a business over time, we also recognize that the business rules and uses of existing tools and applications are going to change. Our clients should be able to effect change quickly, efficiently and without great cost.

A good example of this constant change is to look at the altering landscape of portals we use to connect to each other. We are already seeing a migration of social media away from the exclusivity of computers to mobile and portable devices as well as 10-foot interfaces and other media portals. Can anyone really say that have a technology platform that extends to all these portals? No, because they have not all been defined yet, nor will we ever be at a place where progress will sit still for an hour so we can get the definitions down. What we can say is that we are prepared for this; we know it is happening and we are building our technology to adapt, to integrate and to expand.