By Nathan Rudyk

On Oct. 31st, 2005, we wrote the first post in this blog that said: 

Historians speculate the ‘trojan horse’ is simply a myth: in reality it was a battering ram whose shape merely resembled that of a horse. And historians also tell us – with little or no certainty – that the siege took place probably near the Strait of the Dardanelles likely in the 12th or 13th century BC and that it may have been ended with the help of a gigantic ram.

2300 years later, corporate and institutional North America is besieged by a myth born in this century but no less threatening than the Trojans found the Greeks to be.

The modern mythology is that Web 2.0 and its social media of blogs, podcasts, instant messaging and myriad of applications (many of them mobile) is the harmless playground of teenagers, twenty-somethings, music junkies and disgruntled blog writers.

To understand what's happened in the last four years, have a look at this YouTube video, entitled "Social Media Revolution", brought to my attention by my friend, social media commentator and Globe and Mail Communities Editor Mathew Ingram:

Nuff said!

Well, not quite, here's a little more cue and review from our four-year-old post – still quite relevant today:

1. To what extent do we understand the social media of Web 2.0 and its context, relevance and pace of change?

2. To what extent are subjects that concern us being discussed in the social media among blogs, vodcasts, and podcasts and do they relate to the issues, policies or products which affect our organization [2009 update: don't forget about Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter]?

3. Can we qualitatively or quantitatively assess the impact of social media discussions as they relate our organization, public or customers?

4. Is there a need for a Web 2.0 SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) assessment for our organization?

5. To what extent can your discussion and dialogue with customers or the public migrate to social media from our traditional media and methods?

6. Does our organization have guidelines for creating or responding to social media?

7. Do our employees, suppliers, partners, customers or competitors use social media as part of their communications and marketing mix?

8. Does our organization embrace the necessary candor and openness inherent in social media and its participants?

9. Does the opportunity exist to apply social media internally to supplement our organization’s intranet or knowledge base?

10. Could an internal application of social media be repurposed externally once our processes, policies and protocols have been tested and proven?

(Nathan Rudyk is President and CEO with market2world communications inc., Ottawa, Canada's tech PR and product marketing agency.)