Or was it the earth? Same letters. There's a reason why the social Web is such a foreign concept for many organizations - it challenges the very premise upon which their business is built.
Social does not equal media alone - it's not about the tools one can use in place of traditional channels. When a company goes social, it indicates its intention to do change, to bring the lessons learned during the public discourse back within its walls.
And at the very root of the issue may very well be the walls themselves. The fact that there are clearly demarcated areas where the business is about itself vs. it being about how it organizes around the human element and its needs - inside and outside.
The danger with business as usual is that it will get something exactly wrong - as it focuses on what worked, what made it successful in the past and doesn't see the change that has already occurred.
Change is not easy. We're creatures of habit. Even the organizations that get social - or at least the importance of supporting customers - are having a hard time moving away from the corporate side of the brand.
Take for example Rackspace, which I know is a favorite of many for its Fanatical Customer Support messaging - and some say the experience of it. Take a look at that page with the leadership team. What do you see? Or maybe it's fair to ask, what don't you see?
From conversations I had with insiders, I know the San Antonio-based company has a relaxed culture. Maybe it's because it needs to show its viability as a hosting provider, but from the site it looks pretty serious to me. The blog doesn't have frequent posts and the ones that are there are basically articles about the company.
I'm looking forward to learning more about Building 43 and Robert Scoble's work there. One question to Lew Moorman - why no link to Seth and Scoble in your post? These two individuals have a pretty substantial online presence. Linking is part of the culture of the social Web. In all fairness, I've also noticed others not linking when citing people who have an online presence lately.
Douglas Karr had an interesting post about what we're missing in technology. What are we missing altogether? Do we perhaps know too much?
[image by shoebappa]