“Conversations are where intellectual capital gets generated.”
– Christopher Locke, Internet Apocalypso
People like to talk.
Its comes to us as naturally as breathing. And I don’t mean just through the oral means. People talk even through writing, or singing, or playing an instrument, or dancing. In other words, even the crown king and queen of extreme loners talk. Just through their preferred means.
People like to talk to each other.
As in the genuine kind of talk. And we actually learn a lot from these talks–be it as important as an insider information on a national issue or as trifling as [insert name of hated celebrity] tripping spectacularly (probably due to an ego-bloated head).
And, agreeing with what Christopher Locke says in his write-up, this is what makes the Internet such a hit with people these days. It gave us a means to talk to people whenever we want–regardless of distance–however we want–means and language, we call the shots. Now who wouldn’t want that? This is why the number people that get hooked, or at least use the Internet often, increase exponentially by the hour. And this is why the Internet has become a major factor in the field of communication. Specifically, organizational communication.
Frankly, I’d never looked at the Internet in this way until now. At least, not seriously. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a gift from heaven ’cause 1) it kept me connected with friends at the time when my parents would short of lock me up in a convent; 2) it kept me updated on what’s happening here and across the globe when newspapers and TV fail to keep me awake long enough for me to grasp what’s being said; and 3) it provided a means for me to learn new stuff when books are beyond my wallet’s reach *sniffle*. But now that someone’s turned on a light bulb on in my head, it finally sunk in.
If corporations would only learn to see, accept and use it, the Internet is an ocean of knowledge that will keep the company ship afloat. They don’t even have to go beyond the company people sphere at the onset of their adaptation phase from “obsessive-compulsive control” mode to genuine-and-human-conversation mode. Their employees alone is a source teeming with potential. If they would only listen, really listen, they will be surprised at what they are bound to find.
Workers were never stupid. Their minds just rusted out due to years of working in a company with superiors who didn’t acknowledge the fact that their employees actually had functioning brains between their ears and who took it upon themselves to jam company values and work-related know-how down their employees collective throats.
Consumers were never stupid. Their minds just grew dull and less critical due to mind-numbing reruns of advertisements and other ploys that are hell-bent on one thing: make us buy what they’re selling. No questions asked.
And workers and consumers are not just workers and consumers. They are people. We are people. And we can think and decide for ourselves. And the rise of the Internet reminded us of this. It provided an avenue for us to be who we are: thinking humans. Not numbers in a statistical study. Not cogs and wheels in a machine.
If companies could only learn to acknowledge and respect this, there would be nothing to fear about the continual rise of the Internet. They could even use this to their advantage. If they could humanize the corporation, these people would be more than willing to do the talking for the company. Blogging, video blogging, podcasting, lunch-out chika minute galore! And this will be more effective than pulling the strings on unwilling people. People who are bound to break away, blatantly or inconspicuously, in their own way.