We all continue to debate the merits of Web 2.0 and social media. Various pundits proclaim the end of Web 2.0 and the demise of blogging while others extol the virtues of digital conversation and the opportunities it presents for forms of social activism. But I firmly believe that we are still in the very early stages of understanding what the REAL opportunities are.
One of the companies who are really pushing the limits of exploration in this space is SAP (disclaimer — this is where I work). Today, in what I think is a world first, the SAP communities announced that the community points recognition system is being transformed. Instead of printing and shipping shirts all around the world to "top contributors", SAP are aggregating the points collected and transforming these into a single, cumulative donation to Feed School Children (part of the UN’s World Food Programme).
If the points accumulated next year reach the same proportion as 2007, then SAP will donate 100,000 Euro. If this can be improved by 20% (ie 20% more contributions to the forums, wikis and blogs), then SAP will increase this to 150,000 Euro — and so on up to a maximum of 200,000 Euro.
This is an exciting innovation that I would love to see adopted by other companies and brands.