My presentation for WOMM-U begins with Johannes Gutenberg, who invented the printing press in 1432. The printing press led to empowerment: the democratization of knowledge. Suddenly, you could read what the kings were reading, obtain the knowledge that was reserved for the upper classes, and educate yourself from a variety of sources to obtain your own conclusions. In addition to obtaining priceless knowledge previously reserved, philosophers were able to publish their views, and scientists could publish their journals.
Empowerment is the exact impact the social web is having on the world of B2B. Business leaders can now share their content in front of a major business audience, but in turn, empower themselves by reading the insights, best practices, and lessons learned from other business professionals available on the social web. Much like Gutenberg’s democratization of knowledge, B2B social presents a revolution in the exchange of professional wisdom.