Thursday’s Being-Social Mashup event turned into a focal point for recent thinking and discussion. I chaired a panel on “How Social Media is changing the way we communicate” with Andrew Davis, Chris Thorpe, Jamie Riddell and David Cushman. Of course, within that is the assumption it is changing communication (thanks to Mat Morrison for that question).

The general consensus was that we do communicate differently. Comms are more direct and real-time, and more public and discoverable too. It is also, arguably, more cautious because of that.

Milestone Planner gives us an unusual perspective, sitting both within businesses and across them. Early on we saw a pattern that the best external users of Web 2.0 and social media were also the best internet uses – or visa versa. It’s something that Lee Bryant of Headshift talked about at Being-Social, and has blogged about as well. Effective communication is as much a cultural thing as a technological one. Of course the right tools help, and can accelerate the cultural change – I guess we would say that wouldn’t we! Here’s what Lee has to say:

Social on the Outside needs Social Business on the Inside

So, where does a business start? The good thing about Web 2.0 technology is that the adoption can be rapid. We’ve watched Milestone Planner spread through an organisation in a matter of hours. In the words of a number of Web 2.0 advocates: Forget the pilot, go for it.

Communication (and software) that spreads via people’s social networks moves fast. Being a really social business let’s you harness that to positive effect.