Here’s an important rule of thumb, if you’re a researcher such as myself: Don’t name something unless it really exists. That sounds fairly obvious, but unfortunately, in the history of the technology industry, there’s a sad history of failed neologisms. In some cases, these phrases exaggerated the importance or complexity of some relatively mundane aspect of the world. That’s how the superheated usage of the termknowledge management turned into a four letter word. In other cases, people use neologisms designed to describe things that might (or might not) exist in the future as if they already existed now. I’ve heard some presentations about the Semantic Web that certainly fall into that category.
Therefore, when I use a phrase likesocial product management, believe me, I’m using it very carefully. Over the course of the last week, I’ve had occasion to use it on several occasions, most recently atlast night’s open house for PMs in the Forrester Foster City office. (Thanks to all who attended, by the way.)
Social product management passes the sniff test for neologisms because it describes something that’s really happening: social media are changing the way that product managers and product marketers work. Here are a few manifestations, excerpted from the research I’ve been doing for the last several months: