However, while it has been successful, like any method of working it is not without its challenges. Whilst Web 2.0 services have simplified and sped up the process of conducting transnational work, there are some challenges involved with their usage. The main factor to be taken into consideration is the varying IT resources and levels of skill available to partners. This was particularly significant in relation to services such as Skype, which some partners were unable to use due to firewall and security restrictions.
The most significant challenge faced when working with Web 2.0 resources and social media in a marketing capacity is the amount of staff time required for maintaining it if it is to be successful. The THING Project found this was particularly significant on two counts:
- Moderation of content. As with any site which facilitates the uploading of user generated content and encourages feedback and interaction, it is necessary to moderate the page continually to prevent inappropriate material getting through. Depending on the level of interaction and interest this can be quite time consuming.
- Creation of content. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter require regular updating in order for them to remain visible and relevant to users. On Twitter this means regular postings, daily, if not more so in order to prevent the content being lost in the stream. Facebook requires slightly less attention, however the material must be generated regularly if the page is not to appear inactive and be dropped from followers’ streams.
Another aspect which must be considered is the ownership of material. Once material is uploaded onto social media and other Web 2.0 platforms it can be difficult to maintain ownership of it. While this can be of benefit in allowing the message to be spread, this can cause some problems in relationship to copyright of materials and intellectual ownership, and caution and consideration should be exercised before any material is released in this manner.