The social media revolution (in 15 minutes)


Danah Boyd – social media is here to stay
March 11, 2009, 10:20 am
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This will take up your alloted weekly 15 minutes – but it is worth it.  It is a presentation by Danah Boyd – one of the best thinkers on social media.  I particularly like her concluding thought:

Specific genres of social media may come and go, but these underlying properties are here to stay. We won’t turn the clock back on these. Social network sites may end up being a fad from the first decade of the 21st century, but new forms of technology will continue to leverage social network as we go forward. If we get away from thinking about the specific technologies and focus on the properties and dynamics, we can see how change is unfolding before our eyes.

This is the thinking behind what I call the Gutenberg principle.  Her insight on Twitter use and the young is also er… insightful (i.e. kids don’t want adults to be able to see everything they are doing).



Gravitational Mass Media
March 2, 2009, 2:55 pm
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Here is the first and only post in a lonely blog (post doesn’t even have a real title) – but a good post none-the-less in terms of starting to think differently about media,  content and a strategy that involves putting niche stuff out there that draws people to it (hence the ‘gravitational’).  Its what I call a digital bait strategy and the shift from buying media to making media – expressed here as shifting from renting media (i.e. space alongside content) to owning media.

Not quite sure it the Mass in the term refers to Mass Media or Gravitational Mass.  Should be the later in my opinion.

Thanks to Andy Lark for spotting this (some time ago)



Posts I want to write…
February 10, 2009, 10:15 am
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… but haven’t got round to yet, include:

A new mass extinction – why the forces inherent in social media probably mean a dramatic brand cull over the next 10 to 15 years.

Social media pay-day – how the real pay-back from social media is achieved when you can push-out much of your brand development and promotion to the connected community of your customers and consumers

Why the connected crowd is the new audience – we used to have individuals and crowds.  Now we have a hybrid that is mass but can only be engaged with through individual interactions.  Understanding its dynamics is the key to success in the future

Why stories are the core of any successful social media strategy – conversation is what it is all about and you can’t have a conversation off a proposition.  Only stores drive conversations.

Will be published on my pontification blog



Keeping an eye on Davos
January 29, 2009, 9:26 am
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It is always fun to see what the great, the good and the twitterati are up to at Davos.  (Or #davos or #davos09 as I should call it). You can plug into the stream on twitter search or Icerocket.

On another matter, I have just posted a piece on my pontification blog about the delusional nature of the advertising industry in respect of social media.  Possibly not hugely unlike some of the deluson that the Davos digirati are saying is still coming from traditional media.



Social media – green shoots of the mainstream?
January 21, 2009, 2:04 pm
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I think the next few months could see a real expansion in popular engagement with social media. For example; I have had an increase in facebook friend requests from people who missed the first wave and some of the most technophobic people are now experimenting in Twitter – possibly driven by recent attention around the Mumbai attacks and the US Air crash landing.

The significance of this is that these people are normal people – not the techies or the geeks -and they will therefore normalise these services. They are not going to want thousands of facebook friends or twitter followers and they are going to use facebook and twitter either in the ways they were originally designed to be used or they will shape their future development around the needs of the mainstream.

This is a very important step in the development of social media. As Noel Gallagher said “once the squares start listening to your music you make lots of money”



Gutenberg and the social media revolution
November 20, 2008, 11:11 am
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My article has now been published in Capco’s Journal of Financial Transformation so I can now spread it around electronically myself.  Here it is http://tinyurl.com/5wpd4s.

It will take more that 15 minutes to read – and I suggest you digest it in a couple of sittings!

I will publish the full text as a post on my other blog and might write a few spin-off posts that deal with various themes within it.



Some thoughts on change, Obama and social media
November 5, 2008, 10:38 am
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The digital space is buzzing this morning with the US election results.  Interestingly, I have yet to find any US commentator / blogger with any profile within the space that addresses social media to offer (or have offered) any support to John McCain and the Republicans (Examples – this and this from Robert Scoble, this from Brian Solis).  This seems to be reflected across the wider population participating in social media as the twitter exit poll I mentioned yesterday shows where declared twitter support for Obama is much greater than the support across the whole population of the US.

This is not surprising, since social media is a standard bearer of change in ways in which we perhaps do not yet fully understand and its proponents are more likely to respond to the Obama change mesage.  However, there is a difference between embracing change and simply sponsoring change.  Obama is a symbol of change.  Electing him as President is a demonstration of how much the USA has changed and, to an extent, is sponsoring the idea of change. It is not of itself any guarantee that change will actually happen.  The real test for change and indeed democracy in the USA therefore lies in the extent to which Obama will be allowed to deliver against the promise.

Likewise with social media, simply adopting the tools of social media is just a symbol, a sponsoring of the concept. It does not of itself signify even a recognition of the potential impact of the transition to a post-Gutenberg world that social media (or socialised information) is bringing.

The difference between the change symbolised by Obama and the change being delivered by social media is that we are moving to a post-Gutenberg world and there is almost nothing that can happen to stop it, but there is no guarantee, politically speaking, that we are moving to a post-anything USA at this point.  If I had a choice between Obama and social media as to who / what can deliver the greatest change – I know what I would vote for.