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Social Media; The Engine of New Economic Growth

by Dan Robles on February 19, 2009

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Business Models of the Future:

The great new social media business models of the future will be in the areas of “The Last Mile of social media” and “Social Vetting mechanisms”.   I have written about these two elements in the past.  However, this article will attempt to focus on how the future engine of economic growth can use social media platforms to power social capitalism.

The Last Mile:

The Last Mile of social media is where the rubber meets the road.  I can chat with people all over the world on Twitter and Facebook, but nothing happens until I walk out of the house and meet real people in real time to create a real business that really increases real human productivity.  If I can accomplish that, monetization is simple matter.

If everyone is harvesting ideas from all over the world, Last Mile technology is the key to bringing these ideas to the ground.  The new social enterprises will develop, support, enable, and service the structure for innovation in neighborhoods and communities.

Feel the Burn:

To understand the power of this paradigm; there is little doubt that the leader of the free world was elected by the Last Mile.  That is huge.  Now, when the Last Mile is in trouble with mounting layoffs, foreclosures, and wealth destruction, eyebrows are raised, headlines make the first page, and everyone is wondering what will happen in to the Last Mile.  In 1992, this author saw Los Angeles burn over a whole lot less than what’s coming down the pipes today.  This is not a game, this is very serious stuff.

Social Vetting:

Social Vetting, on the other hand, is less understood, but like a tornado there is nothing subtle about the forces that it can impart against the darkness of secrecy.  All markets become more efficient in the presence of an effective vetting mechanism, as such, monetization is a simple matter.  Conversely, the absence of vetting is the root of all corruption – as we are now painfully aware.

Begging for Mercy:

To understand the power of this paradigm; Facebook was recently brought to its knees by Social Vetting.  First, a social watchdog group noticed the change in the terms of service and set the dials on “viral”.  Facebook users organized immediately and lay siege to the core validity of a 3.5 billion dollar new media titan.  Within hours, Facebook was backpedaling. The 300 billion dollar marketing industry, ravenous for viewer impressions, was sent back to the drawing boardroom.  Meanwhile, legacy media spin took pot shots at Facebook’s inability to monetize the value it claims to create.  Again, this is not a game, this is serious business.

Role play

In each of these examples social media responded effectively to an existing injustice.  This presents the dire question:  If the Last Mile and Social Vetting can have such a profound effect in the REACTIVE role, what would be the underlying dynamic if applied in the PROACTIVE role ?

The Engine of Economic Growth:

Consider this: Social media has no problem scaling up, rather, it has a problem scaling down.  The Last Mile and Social Vetting represents the compression cycle of the new economic engine.  The spark of innovation ignites the secret sauce to scale upward.  With a repeatable cycle, we can literally create an engine of economic growth cycling from down-scaling to up-scaling, and back to down-scaling, and so forth, forever.  Each combustion cycle literally pumps value into an economic system.

Master of Puppets:

I’ll let the reader now ponder the cause and effect sequences of this proposition.  But I will leave one hint: Wall Street becomes the servant, not the master.  As such, monetization becomes a simple matter.

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