Accounting Balance sheets have tangible assets and intangible assets. Unfortunately, intangible often means invisible and those on the dark side of the moon wind up in the unemployment line.

What if knowledge assets were tangible? What if you owned your knowledge like a company owns a structure or specialized machinery? What if it could be quantified and qualified so that it resembles all other tangible assets? Easy answer…entrepreneurs will trade it, like money.


This video introduces a new way of looking at social media valuation. People find value in social media otherwise they would not do it. How is that value expressed as a financial instrument? If you engage your clients in the same currency that they are trading among themselves, the greater the likelihood you will realize the value of the new media phenomenon.


dont_worry_get-stoned

Many Social Media Gurus are espousing a new culture that their clients should forget about blogging (adding meaningful content) in favor of the ubiquitous widespread “updates”.

Using automated apps, you no longer need to waste time creating content that teaches or expresses, you can populate across social media space carefully wedged in between someone else’s creative content. I find this appalling.

The new marketing mantras go something like these:

  • “Go where your customers congregate”.
  • “Gain their trust by sharing your stuff”
  • “Soon, you can start to influence their behavior”
  • “Once hooked, they will do your deed for freeeee!!”

This is starting to sound more like the neighborhood drug dealer than any sustainable economic paradigm.

Slavery on Steroids

Slavery is a term characterized in part by the coercion of another person to perform or act without compensation. The effects of slavery are not only physical, but mental as well.  The effects of oppression manifest themselves in addictive behaviors.

Social acceptance is an extremely powerful psychotic that can be cleverly turned against any person. The techniques of social media are getting increasingly sophisticated in hijacking and consuming the social capital of others.

Green Marketing

It does not take long to see that the marketing professions are defining the social media space regardless of what anyone says about user-generated content.  The danger is that social media will become just as unsustainable as the economy that it replaces.  People will soon lose the ability to produce the currency that the media demands to support itself.

Ban advertising

t would be high temple sacrilege for any social media monetization strategist to suggest that advertising of any kind must be banned.  Well, not exactly, but the objective of advertising can be redefined if there were a means to do so.

The only sustainable monetization strategy (of which there are terribly few current examples) are the deployment of social media applications that empower people to discover their own individual talents, to pursue what they are naturally best at and enjoy doing most – while also eliminating the clutter and irrelevant messages that distracts them from their personal life goals.

This means that brands should communicate more and not less.  They should identify, educate, and promote the talents and abilities of a million customers instead of 1 superstar athlete or celebrity.

The proverbial sports analogy:

Advertisers should sit in the bleachers and cheer on their favorite customer, but they should not be in the game, blowing the whistle, or running the scoreboard.  Let them pay admission, see my logo, and buy my overpriced beer.  Let them sell to each other on their own dime – but under no circumstances should they be allowed on the field, in the schools, or in the home without explicit and expressed permission of the customer.


conversations2-500x351Given the events of the last several weeks, it’s time to for the aviation industry to get serious with Social Media.   This article demonstrates how an alternate currency can be used to severely reduce or eliminate terrorist risk in commercial aviation.  Think I’m kidding, read on.

Obviously an airline will not let you board an airplane if you don’t have the financial currency sufficient to buy ticket.  Why should an airline let you board an airplane if you do not have social currency sufficient to fulfill your social obligations while in the air?

People with extreme social currency deficiencies are routinely stripped of their rights by a jury of peers and isolated from society for a period of time (where they would not board an airplane anyway).  While there are many systems in place to manage the various degrees of social currency deficiency, none appear to be able to identify a terrorist without also violating the rights of non-terrorists.

Human Writes

However, many people are willing to share information about themselves to associates with whom an economic benefit is shared or exchanged.  This happens a billion times per week on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter – why not among fellow passengers?  After all everyone is already connected by 6 degrees.

What would a terrorist’s Facebook profile say about them?  Do they have a lot of referrals on linkedin?  Do they post great work on Flikr? Is their community orchestra featured on My Space? Are their posts popular on twitter?

Should a social currency credit score become imperative to social transactions as the financial credit score is for financial transactions?

Banks and Insurance companies already rely on a highly invasive “Credit Score” to establish financial risk profile as a means of protecting their selves and their other clients. Why wouldn’t an airline use a social credit score to establish a social risk profile as a means of protecting their selves and the lives of their other clients?

Ruse and lose

Sure, the bad guys can adapt to social media as they have adapted to all other measures.  The problem is that the greater the size and scope of their social media ruse, the more difficult it is to maintain the ruse.  A threshold score could be set to nearly eliminate this possibility.  Those folks can then simply opt into the full body scan.

The Paradigm Shift

As the saying goes, the attacker needs to be successful only once, while the defender needs to be successful every time.   The concept of a Social media credit score flips this paradigm on it’s head. The attacker’s social credit score needs to be successful every time.  The defender needs to be successful only once.


FDIIn the broadest definition, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is an investment outside the economy of the investor. It usually refers to a measure of foreign ownership of productive assets, such as factories, mines and land. Increasing foreign investment can be used as one measure of growing economic globalization.

The Disruption

Social Media has the effect of defining an economy not by an international border, but rather, by associations between people and their conversations. Investment is in the form of time and the exchange of ideas, experience, and knowledge. Ownership is expressed in the form of reputation, search placement, social ranking, hits, etc.

Social FDI

Therefore, FDI in social media refers to an investment applied outside the economy of the investor where:

  1. The outcome is derived simply from who is talking to whom.
  2. Combining different people in conversation results in alternate outcomes.

Likewise, increasing Social FDI can be used as one measure of growing economic socialization. For business, this means that Social FDI would then include investments in people who are not your customers.

For Example:

I recently wrote a post for Plane Conversations – a blog serving the private aviation industry. Thousands of private airplanes that once served the corporate market are grounded because of the financial crisis. The jist of the article was that the private aviation industry could help communities to stave off commercial aircraft expansion by empowering local entrepreneurs to compete with commercial aircraft industry by selling “lift products” provided by the private aviation industry, hence, Citizen Airlines, LLC.

The paradigm shift …

…is that a company that sells corporate jet services would engage, cooperate, and empower people who are not their customers in order to compete more effectively. Who saw that one coming? Can it happen everywhere? Can it happen in every single industry imaginable? What if everyone did it in their personal lives? Can it create entirely new industries altogether?

This is not trivial.

FDI in all forms induces a sharing of risk between the host economy and the investing economy. This provides a stronger stimulus to economic growth in host economies than other types of capital inflows. FDI is more than just capital; it is access to diverse technologies and management knowhow.

Welcome to conversational currency.

Many people who read the title of this post would conclude that the article is about the 100 million dollar Russian investment in Facebook, or how countries outside the US are using Linkedin and Twitter. Perhaps some repackaged assessment of well worn forecasts. Guess what, that is exactly what the article is about.

Innovation Economics 101

Innovation is largely the practice of connecting two useful ideas resulting in a third. Innovation leading to increased productivity is the fundamental source of increasing wealth in an economy. Innovation is the most important thing for the human survival.


Leading into 2010, The Ingenesist Project will release a series of videos that specify the construct of the Next Economic Paradigm.  We begin at the beginning.

The following video discusses the flaw in modern globalization market economics that started with the failure of an obscure sub section of NAFTA – the free trade of services. The objective of the Ingenesist Project is to correct a tiny little flaw in market economics. This simple adjustment will result in dramatic change.


As brands get social, they enter the new media performing their best interpretation of a conversation. Face it, they are still going for the kill – like a wolf in sheep’s clothing – the dance of the pitch is just getting more sophisticated. Social media is powerful followed closely by the of abuse .

The danger is that the more it resembles buddy talk, the more likely it will be mistaken for buddy talk. The sales pitch is being elevated to an art form. Now social media can be as much as a social cure as a social anomaly.

The 4 Big Lies of Marketing:

The integration lie; Ingratiation efforts are manipulative and calculating but serve as a very subtle way of obtaining increased power over another person. Appearing to be similar to the target the ingratiator appraises the target person’s attitudes, opinions, and interests and modifies his/her statements to match the perceived beliefs of the other conforming to the target’s wishes.

Major Brand: The key principles underlying [company] decisions and actions in social media are: Listening, Learning and Engaging in conversations with our customers where they are…while hiding where we are.

The foot-in the door lie: To increase the likelihood of a prospect saying yes to a moderate request, a person may ask for a smaller request first. By saying yes to the first, small request, the person may agree to the second request to maintain consistency with self perception.

Major brand: we recently launched an on-line quiz with a widget component exclusively through social media and it has been a great success just in terms of the number of people taking the quiz and then word of mouth as a result. This goes back to us showing people can engage with [company name] not yet buying the product.

The ‘Istanbul bazaar’ Lie: The initial request is very large – large enough that no one could be expected to comply with it. It is then followed by a smaller, more reasonable request. This technique relies on the norm of reciprocity. The norm of reciprocity states if a person does something for you, you should do something in return for that person.

From a famous social media marketing evangelist: Extrapolate the potential points of touch between your customers and your organization, by showing them what full engagement looks like but then asking for a smaller subscription, enables participation in some of your processes, in some way.

Even a penny will help Lie: This technique is based on the tendency for people to want to make themselves “look good.” Since everyone has a penny, one would look foolish to say no to the request. The target cannot simply give a penny without looking foolish. The target tends to give whatever is appropriate for the situation.

From a Social Media Marketing Guru: FB Friending, Twitter, and even Linkedin are brilliant in delivering mutual follow mentality to marketing – people want to feel good for having followers and will often put up with constant, yet fleeting marketing messages. Tweet meme is another way for people to feel good about thier self for a tiny investment of a single click.

Inherent in all 4 techniques is the attempt by an influencer to manipulate another by engaging in subtle subterfuge. The only way to undo the lie is with a simple truth: knowledge and understanding that the influencer is always lying.


We have posted a few articles about the Deep Web and presented an emerging technology project that promises to provide a database of databases for the next great development of Internet Search.  This short post considers the significance of one aspect of Deep Web Search.

Economics is the science of incentives

Google Search has provided a set of incentives that drives people to document their world by blogging, developing social media, and creating seemingly infinite video content.  The ability to see and be seen is the essence of market economics.

While the promise of searching a huge store of databases may not sound like Saturday social night at the local drive in burger joint, it does by extension, introduce new incentives.  The new technology will drive people to build databases.  A new generation of entrepreneurs will collect, organize, analyze and create – not information – but data.

Database of databases of databases

The first things entrepreneurs will organize are human knowledge data – starting with their own, then relating it to others. Not unlike the human genome project, the vast human knowledge reservoir will be mapped. Entrepreneurs will enter their communities (on line, neighborhood, work, school, church, social networks) and create a database for what other people know and parse the data in any number of important and useful databases.

The reason for this is simple; data are collections of human observations.This is the only thing people are willing to pay for. Markets cannot and do not get any more fundamental than that.

Old News is Bad News

Anyone who follows the news, social media, or some of the tech blogs may have noticed a lot of rehashing of old data – every blog has a posts about how social media will “really catch on”.   New media isn’t so new anymore.  The only thing that makes money is is the disclosure or new data – followed by weeks of rehashing of the data all the way down the rankings.

Next Economic Paradigm

All Financial instruments are characterized in terms of a quantity and a quality. Real news, real insight, and real productivity results from new and reliable data, qualified interpretation of data, and relevant analysis of data – relative to time.   The value of money is directly associated with the quantity and quality of the data representing money – relative to time.

Summary: Going to the source

Data alone are useless.  People must process data into information – the backbone of all economics.  Human knowledge and productivity is the source of all information – derived from data.  Therefore, the only things people are willing to pay for are, in fact, data. Monetization of social media may be the deep dive into the data. Do the math. That’s big news.


Conversational Currency Blog continues to present components of the Next Economic Paradigm as we spot the integrations. We believe that one of these features is the Deep Web, estimated to be 500 times bigger than the surface web or “Google-verse”.

One way to get an idea of how the deep web is hidden from view is to perform any simple Google search except add the term “database”. You immediately notice that an entirely different set of results appear – much of it is extremely interesting and useful. If you do this several times over several terms you will soon ask yourself:

“Where can I find a database of databases?”

Now take your original search term and add “database of databases” to it and again an entirely new search result appears. The results become highly localized and less organized. The results show FAR LESS ADVERTISING and even a few more subscription based data enterprises. But more than anything, the results give you an idea of how large the Deep Dark Web may be.

Now return to the surface web and visit your favorite blog. Where exactly are bloggers getting their insights? Follow the trail of references back to the sources (pass through Wikipedia and Forrester) and you will eventually wind up back at the Deep web.

Revenge of the Librarians

Now here comes Internous. A technology start up by library Scientists who shines the light on the Deep Dark Web with a search engine concept that combines both algorithmic search with human classification. By introducing a new standard called The Internet Search Environment Number, Internous will soon organize the database of databases.

The Next Economic Paradigm

Meanwhile, The Ingenesist Project has specified a parallel financial system with a currency similar to the dollar except backed by innovation instead of debt (both are a proxy for future productivity). In the specifications they call for a knowledge inventory system for what people in a community know (“what’s between their ears?”) as an requirement for a proxy for future productivity in a new financial system. While nobody can predict exactly how this may eventually arise, we most certainly will watch new technologies such as the ISEN very carefully.

Special thanks to Matt Theobald. Here is the Internous video – well worth the time!!


In 2001, Michael K Bergman, an American academic and entrepreneur and one of the foremost authorities about the Internet, published a paper estimating the “Deep Web” to be 400-550 times larger than the known Googleverse.  What does this mean for everything we claim to know about the web, social media, and social influence marketing?

Andy Becket wrote an excellent investigative piece called  The dark side of the internet that I highly recommend reading.  Among many great points, Andy describes the deep web:

“The darkweb”; “the deep web”; beneath “the surface web” – the metaphors alone make the internet feel suddenly more unfathomable and mysterious. Other terms circulate among those in the know: “darknet”, “invisible web”, “dark address space”, “murky address space”, “dirty address space”. Not all these phrases mean the same thing. While a “darknet” is an online network such as Freenet that is concealed from non-users, with all the potential for transgressive behaviour that implies, much of “the deep web”, spooky as it sounds, consists of unremarkable consumer and research data that is beyond the reach of search engines. “Dark address space” often refers to internet addresses that, for purely technical reasons, have simply stopped working.

The implications of the Dark Web are subtle.  Like “Dark Matter” in space, the dark web may behave as a multiplier to account for that which cannot be explained except by some invisible, albeit, constant force.  We can assume consistence because the common thread that transcends the entire Internet is still conversation. The ability to have a conversation as well as the ability to reject a conversation is part of the Dark Web and still a conversation nonetheless.  The opposite of publicity is anonymity – if the universe seeks balance so too can we expect the web to equalize around the average anonymity of conversation.

Entrepreneurial factors also appear rational when applied to the Dark Web, specifically true ownership.  Ownership includes the right to restrict access from others.  In the Googleverse of search rankings and old economics, watered down and largely unenforceable copyright laws create a wasteful game of Cease and Desist among content providers – not exactly a safe place to converse.  The inability to establish ownership and boundaries of user generated content is a primary constraint on monetization.

Meanwhile, the Dark Web utilizes a knowledge inventory where trusted people of known affinity are given free access to share freely – and anonymously.   Ironically, anonymity improves the quality of a conversation by eliminating the irrelevant data that often constrains conversation.   It is worthwhile to consider anonymity as a possibles monetization factor – pay to hide?

Not all anonymity is corrupt and perverse.  People spend a great deal of time and effort developing a database that represents a knowledge inventory and they don’t want someone to just copy it.   Trade secrets are the great competitive financial instrument of capitalism and depend on secrecy.  For better or for worse, political activity in non-free countries such as China, Iran, and Afghanistan also rely on anonymity. The more time people spend on the web, the more of their personal life that would want to keep to themselves – the ability to avoid Google bots is a tangible conversation.

The phenomenon to consider is that people with mutual anonymity are able to share more freely.  Ironically, anonymity improves the quality of a conversation by eliminating the irrelevant data that often constrains conversation.  Conversely, efforts to constrain anonymity destroys freedom of the web.  Tell that to your web analytics team.