Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Tag: janet fouts

Creative Capital; The Hidden Hero

 

Social capital, intellectual capital and creative capital are the factors of production for the Innovation Economy; next economic paradigm.  Few people realize that Silicon Valley arose from a perfect storm of social capital from the 1960’s, the music and arts scene of the same era, and the proximity of academic centers Stanford and Berkeley.  The Bay area corporations may have been the beneficiaries, not necessarily the originators of innovation.

Creative Capital remains the least understood, yet most important element of the Next Economic Paradigm.  As we continue our march into the regime of social media it is imperative that we understand, support, and develop this critical factor.  We cannot “take it for granted” that creativity exists and will always exist.  It must be recognized, developed, and integrated into the fold of Social Media.

Here are some stats:

Wikipedia:

  • Social Capital has it’s own page with 6816 word article
  • Human Capital (Intellectual Capital) has it’s own page at 2597 words
  • Creative Capital does not have a page of it’s own on Wikipedia

Twitter:

  • I found 20 Tweets referencing “Social Capital” in the last HOUR
  • I found 20 Tweets references to “Intellectual Capital” in the last 6 HOURS
  • There were 20 Tweets that referenced the term “Creative Capital” in the last WEEK (mostly as a trade name)

Facebook Groups:

  • Social Capital Groups: 2000
  • Human Capital/Intellectual Capital Groups 1000
  • Creative Capital: 412

Linkedin Groups:

  • Social Capital: 69
  • Human Capital (intellectual Capital): 272
  • Creative Capital: 12

While the ratios vary, the trend is fairly clear.  Creativity is not often interpreted as a financial instrument otherwise it would be associated with the term “Capital”.  There are other factors as well that may play into this.  Artists are often self-actualized outside of the trappings of material possessions and therefore less visible as economic or political power brokers.   As a professional class, they may be under-represented in social media space.  In addition, creativity does not punch a clock and is likely not working for wages as such. Or they may be running around dressed up like Engineers :)

I’ve made the point that was intended so now I’ll leave the remaining analysis to a person who has done a great deal to advance the modern understanding of the field of study related to creative capital; Richard Florida – an unsung hero for whom Wikipedia does have a page:

Richard Florida (born 1957 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American urban studies theorist.

Professor Florida’s focus is on social and economic theory. He is currently a professor and head of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management, at the University of Toronto. [1] He also heads a private consulting firm, the Creative Class Group.

He is best known for his work in developing his concept of the creative class, and its ramifications in urban regeneration. This research was expressed in Florida’s bestselling books The Rise of the Creative Class, Cities and the Creative Class, and The Flight of the Creative Class. A new book, focusing on the issues surrounding urban renewal and talent migration, titled Who’s Your City?, was recently published.

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Creative Capital in Austin (SXSW)

The SXSW Music and Media Conference showcases hundreds of musical acts from around the globe on over eighty stages in downtown Austin.  By day, conference registrants do business in the SXSW Trade Show in the Austin Convention Center and partake of a full agenda of informative, provocative panel discussions featuring hundreds of speakers of international stature.

We at TIP find this combination of music, indi films, and Geekdom to be extremely interesting.  According to the work of Richard Florida; Engineers and scientists think and act more like artists and musicians than like production workers.  This calls into question much of what we assume to be true in corporate America (specifically 9-5 work weeks, wages vs. royalties, and who manages whom).

The mashup of music, film, and social media/technology is the basis of the most under-recognized factor of production for an innovation economy; Creative Capital. All the academics and corporate outsourcers thought talk about Intellectual Capital.  All of the marketers and PR experts talk about Social Capital.  But the SWSX is reflecting something very different.

As such, there are some interesting Filters in play. The following observation by Janet Fouts points out the curious absence of known superstars on the panel list.  It’s not the all-star game that traditional media loves so much. I would also encourage the reader to look at some of the Hot List Ideas that Janet Links to below.  My mini-rant: For the parents among us, the addition or elimination of Arts from any curriculum should not be under estimated.  Thanks Janet:

***

With all the talk about Twitter grades and the social media elite it’s sobering to look through the “hot” list form SXSW and see the proposals currently in the top of the voting. Sure, I looked for my proposals first and no, they weren’t on the hot list, but more importantly neither were many of the social media superstars I expected to be at the top of the list. After all, it is the interactive division of SXSW and that’s not all about social media folks.

There’s some pretty cool stuff in here for the web developer part of my brain too. A few people I recognize like Jason Wishnow from TED, Adam Pash from Lifehacker , Peter Shankman from HARO, and Skylar Woodward from Kiva, but there are a a lot of people I don’t know, and that’s pretty darn interesting. I spent an hour or two this morning finding some new information resources, and isn’t that really the point? Why not take a few minutes to browse the hot list to see what people are voting for and find next year’s superstars?

***

It is crucial to watch how events evolve and to recognize how people organize themselves.  Austin is not NYC, Silicon Valley, LA or Chicago – they are largely disassociated with traditional media, financial, and political power centers.  The purity of this disassociation cannot be underestimated.

Janet is right – events such as SXSW may be the best way to predict the future –  and with surprising and uncluttered clarity.

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Listening For What People are Listening For

Communities organize themselves:

Most people do not listen completely in conversations because they are too busy planning their response to what they think the other person is going to say.   Often what seems like astute response is a template that may fit a moment but can kill a conversation.  The successful conversation occurs when all participants speak to what the others are listening for. Not an easy trick.

I Heard the Ocean

When I first got into this social media stuff, I had a lot to say.  Then I figured out that nobody was listening; I learned a lot since then. As soon as I started to listen, people started listening back.   Today these people are my heroes, I hang on their every word, their generosity is roughly 70% of my social media world – where did they come from and where can I find more people like them?

Well, that’s all I have to say about that, so let’s listen to Janet Fouts. Part of her quote is a product pitch, but that illustrates an important point in Innovation Economics; conversation is currency and this currency has value:

“Before you dive into social media for any reason, listening should be your first step. What are people talking about and where are they doing it? Is there buzz out there about you or your product that you didn’t know about? Who should you be connecting to? Has there been a recent event you want to find out more about?

Setting up listening tools from free to paid versions can give you a tremendous amount of information and help you find even more things to talk about. I’ll give working examples of listening tools, outline a strategy for effective listening and give you some ideas to use this information in a real world setting.

This short 30 minute session will include links to both free and paid listening tools and creative scenarios for use.

You will learn how to:

  • Set up a set of listening tools to cover multiple platforms
  • Identify the right listening tools for your own needs
  • Identify the best networks for you to participate on
  • Evaluate what you find
  • Creative ways to engage and communicate your message
  • Find new topics to populate your blog and online discussions
  • Evaluate how effective your social media campaign is

Thanks Janet, Now here is a hint at the product pitch at Conversational Currency:

“In a few months, events such as Janet’s may need not  be funded by the participant.  Rather, our sponsors will support events for those most worthy of  participating.  Why would sponsors do such a thing?  Maybe they too are learning to listen, after all, roughly 70% of the US economy is consumer spending.  Will roughly 70% of ad budget be allocated on listening?”

What does all this mean?  keep listening!

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