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The Reality of Social Networking

Nothing Economic can happen until people get together and build something, period.

Social Network services are not that.  Social media gives people the impression that they are getting stuff done – but they are not.  Nothing economic is happening on Linkedin or Facebook or Twitter.  Rather, the impact of these services is derived only from what people accomplish in reality.

Yet so many social media services sell advertising.  The objective of an advertising site is to keep you in your seat where you can view more advertising.  The objective of advertising as an industry is to influence you to do something other than what you already want to do.   Each of these things impacts people’s activities, and therefore, much of the crap that people share on social network services.

Race to the bottom

This self–depreciating cycle does not actually create very much nor does it arrive at anywhere interesting or important.  The content that keep people coming back to Social Networks is produced by a relatively few number of entertainers – people who separate themselves from consumption of the medium and instead produce content for consumption by the medium – instead of “For” the medium.  Again, the objective is to keep people in their seats watching more advertising.

Did I mention that nothing economic can happen until people get together and build something?

We are in the middle of creating a different type of social network in Social Flights.  We are billing it as “The Social Network where people actually do stuff” because the objective is to get people out into their community looking for other people who can help them build something.  We’re still experimenting so please be patient if it still seems a little clunky.

The Last Mile of Social Media

The idea is to form travel communities in relatively small geographical areas and enable them to share an airplane to anywhere where there is another travel community.  We call the The Last Mile of Social Media – empowering neighborhoods not Hollywoods.

There is no advertising on social flights; however, local vendors are encouraged to place discount coupons in direct response to a community travel objective.  There is no airline schedule because the objective is for people to share an asset – the airplane. This means that the passengers tell the plane where to fly and when, not the airline.

In the end, Social Flights rewards people, venders, and aircraft operators for interacting with their communities in real life and real time – instead of their computer screens in virtual time.  Now, the social network, laptop, or mobile device becomes a real productivity tool.

Back to economics:

Most logical people will ask “where do I get the money to travel to new places with new people?  The answer is simple: “That is precisely why you need to travel to new places to meet new people”

Nothing economic can happen until people get together and build something, for real.

The Social Credit Score

Money Matchmaker

The function of a Bank is to match most worthy money surplus with most worthy money deficit. In the old days, the banker was the person to know if you wanted to be successful in town because they did the matching. But with the emergence of the credit score, the “banker” became digitized.  The spread of the credit score is responsible for great wealth creation because many more entrepreneurs could borrow money in the present to increasing human productivity in the future.

The Credit Score

The credit score is statistical in nature; it isolates about 30 or so indicators of your financial activity and puts them on a bell curve. These include how much debt you have, how much your assets are worth, your income, etc. These ratings are run through the FICO Equation and out pops your credit score. Anyone can predict the likelihood that you may default on your financial obligation.

All of the data that feed FICO are collected from public records, your employer, and the people who you borrow money from because these same organizations have a vested interest in a system of correct credit scores.

We are competing with ourselves

It is interesting that people do not compete directly with each other for our credit score because it is not a ranking system, it is a “normal distribution”. However, with no credit, people are invisible and the system shuts them out. With bad credit, the system also shuts them out. People are also willing to give up some freedom and privacy, but they accept these terms because the credit score provides tremendous leverage to finance a business, automobile, or a home.

The Knowledge Matchmaker

The Value Game specifically transforms financial currency into social currencies where value increases by human interactions in communities. Then, the social currency is transformed back into a financial currency or stored in a yet to be determined social currency. The efficiency of the Social Value Creation Process can be vastly improved with a Social Credit Score.  The objective, like the financial credit score, would be to match most worthy knowledge surplus to most worthy knowledge deficit.

The Social Credit Score

There are two forces that need to be combined to produce a credit score; the reporting of social activity and the independent variables that constitute social activity. We already see some elements where search engines report your social activity and we have seen a few unsuccessful attempts to use Twitter as a proxy for social productivity. Neither are functional but the nascent social credit score system will eventually improve.  But why wait if we already know what needs to be done?

Something else needs to happen

Not unlike the FICO score, the Social Credit Score is a knowledge inventory for social, creative, and intellectual assets that a community of people collectively hold. The format of the knowledge inventory must be assembled to a bell curve.

Next, a new type of search engine must be developed that can process the knowledge inventory and statistically match most worthy surplus of knowledge asset with most worthy deficit of knowledge asset given a set of business objectives. Then and only then can holistic transactions take place which can redefine human economics in social currencies, i.e., where knowledge really is an asset.


How Knowledge Assets Live In Community

Our culture organizes itself around winners and losers. Corporations reflect this competitive nature to the core of their Capitalist doctrine. Sports analogies abound across the enterprise straight through to the HR department always on the lookout for the most amount of superstar for the least amount of money.

Social media has every industry trying to understand the concept of community.  Nature and our environment continues to demonstrate to humanity that there is far more cooperation going on than competition. There is tragedy looming at both ends of our political spectrum and some people are realizing that we are all in this together.

Twitter shows us that everyone is an expert at something and nobody is an expert at everything.  Corporations must understand that someone not performing adequately cannot be treated as flotsam subject to jettison at the next layoff or outsourcing opportunity.  They soon see that their customers disappear as well – because they are the same.  Communities, people, social networks, and their integrated knowledge assets are the mis-allocated asset being squandered by losing management teams, not land, labor or capital.

Like most valuable assets, there is a perfectly legitimate market for everyone in a community – nobody need be excluded, marginalized or laid off. Social Media is turning the tables on the hierarchy.  Old winners who don’t play by the new rules quickly become the new losers. Maybe we ought to run our economy like a community instead of losing so badly at trying to decimate our competition; each other.

Social Vetting Makes Knowledge Tangible

The term “Vetting” comes from the sport of horse racing where the animal is “vetted” by a veterinarian to determine if the animal is in suitable condition to race.  Today, there are many vetting mechanisms acting in society and communities.  Think of it as the referee that keeps the game fair.  This is important because if the game is not fair, people will stop playing.

Where the vetting mechanism fails, the system fails. This has happened in countless instances from the current financial crisis to nearly every product, market, environmental calamity, or political failure in recorded history – the referees who were supposed to keep their eye on the ball, did not. Likewise, where a vetting mechanism is effective, the system is efficient.

Today, we find severe problems in finance and government and people are investing their knowledge assets in social media as the place to “store and exchange” their present and future productivity – instead of deploying money or debt. As such, social vetting is taking many different forms to validate, qualify, and quantify knowledge assets in communities.

While the progression may not be noticeable, there will be a tipping point where the medium has built enough trust that it can support a currency. This new currency needs to be only a little bit more “trustworthy” than the currency it will replace. This is the point where knowledge becomes tangible.

9/11 and the Convergence Economy

Today, I have been reading a lot of posts related to 9/11 and the terrible events of that day.  The conversation lives.  It is propagated in every direction and expressed in so many different ways once unimaginable from editorialized news.

My memory of 9/11 was quite personal; I was the customer engineering account manager at Boeing – my customer was United Airlines.  I was fortunate to have worked with many UAL Pilots and Flight Attendants and their Unions; UAL lost 16 employees that day – I lost 16 friends.

I remember the anxiety in the aircraft business as the unspeakable was spoken, the impossible became possible, and the unreal became real.   My own identity was defined by commercial air travel and the safety and comfort of people and families.  The relationship between Boeing and UAL has always been profound; but the strain caused inside the industry was foreboding.

The fact that data could shift so rapidly called everything into question.   Relationships diverged, people no longer knew how to process the information that was available.  This gargantuan ‘outlier’ stained every single probability chart in existence – like a crater in a barren landscape.  The only clarity could be found in shorter time segments, before 9/11, after 9/11… but not 9/11.

“Google News” was one of the first information aggregation devices and was developed in response to one news junky’s need to know, as soon as possible, what is happening in the world of such micro-timing. As the subsequent political and economic swings overshot every rational stabilizing mechanism such as ‘checks and balances’, or ‘market arbitrage’ forces, the rest of us sought quicker and better ways to stay in touch with the events of the world.  This meant, quicker ways to stay in touch with each other.

Today, as 9 years of  “new time”  has been added to the risk equations, we can see the effects of radical cultural shifts; social priorities are gaining momentum over Wall Street priorities. While governments still wrestle with the old world order, a new one is forming in it’s place.  This new world has the power to perform many of the functions of corporations and government.  Can twitter catch terrorists?  Can Facebook entries trigger community awareness?  Can instant messaging deliver instant response?  How many lives are saved by Social Media?  I am not certain, but it is an important question to ask that age old question: Will good triumph over evil? or in economic terms; Is humanity self-correcting?

The convergence continues.  The next paradigm of economic development will continue on the micro-time scale as FB communities hit neighborhoods, Linkedin communities hit local communities of practice, and Twitter news armies grow.  Cooperation Capitalism will replace competitive Capitalism and social vetting will replace institutional surveillance.  Finally, a productivity backed currency will replace debt backed currency. Bring it on.

Conversational Cannibalism

hypocriteI don’t often run a full repost from other people on this blog, but this post by Seth Godin was just too rich to leave alone.

I have been posting a lot lately on the irony of social media devolving to spammers spamming spammers, especially the recent Twitter plan to charge advertisers for jumping to the front of the line by exploiting data provided voluntarily by the users (Twitter Me Elmo).

All of this tells us that Social Media is up against the ropes on the monetization plan. As a result it is starting to consume itself. This may be the first indication that the Dollar is NOT the currency of trade in the social media space, it’s a yet unnamed Social Currency. This definitely tells us that something new must happen soon.

Of course, The Ingenesist Project specifies an alternate financial system that can accommodate a social currency, but the lure of the almighty dollar remains strong enough to blind the choir itself and out-pitch the humble whisper new economic paradigm evangelists.

Anyway, here is Seth’s post in it’s entirety. Buy his books and read his blog, get his feed for daily email enlightenment. Seth, I apologize in advance for posting without your explicit permission…etc…just trying to “keep the convo rolling….”

*****

Cannibalism and spam

By Seth Godin:

So, these two cannibals are eating a clown, and one says to the other, “does this taste funny to you?”

We don’t often have conversations about cannibalism. We don’t trade recipes or talk about health issues. That’s because it’s off the table, not permitted, inconceivable.

Marketers should feel the same way about spamming people. Spamming them by email, by text or yes, by calling their cell phones with a robot, repeatedly, just because it’s cheap and because they can.

Tweetswomma

Womma

If anyone should know better, it’s the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. And yet, not only did they spam thousands of people by phone, they want us to “keep the convo rolling”. And when I spoke to their Executive Director, she had a hard time understanding that what they were doing was spam.

Spam is unanticipated, impersonal, irrelevant junk I don’t want to get. Not only that, it costs them less to send it than it takes me to figure out what it is and deal with it. That doesn’t scale. In fact, it destroys the medium.

Why would anyone join, pay their dues, go to their meetings or want to engage with an organization that’s willing to cross a line like this? Even once? (and then brag about it!) Maybe I’m getting cranky, but the relentless march of marketers into our lives is really getting to me.

In case you missed the first part of our show, the future of marketing is based on permission. It’s based on sending messages to people who want to get them, who choose to get them, who would miss you if you didn’t send them. It’s not easy and it’s not cheap to earn permission, but so what? This is my attention, not yours, and if you want to use it for a while, please earn the privilege.

PS If I ran Twitter, I’d build my new ad service about a socially acceptable way for corporate users to build large lists of followers, people who would give permission to get news and discounts and insights from advertisers. Twitter knows who likes what and they have permission from users to be a bridge between the user and those that might want to talk to them. That’s a powerful place to be.

Using cheap technology to spam people is not.

Twitter Me Elmo

Elmo

Dorothy the goldfish is imagining Elmo reading his Twitter stream… and what would it say? Who would he follow? And who would follow Elmo?

Elmo; “Computer, who’s following me on Twitter? Starbucks, Microsoft, and WalMart? Hey wait, Twitter is selling advertising. What’s up with that? Let’s ask Mr. Noodle.”

Mr. Noodle (in mime) “Everyone is promoting something on Twitter otherwise nobody would use it.”

Murray Monster: “Hey, I thought that Twitter was supposed to give everyone an even playing field. Otherwise, nobody would go to school to learn how to actually produce anything. Ovejita!!!

Ovejita (translated from Spanish): “Yeah, everyone spends time and energy building social capital in their community. Now Twitter lets rich guys can come along and just buy access. Why then should the rest of us work so hard?”

Big Bird: “Sponsored Tweets allow Brands to buy a seat at the head of the line. What about my Tweets? Does this build or diminish my social equity?”

Grouch: “Yeah, isn’t that great, Twitter is built on social currency. Now you don’t have to produce social capital, you can just buy in. Watch the social currency devalue!!”

Count Von Count; “ah ah ah, I can count the people leaving Twitter, ah, ah, ah… 50, 40, 30, 20 million,… ah ah ah”

Abby Cadabby; “I’m comfortable with who I am in a pink dress and can just cast a barrage of nasty Tweet spells on those unfair Tweeters”.

Baby Bear: “The only ones who really benefit are National and International Brands – what do they care about what happens here on Sesame Street, let alone in the forest where grandpa bear still lives?”

Grouch: “Quit complaining, the big Twitter moments will be revolutions, airplane crashes, assassinations, natural disasters, celebrity indiscretions, political extremisms, etc. I know that only the most respectable Grouchy brands will jump into any trash can that’s burning with eyeballs….can you say Voyeur?”

Burt and Ernie: “Who said Voyeur?”

Gordon the Shopkeeper: “Then there is the subject of conflict of interest. Can a brand dispel, displace, or disproportion negative Tweets by purchasing out the social media space? Will Mr. Hooper’s store have to buy tweets just to be stay in business?”

Elmo: “Thanks guys. If Twitter makes a little bit of money and goes public, they will eventually want to make more money and more money and more money until people are fighting over the next Christmas Toy Craze. Will this invite a competitor, a disruptive technology, or speculators? Let’s ask a Baby.”

Baby: [confused look]

Elmo: “Thanks baby, What does the future hold? Even Elmo has to worry about profit margins on character marketing. It’s only a matter of time before I will Tweet and my tweets will be followed – but the question becomes; by whom?”

Culture: When Engagement Is Not Optional

pLASMA bALLToday we see Social Media duplicating many of the functions of earlier society by storing community wisdom, applying social vetting, and deploying social currencies.

It takes a Community

Here is an article is about a a person who learned through social media profiling that her fiance was active in hobbies that conflicted with her moral constitution – before the wedding instead of after.  In the old days, the community would also profile each individual based on the social record of their behavior.

Social Capitalism

Here is a video article that discusses how social media is  duplicating many functions of the corporation outside the construct of the corporation. Factors of production increasingly enter the org chart as a social media application.  We now question whether the corporation itself is the sole vehicle of wealth creation.

Social Currency

We see social media duplicating many of the functions of the financial system where currency, credit scores, banks, land, labor, and capital are being replaced by social currency, social vetting, social capital, creative capital, and social entrepreneurs.

Macro vs. Micro

We see divisions of scale from the long-winded one-sided content of the static web presence to the micro blogging applications that more closely resemble a conversation.  Time factors are accelerated to the point where real-time is not fast enough.

Local vs. Global

We see an emerging segmentation between Local Social and Global Social. At first global leverage was the awarded the small entrepreneur with something to offer to the world.  Now ‘Local Social’ enjoys substantial leverage over global corporations by reorganizing the way people prioritize and experience each other and their community.

Everyone is a node

Taking an analogy from the physics of electricity, the term “potential” means the difference in energy between two nodes.  The greater the difference, the bigger the spark and the greater the impact.   The local energy at each node influences the direction and size of sparks between nodes.  As people accumulate ‘Social Current’, their position relative to those around them changes. Likewise, their potential also changes relative to the ‘Social Current’ of others. Everyone has some potential relative to every other node.

Integration has arrived

Much like the knowledge economy integrated, but did not replace, the agrarian economy, Social Media will not replace the corporation, the financial system, dissertation, conversations, localization or globalization.  Rather, everyone becomes a corporation, everyone prints their own social currency, everyone publishes their intentions, everyone has local and global leverage.  That’s what Integration is all about.

A ‘culture of one’ is moot.

It is not surprising then that our culture itself is now being defined in terms of social media with effective aggregation of  social norms, storage of social wisdom, and medium of exchange for community ideals.  The true test of “culture status” is when engagement is no longer an optional.  Without engagement, there is no culture.


Foursquare Economics

foursquareThe Next Economic Paradigm is arriving and the first entries include Foursquare.  Few people understand the significance of this new class of social media applications. Foursquare contains many (but not yet all) of the components of the Innovation Economy that we have been discussing for several years at Ingenesist.com, Conversationalcurreny.com, and Relationship-economy.com.

Here is what Foursquare does have:

Geolocation: Sure, social media has been great sport for chatting with your buddies across the world, but nothing really happens until the rubber meets the road.  people need to be in the same location in order to “build something” together.  We call this The Last Mile of Social Media

Mayor of Popcorn: As silly as this may sound, badging it is a highly sophisticated feature that we have called the “knowledge Inventory“.  In order to build anything, there must be an inventory of parts. “Knowledge” is not the exception as the crude and archaic resume system would have people believe.

Knowledge is an asset and it will perform as an asset if it is characterized in the form of a quantity and a quality.  “Mayor of Popcorn”, believe it or not, is in the correct form.

Vetting Mechanism: Vendors are an equal part of the social network and will soon provide their coupons, specials, and other economic incentives on Foursquare because advertising any other way is dead meat.  Vendors will live in a system that is in their best interest to practice high integrity rather than low integrity while favoring mom and pop operations that live in the community.  We call this “Social Vetting” as it lives beyond law and government – let the market be the judge.

Here is what they do not have (yet): Currency

The attraction of foursquare is the promise of fun and fancy crowd play.  The incentive is to be seen as connected, mobile, and plugged-in.  As such, people will be implicitly attracted to you like bees to a flower. In actuality, this game takes Social Media right to the edge of becoming a new financial system that can compete with, and challenge, the almighty dollar. No kidding.

Remember that currency is a social agreement.  History shows that people will trade seashells, tulip bulbs, paper notes, and little copper disks as a device to store and exchange value. All value is expressed in terms of human incentives of some kind.  Well here we have it.  Now let the entrepreneurs play.

That is a huge, huge, huge matter.

The dollar represents productivity….well, so does Foursquare.  What will entrepreneurs do in this environment?  How will entrepreneurs organize communities around “things-o-do” – or even – “things-that-must-be done”?

Here is the hint.  The idea that innovation is the exclusive domain of corporations, academia, or government is now as obsolete as Twitter.  Innovation is now related to knowledge as knowledge is related to information.  Anything that increases the rate of change of knowledge in a community can now be defined as innovation in Foursquare.

Debt and innovation represent the exact same thing.

Innovation is a promise of future productivity. Debt is also a promise of future productivity.   It is only a matter of time that all of the activity in this new generation of social media applications will resolve to, and aggregate around, a new form of currency that will compete with the dollar itself.  Mark these words.

Social Media as a Vetting Mechanism

unhq

Where the vetting mechanism fails, the system fails. This has happened in countless instances from the current financial crisis to nearly every product, market, environmental calamity, or political failure in recorded history – the referees who were supposed to keep their eye on the ball, did not. Likewise, where a vetting mechanism is effective, the system is efficient.

EBay does little more than defend the vetting mechanism (feedback system) and entrepreneurs do the rest. The credit score allows companies and people to capitalize and securitize assets. The US legal system keeps the game of commerce as fair as practical. Police officers and school boards keep our society safe and smart. We often overlook the importance of vetting in our communities.

Today, we find severe problems in finance and government and people are investing their knowledge assets in social media as the place to “store and exchange” their present and future productivity – instead of debt. As such, social vetting is taking many different forms to validate, qualify, and quantify those assets.

While the progression may not be noticeable, there will be a tipping point where the medium has built enough trust that it can support a currency. This new currency needs to be only a little bit more “trustworthy” than the currency it will replace. This is the point where knowledge becomes tangible.

Video: The Last Mile of Social Media

Sure Bro…Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin are great for broadcasting across the Ocean, but how good are they for meeting your neighbors? As wonderful as all this global chatter appears, nothing tangible happens until the rubber meets the road.

Don’t Worry, Be Neighborly…

The following video describes how the components of the next economic paradigm must act locally, but share globally. For anyone wondering what to do next or where the great opportunities are, think about building out the Last mile of Social Media.

Pssst … Wanna Get Wasted?

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.

Using Social Currency To Fight Terrorism

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.

USocial = SUPER SPAM

moneyhappiness_vl-vertical-223x300USocial is now going after YouTube. These clever guy and gals have figured out a way to bypass the democracy of social media to bring is a new form of merchant class capitalism…SUPER SPAM.  For a small fee, you can get your message to the head of the line – in effect pushing the rest backwards.  Presumably for a bigger fee, you can get ahead of those who paid a smaller fee, and so forth.

Once the bastion of lobbyists and special interest groups, anyone with a few bucks can now pull themselves up the ladder by pushing other people down the ladder.  Once the domain of high powered PR firms and Marketing agents; just a few dollars cast among the USocial Gods delivers those long elusive eyeballs of the old radio/TV marketing paradigm.

Watch this one carefully kids.  Social Media has long proven uncontainable.  Saying that you can beat  social media at its own game is like saying you can repair a credit score.  Like a credit score, you can do more damage than good trying to steal what does not belong to you in an effort to boost your income.

Those eyeballs, those followers, and those “friends” do not belong to USocial and are therefore not theirs to sell.    They belong to you and I and we control them – or we don’t play.  If USocial keeps their client list secret, this would be the capital offense in social media space.

Intellectual Property in Bloggerville

Most bloggers invite you to share their content far and wide on any one of many aggregation sites.  But some people get really upset if you post that article on your own aggregation blog (even with full credit and back links).

I am always amazed when I get that proverbial chest thumping quasi-barrister “cease and desist” letter, followed by remedial citation of copyright law, and always ending with some pathetic accusation of irreparable damages and criminal violation.   They get upset if you change the content and they get upset if you don’t.  The worst is when it comes from a self-proclaimed social media guru who touts all ‘dat social media Kool Aid in their consultancy propaganda.

Reality Check:

Can Twitter Fuel a Run On Banks?

The Ingenesist Project is retained by corporate clients because we look at the world through a different set of filters. We are looking for possible disruptions on the horizon as far in advance as possible so that our clients can be aware of potential perils and modify their business plans accordingly.

One of our signature assertions is that Money is merely a social agreement – not a federal mandate of a democratic government. People will trade whatever currency they agree to trade. Increasingly, people, empowered by social media can impact the financial system far more that a bunch of Quants peddling CDOs.

People simply do not know how powerful they are.

Suppose someone puts together a Twitter/Facebook campaign for everyone the withdraw their money from a single financial institution who just handed out big bonuses? At best, those bonuses will have to be recalled to keep the doors open. At worst, people will find an alternate currency to store the “value” that is destroyed by a bank run. Virtual Currency? Admittedly, it’s far-out, but we need to keep our eyes on these trends because once started, they move very very fast. That’s why they call it a “Run”

Is this scenario really possible? Read on…..

Coupon Search Engine – Are You Worthy?

 

Are you worthy ?

What if many companies dropped their advertising spend into a several different buckets of cash representing various lifestyle segments?  Now, suppose that the cash was distributed  to social media mavens corresponding to their social media reach in the lifestyle segments.  The advertisers and the amounts contributed to the buckets are fully disclosed.  The Social Media mavens are compensated by their Alexa rankings – again, fully disclosed and objective. The Social Mavens are simply paid to blog their lifestyle experiences with no contract or commitment to any brand, nor retribution for any assessment – just like always.

A new Financial Instrument

The debit card serves as a financial instrument modeled after the insurance industry that replaces traditional advertising with managed ROI risk. Of course, we are not the only ones trying to find a way to make the 300 Billion dollar per year advertising spend more efficient….

Sticky Coupons

The following Rueters article demonstrates that the coupon is not dead – nor is it paper anymore.  ASK.com will compile coupons and help people to find savings.  This is good for advertisers since more can be given away on the coupon because less is spent on production and traditional media.  This is also good for the consumer as more valuable coupons is more money in one’s pocket.

Feed the Entrepreneurs, feed the economy

Now we need to ASK – as the coupon value increases and the redemption time decreases and If the minimum wage is 8 dollars per hour – at what point can a person earn 8 dollars per hour cutting coupons?   Can a Social Maven, in fact, earn a decent living doing other people’s shopping all on coupons?  Why not?

***original article here********

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ask, the search engine owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp, unveiled a new service on Tuesday to help consumers seek out coupons for saving money when shopping online.

 

The new service, Ask Deals, helps users search the Web for deals available by aggregating the best offers to a proprietary database of more than 1 million offers from national and local merchants.

 

Ask’s management hopes by having a dedicated “deals” tab on its search engine page the feature will become a natural destination for consumers looking to save money with discounts on goods and services.

 

Ask has added features such as helping consumers share coupons and deals through email and social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Users can also sign up for “Deal of the Day” emails.

 

The majority of Ask’s revenue comes through a search advertising partnership with market leader Google Inc, which brings up links of relevant advertisers in response to a user’s search query.

 

The Ask network was the fourth most-used search engine in the United States with a 3.9 percent share of all search queries in August, according to Web measurement firm comScore. Google had 64.6 percent market share, Yahoo had 19.3 percent share and Microsoft’s new Bing search engine had 9.3 percent share.

 

(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke, editing by Matthew Lewis)

What If The Dollar Fails?

I have been hearing a great deal about an inevitable collapse of the dollar.  Not today or tomorrow, but more likely over the course of the next 10 years.  The failure will probably not be a stupendous crash since politicians would avoid this as a means of self-preservation.  Rather, it would simply be a slow and grinding inability to “afford” many important things using cash.  Note that this has little or nothing to do with your human ability to produce important things.

Few people disagree that a 50 Trillion dollar debt obligation cannot be paid back without at least 50 Trillion dollars in increased human productivity.  Traditional productivity usually means taking stuff out of the ground, air, ocean, or the forest and making things that eventually wind up back in the ground, air, ocean, or the forest. Today, we are encountering constraints on the planet’s resources.  Something has got to give.

The ONLY technological change that is happening at anywhere near the rate that can conceivably deliver a substantial amount of “increased productivity” is Social Media. But how do we turn it into dollars?  Maybe we shouldn’t.

Here is the problem; the trends for monetizing social media actually slow it down.  People use social media only because of the prospect for increasing their long term productivity as relationships prosper. Entrepreneurs trying to get paid for their innovations invariably need to introduce “friction” by attempting to convert “short term” user productivity into cash.  There is no business case on short term productivity making their innovation nonviable.  Therefore, the monetization problem introduces a threshold over which most great innovations simply cannot reach.

The purpose of this article is to consider what people will use for trade if the currency becomes ineffective AND their productivity does not.   If the dollar does fail, people will attempt to meet their daily needs until a financial system is corrected.  Many countries that have experienced currency problems and the most common result are the emergence of a black market where Levi’s, Cigarettes, or other commodities serve as a de facto tax-free currency.

While on-line gaming industry is pioneering virtual tax-free currencies with extraordinary results, back in reality, people will begin trading services.  Plumbers will find dentists, farmers will find laborers, and teachers will find landscapers.  Matchmaking will become a financial instrument. People will use Facebook and Twitter, Linkedin and many others in new ways in order to keep the game in play.

In fact, perhaps they already are.

The Voice of the Youth

HS students Euro ChallengeDoes One size fit all?

The 40+ crowd is flooding to Facebook.  The 30+ massage their Linkedin profiles. The 20+ crowd is tweeting their hearts out.  What are the kids doing?  How are they organizing themselves?  After all, they are saddled with a 50 Trillion dollar debt liability and a warming planet courtesy of their Tenants.  I posted an article below about a High School Student from Issaquah Washington (read “Small Town USA”) with a head full of ideas.

Reading between lines:

Kids are looking for better ways to promote themselves to colleges, employers, and each other, with a twist; they want control and ownership of their data.  They see it as an extension of a business card rather that a bill board branding channel.  Yes, they are open for business and ready to produce insanely creative things.  However, there must be some intimacy in relationships which other social networking sites cannot provide. They seek quality over quantity in the next economic paradigm.  They seek simplicity and eschew the corporatism of  their media.

They are consummate sharers always aware of their own productivity.  Their new applications are a chain of productivity tools for other students creating a world where teenagers can find useful tips, tricks and products to get through the teen years successfully.  They are passionate about engaging the world on their level.  They are passionate about their role in providing value to others.  I, for one, welcome the prospect of turning the world over to it’s rightful owners – the kids.

Students develop Web sites for peers

Skyline Running Start student Adam Sidialicherif has a lot of ideas floating around in his head these days. The self-taught Web developer has so many, he even maintains in his bedroom a list of Web applications he wants to write to help his peers with numerous aspects of life, he said.

Gnomedex 9.0 Seattle

I attended the Gnomedex 9.0 Social Media Conference in Seattle.  While it was wonderfully informative and every single person that I met was engaged, interesting, and accomplished in some productive way related to social media, I was left with some troubling observations as well as some very inspiring moments.

Observation:

1. Trillions upon trillions of dollars are being transferred to Social Media with the persistent extinction of old media dinosaurs – does anyone care?

2. Advertising concerns, print media, corporate HR, were strikingly absent from the corporate vendors on site and in among the sponsors – they should have been hovering over in helicopters.

3. There were ONLY a few hundred people in attendance – there should have been a few hundred thousand (6619 Tweets sent).

4. This event should have been gold plated – it was not, which leads me to some of the inspiring moments.

Inspiring Moments:

1. Many of the presentations reflected social priorities like the environment, using social media to empower yourself and the people around you,  and empowering less developed nations.

2. Relative absence of commercialization

3. Gnomedex 9.0, means that 9 have occurred and this is what it has “evolved to”.  As a worthy social experiment in itself, this shows us what social media WILL evolve to

4. Building trust was a predominant theme

Read Between the lines:

Social media reflects social priorities, not Wall Street Priorities – in fact, the table has turned.  For example: Twitter will be charging Corporations to view social media – after corporations failed to get people to pay them to view social media.

Every single business transaction is subject to a similar “reversal” relative to social media space.  The World has no idea what’s coming down the tracks.

Twitter Vetting = Twetting?

twitter-money

Picture Credit

There are 3 characteristics of financial instruments which make them tangible in a market:   They live in an inventory, they are exposed to vetting mechanisms, and they are subject to constraints.

Tangibility of knowledge:

Here at Conversational Currency we are constantly seeking examples where human knowledge behaves like a financial instrument because a true innovation economy will arise when all 3 characteristics are true for the ‘human knowledge’.

We believe that the platform for the Innovation Economy will be Socialized Media; not corporations, or government.  So we get excited when we see posts like this from Brian Solis via Matt Marshall regarding Twitter’s monetization plans.

Twitter to becoming the vetting mechanism for business intelligence.

Think about the credit score; a list of independent variables run through an algorithm that correlate with the likelihood that you’ll fulfill a financial obligation. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination…read between the lines:

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By Brian Solis:

Over at VentureBeat, Matt Marshall is reporting that Twitter will introduce its first revenue-generating series of premium services.

In an interview with co-founder Biz Stone, it was revealed that Twitter is in the initial phases of introducing commercial accounts to businesses seeking detailed analysis of activity in and around the brand on the popular network as well as other data not available to Twitter users directly.

In the next phase, Stone indicated that Twitter may also debut a new set of corporate-specific API’s that would allow the company to insert a customer layer over the profile and other aspects of the network to more effectively engage with the community, while increasing strategic visibility.

Stone revealed to Marshall, “Twitter will still be free for everybody and we’ll still tell them to go crazy with it. But, we’ve identified a selection of things that businesses say are helping to make them more profit.”

He further elucidated, “We want to build statistics or analytics that let users know — ‘How am I doing on Twitter?”

This news is the latest in a short series of information bursts following the company’s announcement that it is rolling out a new set of APIs to integrate geo-location into Tweets, mostly likely to contend with rising competition of geo-location networks such as Loopt and Four Square and also as a potential generator of hyper-local advertising revenue.

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Ponder this:

Social value lives in an emerging inventory that is ever increasing in granularity.  Corporations have very little control over public opinion –  except in retrospect – which amounts to a constraint on social value.  Now, Twitter is the vetting mechanism.  Wow, we’re getting closer to the next economic paradigm every day.

The implications are vast.  Now we shall ask a few question:

At what point will Corporate Innovation reflect social priorities over Wall Street priorities?

At what point will Wall Street Priorities reflect Social Priorities?

If the Wall Street Manifesto is to “return shareholder value” and Twitter is vetting “social values”, what is the value of Twitter and who is really holding/voting those shares?


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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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When The Kids Arrive – from MySpace

Several articles have come out refuting the death of MySpace as researchers try to make sense of the continued persistence of what many people consider last-year’s news. Here is an interesting article by Misiek Piskorski from Harvard Business Review answering the question “Where are all those My Space Users”?

“Both traditional and social media have declared MySpace dead. Even a brief scan of articles reveals that media mavens “don’t know anybody who uses MySpace anymore,” which reportedly is not a huge loss as the site “is ridden by spammers” and “its atrocious HTML, bLiNgY graphics, and horrific backgrounds” are offensive. Many of you reading this post probably do not know anyone who uses the site either.

Yet MySpace is the 11th most visited site in the world, with unique 60 to 70 million U.S. visitors every month. Even though the site is not growing, it is a far cry from “dead” if you ask me.”

But wait!

Notice how the “Media Centers” Los Angeles, Chicago, New York are in Facebook territory.  Also note how the technology power centers; Silicon Valley, Seattle, and Boston are also in the Facebook territory.  Academics from Harvard, Yale, Stanford are taken by surprise in Facebookville.  The great financial centers; Wall Street, LA, SF and Chicago are all Facebook.  Maybe the prognosis for the future of social media is skewed by the proximity to major media, academic, and financial centers. Centralized power is the antithesis of social media, Right?

Looking for Disassociation.

Here at The Ingenesist Project we have long been looking for a disassociation between main stream media and social media.  MySpace may be the social experiment that indicates a deeper and most promising trend.  Is it a requirement that a social media analyst be located in Silicon Valley? Do celebrity endorsements really mean anything tangible?  Does editorialized news always provide what people need?

MySpace Demographics:

The resulting sample is representative of the MySpace population. 53% of users identify themselves as women. Of all users below the age of 50, half are 21 years old or younger, and 30% are between the ages of 22 and 30.  Everyone knows that Kids don’t Tweet and late adopters to Social Media are also later-in-lifers.   The population of the world is finite, so when will Facebook level off as Twitter has?

Looking for reversal:

Next, we are looking for a reversal where Social Media drives s0-called traditional media – not the other way around. Can a blogger in Arizona drive the great branding strategies of the future?  Can a Webinar from Montana introduce the next age of enlightenment?  Can Nashville become the next great Venture Capital hub? Can a community of children in Florida band together to sustain the next great social movement.  Will democracy, voting, and public opinion be driven by youth culture? Will corporate innovation respond to social priorities rather than Wall Street Priorities?

Ideas whose times are coming:

There are many examples of the above miracles of social media, however, a disassociation and reversal with traditional media will be an event of flip-floponomics of great significance – a watershed moment in the history of the next economic paradigm.  Traditional media, understandably, may inadvertently be assigning a premature death to many great ideas yet to come.

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Social Media and Flip-floponomics

Flip-floponomics is a term that I just coined with this post which means:

1.    A traditional business method flipped on it’s back to reveal a new business method
2.    A mirror image of a previously accepted economic paradigm
3.    sing. n; flip-floponom; A phenomenon of flip-floponomics.

Let’s demonstrate how this works.

Flip-floponom A:

Twitter has announced that they will mine user generated data and process it into business intelligence which they will sell to corporations for a whole lot of money.  As such, corporations who were unable to figure out how to charge people a whole lot of money money to “watch” social media can now be charged a whole lot of money to “watch” social media

Flip-floponom B:

YouTube can’t make money on ads because viewers don’t care.  But with user generated content such as Jill and Kevin’s wedding (with 12 million views), Chris Brown landed a land slide of sales for the song “Forever”.  The audience is now the Brands positioning themselves to be “user-generated”.

The Mother of all Flip-flopona:

Before flip-floponomics: entrepreneurs assumed that they had the knowledge to execute a business plan and they went to the bank to borrow money.

After Flip-floponomics: entrepreneurs assumed they had the money to execute a business plan and they go to social media to borrow the knowledge.

Next economic paradigm:

With the continuing integration of social media, every single business transaction has the potential to be re-invented in the mirror image if itself using the principles of flip-floponomics.  The opportunities for future entrepreneurs who figure out this class of business activity can be described as nothing short of astonishing.

 

Image Credit Picasso

The Social Media Resolution; From Monet to Blue Ray

The Convergence of Knowledge

The Ingenesist Project and related blogs such as Relationship Economy and now Conversational Currency have long predicted that the resolution of social media space will vastly increase from  “Monet” to “Blue Ray”.  The segmentation and convergence of social media space will happen on two fronts: Knowledge Inventory and Proximity.

From Strategis:

“As Facebook balloons to over 250 million users, many voice their appreciation for Facebook’s small social network feel.  Unlike its so-last-year counterpart, MySpace, Facebook has successfully maintained a very personal feel, finding hundreds of ways to link the most relevant people, in the most relevant ways.

Even so, because Facebook has so many interesting people, useful content, and relevant apps available, many users would appreciate a broader search option that would enable the to quickly search ALL of Facebook’s content. Thus, Face says: “your wish is my command”. And so it is. Facebook has now announced that it will soon make the change allowing users to search the entire site, not to mention, do new things like share status updates with everyone, rather than just confirmed friends. Expect to see these changes in full effect some time within the next two months”

What’s in store for the next 2 years?

While the coolness of Social Media is still riffing through society as the late adopters drive huge growth, nothing “economical” happens until people actually get together and build something.  In order to build anything, there must be an inventory of parts.  All these parts need to be in physical or virtual proximity to each other. A financial system must support the initiatives of the entrepreneurs in any market.

The United States of Mind

We’re about 3% into this new paradigm today.  At 20% the corporate structure will become increasingly mushy as many corporate functions are now handled in Social media space. At 30%, cooperation will “compete” with competition as a business model.  At 40% a new currency emerges to hedge debt backed dollar with productivity backed “conversational currency”.  At 50% people convert general dollar backed holdings to ‘conversational currency’ holdings.  At 60% social priorities dominate corporate priorities. At 70% the Innovation Bond dominates financial markets. At 80% international borders become fuzzy as knowledge flows as easily as, say, avocados and T-shirts do today.  At 90% global currency backed by productivity, dollar, Euro, Yen all expire.  At 100%, the president is elected to a “State of mind”.

Hold on, not so fast….

OK, so that’s the problem with predictions, it’s hard to survive with one’s credibility intact.  Kudos to Strategis for showing us the future!!

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