Where and Why: An Unpublished Interview

Rather than let this interesting discussion sink to the cavernous depths of my inbox, I thought I’d share it with you here.

1. You’re known as a visionary of future media as well as a trendspotter… what drew you to this position?

Not sure that they’re as much professions as they represent a labor of love.

In the 90s and early 2000s, I focused all of my research and work on technology, understanding its impact on culture and consumer behavior and also how to build new channels for corporations between individuals – mostly brands and businesses to customers as well as their peers and influenced who affected their decisions. At the end of Web 1.0 and at the first site of Web 2.0, it was clear that questions were omnipresent, but insight and analysis were scarce. I decided that it was the right moment to share my experiences, observations and predictions and therefore started blogging regularly, writing books and research papers, and also toured the world to help everyone learn and eventually answer their own questions. It was essentially a necessary step. I was vested in a particular vision based on my work and therefore, if I didn’t take a proactive role in the evolution of socialized media, I would not have a say in its direction.

2. What trends do you see occurring right now in social media?

Social Media is merely a chapter in the progression of new media. Trends and permeations are two very different things and both have my attention at the moment. Education and literacy are momentous. As consumers we’re empowered with new found recognition and reach. We’re given these powerful platforms and channels to build audiences and communities around our interests and passions at will. Their state and stature are determined by us as well as how others react and participate. Our roles in community are either cultivating, expanding, or regressing their state. At the same time, as human beings taking to social media, our privacy and the privacy of our loved ones is affected by what we share, consume and with whom we connect.

We are already judged by what’s online whether its a result of our direct or indirect actions. And as services such as Klout demonstrate, we are already earning a “credit score” based on our social capital. I believe education is critical to help individuals use this social currency in a way that benefits their capital online for work, school, and also in ways that shape their personal brand and persona favorably. We are by default becoming a more open society and as a result, we are in control of creating our own destiny. As George Bernard Shaw once said, “life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.” It has never been truer than now.

On the horizon, we’ll see more contextual based social networking or what I refer to nicheworks. We connect not only with friends, families, and peers, but also individuals we know and would like to know and in turn those who know us and who would like to know us. At the root of those connections is context…commonalities that unite us. But as we’re complex individuals, so are our relationships. No social network as it exists today, leverages those ties in how we communicate and share. that will change.

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  • karrasbommer

    As George Bernard Shaw once said, “life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.” It has never been truer than now.

    What an exquisite statement. As noted in your article, we are in a position now not only to create ourselves (online) but to create an entire new reality.

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and also comment. This is your time…

  • http://twitter.com/BritneyMuller Britney Muller

    Great article! “Nicheworks” will be a major game changer, especially on literacy and education.

    Your point about social media fostering an open community could not be more sound. The power of globally connecting individuals based on unique commonalities will have a dramatic effect on multiple facets.

    The speed at which knowledge is exchanged will parlay into information becoming more accessible. This will not only have significant affects on fields such as medicine, education and basic communications. But, will also alter everyday decisions, making social media a more monumental game changer than originally predicted.

  • http://twitter.com/BritneyMuller Britney Muller

    Great article! “Nicheworks” will be a major game changer, especially on literacy and education.

    Your point about social media fostering an open community could not be more sound. The power of globally connecting individuals based on unique commonalities will have a dramatic effect on multiple facets.

    The speed at which knowledge is exchanged will parlay into information becoming more accessible. This will not only have significant affects on fields such as medicine, education and basic communications. But, will also alter everyday decisions, making social media a more monumental game changer than originally predicted.

  • http://twitter.com/aarvindr Arvind Raj

    Great article!

  • http://twitter.com/pre_tty wilhelm donkor

    bigups <3

  • http://www.socialmarketingtoolkit.com social tool

    No truer words have been said! I agree, especially in these times, information is readily available, it's up to us to make it work for us and our field.

  • http://kwiksocial.com Michael McGimpsey

    A very well written and thought provoking article. All I will say is we live in interesting and exciting times.

  • http://twitter.com/eRocketFuel eRocketFuel CEO – JZ

    Love it Brian. That's pretty killer.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/grimblazer Steven Ramirez

    “We are by default becoming a more open society and as a result, we are in control of creating our own destiny.”

    Brian, this is interesting considering that we are seeing a rise in movements around the world to suppress freedom (bloggers being imprisoned) and punish dissenters (terrorist bombings). Do you see this as a temporary reaction to change that eventually will be overcome? The picture you paint is infinitely more desirable in my view.

  • http://www.CaseyCheshire.com/ Casey Cheshire

    Great trailer! With this kind of a movie preview, it'll be a serious let down if Engage doesn't have Russell Crowe!

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      Working on it…

ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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