The Hashtag Economy

Hashtags are to the social web what emoticons were to Web 1.0 and TXTing. While both are forms of expression and sentiment, there is one subtle, but vital difference. Hashtags are not only part of online culture, they are defining a new era of communication on the Web and IRL (in real life). With over 140 million Tweets flying across Twitter every day, hashtags surface a method to the madness – the ability to group conversations into an organized timeline. But what started out as a way to index conversations in Twitter has now substantially altered how people convey, relay and discover information in and out of the popular nichework. The hashtag has also become an effective form of #selfexpression.

In social media, “x” no longer marks the spot, “#” is now the indicator for popular culture and all that moves it. In the social economy, the hashtag is an indicator of value in the Twitter information exchange. Each hashtag represents revolving markets with varying lifespans determined by the significance of the conversation and its continuously fleeting demand. Some last only minutes, while others endure for hours or days.

While many struggle to understand the value of Twitter, those who get it are literally changing how they connect and talk to one another. At some point, a chasm emerges between those who use Twitter and those who do not. In other channels where Twitter users and other non-users are connected, for example email or text messaging,  the culture of conversation becomes noticeably divergent. To begin with, Twitter users, like txters, are groomed to speak with brevity. Subconsciously aware of the character constraints of Twitter, communication is concise, to the point, with an emphasis on shortform bursts. This digital shorthand if you will is only part of what’s changing.  Digital anthropologists have long observed the impact of text messaging on the ability to write in longhand. R U surprised? Prolly not…LOL! Twitter will also become the subject of educational studies to prove that the culture code of communication is transcending status updates to affect everyday engagement. Specifically within 140-character inspired transmissions, the hashtag is playing an important role.

In 2007 I was inspired by a Tweet posted by good friend Chris Messina, who is now considered the father of the hashtag, in which he simply asked, “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups?”

The Tweet led to a series of conversations within the Twitterverse with thoughts from the likes of Stowe Boyd, Chris Heuer, Stephanie Booth, Brian Oberkirch, among many others. I too joined the conversation, stating that #hashtags would create channels that “will improve the Twitter experience.” At the time, the ability to search Twitter was in its infancy with Summize, later acquired by Twitter, providing the ability to surface relevant conversations. Unlike Groups, hashtags were meant to organize conversations in the stream. The introduction of the “#” also introduced a psychological phenomenon where people consciously injected a word or expression that indexed the Tweet and ultimately entire threads.

As Messina stated in the comments to my original post on the subject, “I think you’ve captured the sociologically component of this discussion really well. I’m most interested in getting lots of people’s feedback on this idea since it seems that, from the conversations I’ve had with Twitter folks, they’re looking at implementing the older, more explicit model of groups that I think would actually encumber the system considerably.”

Yes, as Messina’s comment states, Twitter originally considered creating formal groups. It later introduced the ability to create lists, which focused on curated streams based on individuals rather than topics. Hashtags weren’t invented over night however. I think back to something that Chris Heuer wrote in a post in 2005 about the need for what he termed “tagspaces.” He defined this classifier as “…the glue between people identifying something and those seeking it out…”

Messina’s Tweet, his published work, and the ensuing community dialog and collaboration helped to solidify the hashtag’s position in the Twitterverse with almost equal status of the now pervasive “@” symbol. In its own right the “@” is now officially the universal symbol for engagement which extends well beyond Twitter. It’s now the standard engagement in Facebook, email, and any digital conversation thread. But back to the hashtag. What started as a form of indexing later evolved into a form of declaration, sentiment, sarcasm, inner monologue, or subconscious, but stated, expression #thinkingaloud.

Hashtags have also had a cultural impact on society. In March of 2009, I ran a live experiment at DEMO and SXSW to see what would happen if I introduced a real-life hashtag moment into the flow of everyday conversation. For example, if I were to make a statement, I would end with an emphatic point to classify the conversation or to express an intentional undertone. I would then cross two fingers on top of each other in the form of hashtag to see how people responded. In every case, people reacted immediately with “HASHTAG! A gang (hand) sign for social media!”  Like popular RT memes on Twitter, the hashtag hand sign flew across the social web fueled by twitpics of what would eventually become the calling card of the “Hashtag Mafia.” #brilliant. In the days leading up to SXSW 2009, the hang sign officially made the SXSW Bingo card. Today, the hand sign is part of Twitter culture, flashed by the Twitterati as part of daily dialogue and proudly displayed as a badge of belonging.

Hashtags are evolving and as such, continually attract studies. The New York Times investigated the marvel of hashtags and for the most part, captured the essence of this powerful expression mark. However, there are also parts of the discussion that equally miss its brilliance. For example, comparing hashtags to “air quotes” is oversimplified. The psychology behind it is incredibly deep, diverse and worthy of study as is the sociology of Twitter’s mircro global community. Ashley Parker, the author of the article, inexactly classifies the hashtag as Twitter’s secret handshake. In fact, it is nothing less than Twitter’s signature. It is the equivalent of punctuating a thought or experience.

Hashtags are no longer bound to Twitter. They traverse the channels for all forms of communication. Hashtags are now embedded in the fabric of our digital lifestyle and enlivened in our expressions. Although the value of hashtags are in the eye of the beholder, they are special. As such, they are not easily manipulable. Hashtags must possess cultural relevance to connect at an intellectual or emotional level before they can trigger the A.R.T of social media (actions, reactions, or transactions). Hashtags aren’t to be branded, they are to to be relatable. #hashtag that!

Welcome to the #hashtageconomy

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  • Al Pittampalli

    Brian, this is fascinating. I didn’t realize that the hashtag was originally co-created by Twitter users. The hashtag truly is a cultural phenomenon. It’s such an amazing symbol of self organization, the kind that wasn’t possible 10 years ago or at any other time in history, that make the internet such an amazing movement to be a part of. Thanks for this post.

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      Absolutely Al. Twitter is what it is because of its community. As Stowe Boyd once said, “It’s our dancing that makes the house rock, not the planks and pipes. It is us that makes Twitter alive, not the code.”

    • http://www.globalarticlesnews.com Emanuel Andrei

      That’s something new to me. Hastags as Twitter’s secret
      handshake or nothing less than Twitter’s signature or the equivalent of
      punctuating a thought or experience.The Hashtag economy has indeed gone
      beyond the online culture. It marks the growing presence of Twitter
      culture not just in the virtual world but in the real world as well.

  • http://twitter.com/TechSocialInc Technically Social

    When people who aren’t familiar with the value of Twitter ask me about it, I like to tell them that, ‘Twitter is like a global coffee shop full of millions of people, and you can have a conversation with any one of them!’

    The hashtag, in this analogy, is something like a sign held above the heads of people talking about a specific topic that would interest you.

    The power of such open and instant communication certainly hasn’t been fully explored. Like Al mentioned, 10 years ago if someone mentioned a global network of instant communication we would have made Matrix jokes. Now it’s shaping how we do business and live our lives. Incredible!

  • http://arnoldwaldstein.com awaldstein

    Once I realized that twitter is a vernacular in its own right, a language, it’s power was unleashed.

    Good post and puts some context behind what many are just naturally adopting as their own idiom of expression.

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      Indeed.

    • http://website-in-a-weekend.net/ Dave Doolin

      #word

  • http://www.thesocialnexus.com George Cathcart

    #notarevelation #justsaying

    • http://www.thesocialnexus.com George Cathcart

      Perhaps the above wasn’t that helpful. I pretty much agree with what you’re saying, but I just don’t feel like this is a seismic shift in consciousness. Sure, new technology is going to impact on communication methods, but it would be weird if it didn’t wouldn’t it?

      One thing I find really interesting is this ‘sine’ wave of self regulation that we tend to display. It’s a inherent fact of belonging to a culture I guess, that you’re motivated to maintain that culture and stop things descending into total anarchy. I personally find it fascinating that we end up with a (largely) unregulated medium such as Twitter, and out of the chaos comes this self regulation.

      The basic fact is that we find chaos impossible to deal with. Freedom has to be defined within the boundary set by those that give it. With Twitter and #hashtags the users are the ones that chose to cut through the madness with a simple character. 

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      George, I very much appreciate this comment. The idea of self regulation is interesting. I’ve also observed that the line for self regulation changes over time. For example, in cases where hashtags are forms of self expression, the statement is used as a way to test what they’re thinking. What’s interesting to me is that published #innermonologue might have gone unsaid otherwise. With each expressions of context, depending on the reactions their community, the line moves forward or backwards…usually forward. There’s a level of confidence tied to this interaction as well. Any way, fascinating stuff. Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

    • http://www.thesocialnexus.com George Cathcart

      Ahh I’d all but forgotten about the #innermonologue aspect of the #hashtag culture! Of course this is a huge element to it, and worthy of it’s own focused investigation in many respects (especially from a psycholinguistic standpoint).

      I recently scrawled an abysmally bad cartoon on how hashtags can save lives. Very tongue in cheek, but looking back on it now and after what you said I think that this is kind of what I was getting at. Hashtags have almost become that (previously) invisible voice that marks our own subjective contextual analysis of a situation / conversation / observation. The fact that these contextual cues ARE internal and unspoken can often be the catalyst to misunderstandings.

      Perhaps the encroaching hashtag on our everyday communication is in fact just an iterative process of increasing the efficiency of face to face (and digital) communication? Maybe a tad OTT, but it’s certainly something to think about.

      Anyway, apologies for the original comment. Very knee-jerk and needed some context!

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/cafers/5828823267/ 

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      Now that is brilliant…and true!

    • http://twitter.com/HSirhan Hamid Sirhan

      Users didn’t need a hashtag to do this – it could have been any symbol. People have been doing it on the internet with forwardslash, asterisks and other symbols since I first connected to an ISP in the mid-nineties. They’re merely continuing this on twitter. It’s nothing new, but Twitter perhaps concentrates it within a tighter text limit.

      *serious*
      /notsarcasm
      //Twitter

      What would be more interesting is to look at the Chinese equivalent on Sina Weibo where the 140 character limit is not quite as restrictive. $orisit?

  • Chris

    i don’t see how any of this relates to anything economic

    • http://twitter.com/SebastianKnowes Sebastian Knowes

      Chris,

      At first glance I could agree with you.  What do personal and cultural trends have to do with commerce or business.  I am not sure how familiar you are with e-commerce or how to best leverage social media to gain insight into increased influence and business—but having an understanding of hashtags can help you relate to others in your industry or your audience who may use these hashtags.  

      Its an easy way to determine who is trending topics relevant to your field.  For instance if you are a coin maker, folks who use the hashtag #coins  may be folks who are interested in your business. The hashtag #coins makes it easy to categorize folks with similar interests who could be interested in your product or service.  Thoughts?

  • http://twitter.com/LStacey Lee Stacey

    This could definitely be considered utter waffle. Imagine being a thought leader in waffle…

  • johnn baptise

    It good sign to cross to finger and two hands to give a good message  and Hash Tag Sign. There are really good gesture to communication to each other. 

    flash chat

  • http://twitter.com/robert_madison Robert Madison

    Nicely done Brian ~

    For fun, I challenge the viewers of this article to make the hashtag gesture – as drawn – for themselves!

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3586/3350192460_55dedc1af1.jpg

    @robert_madison:disqus

    • http://twitter.com/SebastianKnowes Sebastian Knowes

      Awesome challenge Robert.  If only I knew how to draw! 

    • http://twitter.com/robert_madison Robert Madison

      Joe has a good point, I hadn’t thought of making the sign for somebody else.  It’s easy when you do it that way.  Which is exactly why you drew it that way, yes? ;)  You knew what you were doing all along!

    • http://linkedin.com/in/joesorge Joe Sorge

      How bout in person? ;) (cc: @briansolis:disqus @raffel:twitter )

    • http://linkedin.com/in/joesorge Joe Sorge

      How bout in person? ;) (cc: @briansolis:disqus @raffel:twitter )

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      I love it. Who’s next!?

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      I love it. Who’s next!?

    • http://JimRaffel.com/ Jim Raffel

      This situations I find myself in….. #loveit

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=807320524 Penny Laurel ‘Montgomery’ Schl

    Twitter and hashtags are stupid.  I have better things to do with my life then learn some new trendy digital language.

    • Windsurfer567

      Like maybe learn to spell? Or at least the difference between “then” and “than.”

    • Windsurfer567

      Like maybe learn to spell? Or at least the difference between “then” and “than.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisatlewis Lisa Lewis

    Interesting broad look at the overall effects of the evolution of the hashtag not only within Twitter, but beyond it. I am curious as to how this will play out in our future communications. I worry that people will no longer try to communicate the deeper aspects of their thoughts as 140 characters is definitely not enough to even scratch the surface. Or will we become more concise and become proficient in ‘bottom lining’ our thoughts effectively?

    The hand gesture reminds me of when the Vulcan V hand gesture was popular… or what about the peace sign? That was a good feeling hand gesture that many adopted and one that became universal… What will happen to the hashtag in our world. It’s not a one handed gesture, so I’m sure it will be illegal to do while driving. It will be difficult any time you have something you must hold on to, so will there be a one handed gesture that will become known as the hashtag?

    Only time will tell how symbols will change us forever… for now, we will continue the conversation.

  • christianlgray

    Very useful conversation, beyond the value and some confusion hashtags generate (try #sla or #gpp) very different meaning to those uses. I wanted to know if there is a discussion of a specifications that might become a standard across the semantic web or “all” social media. Searching would be made easier and unlike targeting a specific “group” on LI or some other defined membership, interested parties could dip into a conversation on the fly.

    Now that could prove very useful.

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  • http://twitter.com/erkramer Eric Kramer

    Hey Brian, enjoyed this post and the commentary…was curious to hear your take on the following…

    One minor thing that I still find limiting about Twitter is that there is no indication of whether or not a shortened-URL contained in a tweet will take me to mobile-optimized content. Generally, I am able to view most things relatively well with my iPhone, but there is the occasional signup form that won’t work, video that won’t play, etc.

    If there was a standardized hashtag to include within the tweet indicating that the contained URL should be viewed on a computer, it would solve this dilemma. Something like #CompReq (ComputerRequired) or #NoMobile placed after the URL would allow me to instantly recognize this and save me the time. I could have a look at the content whenever I was back in front of my computer.

    I have yet to see any sort of universal hashtag used for this purpose. What do you think? #justaskin

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      I would love to see this addressed in the link shortener itself…

    • http://twitter.com/erkramer Eric Kramer

      Agreed…wanna hop on a call with Bit.ly or Bre.ad? :) Twitter can let them innovate and then force an acquisition…

    • http://twitter.com/erkramer Eric Kramer

      Agreed…wanna hop on a call with Bit.ly or Bre.ad? :) Twitter can let them innovate and then force an acquisition…

    • Anonymous

      I believe twitter’s new link shortener addresses this. The best person to ask is @AndyMeadows  CEO of BudURL pro/EZ.com and 44 Doors. I know that his link shortening service has a specific redirect for mobile optimized sites while also generating a complimentary QR code.

  • Larry Irons

    Given the hashtag’s role in html it shouldn’t really surprise that it was more readily proposed and accepted as an organizing symbol for collecting tweets.

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  • http://www.commun.it SharelOmer

    Great post Brian…10x for raising this issue..
     
    The unstructured communication e-revolution of Twitter has made us very creative and forced us to create new ways to communicate and build relationship via social media…The # sign can mean many things #Confname #Like #hate #FF #JustSaying #ComanySocial campaigns etc… its not the limited like of FB…(p.s this is why we see more and more startups that try to make like more open like dapsem or Getprops)

    With new twitter search the hashtag has become more powerful, and now businesses can run campaigns via hashtag and find leads…

    When we come to measure the ROI of social media… we think of our community.. and hashtag can play a big rule in how a person define his community…

    I really like the power of HashTag – since no one owns it… if a person mention you e.g @sharelOmer:twitter then you get a mail, that person is in your feed etc… you know he talks about you.. but when you write #FF then @micah:twitter dont own it, the community does :)

    Maybe soon people could buy a hastag like they buy a domain or own a twitter account :)

    Amazing post… showing how social media contenue to change and evolve and help people better communicate and share the vibe, love and knowledge :)
    Thanks 4 sharing,
    Sharel

  • http://www.commun.it SharelOmer

    Great post Brian…10x for raising this issue..
     
    The unstructured communication e-revolution of Twitter has made us very creative and forced us to create new ways to communicate and build relationship via social media…The # sign can mean many things #Confname #Like #hate #FF #JustSaying #ComanySocial campaigns etc… its not the limited like of FB…(p.s this is why we see more and more startups that try to make like more open like dapsem or Getprops)

    With new twitter search the hashtag has become more powerful, and now businesses can run campaigns via hashtag and find leads…

    When we come to measure the ROI of social media… we think of our community.. and hashtag can play a big rule in how a person define his community…

    I really like the power of HashTag – since no one owns it… if a person mention you e.g @sharelOmer:twitter then you get a mail, that person is in your feed etc… you know he talks about you.. but when you write #FF then @micah:twitter dont own it, the community does :)

    Maybe soon people could buy a hastag like they buy a domain or own a twitter account :)

    Amazing post… showing how social media contenue to change and evolve and help people better communicate and share the vibe, love and knowledge :)
    Thanks 4 sharing,
    Sharel

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  • http://www.stoweboyd.com stoweboyd

    Your drawing of the hashtag hand signal — back of both hands forward — is different than the way you are doing it in the photo — back of one, front of the other. Are you trying to confuse us with all this hand jive?

  • Anonymous

    Caveats: 1) Bear with me, I have not fully thought this through. 2) “Economy” or more precisely “catallaxy,” in this case, is defined as exchange; exchange of course is a requirement for a conversation, a prerequisite for a relationship, which begets community. 3) Hashtags are portals and typically based on a defining concept from which a conversation–>relationship–>community orbits around. 4) I don’t have any “klout” with Laura Fitton, and only a smidge of “klout” with Loic, regularly talk with Sam Decker of Mass Relevance (@samdecker,) and talk a lot offline about curation with Aaron Strout of WCG ( @aaronstrout) but if they happen to come across this, I hope they can follow this non-linear bird’s nest thinking, only to adopt it via development. (I will DM you my home address; mailbox money is appreciated!) 5) I use golf as an example; you do not have to be into golf to understand my point. 6) There is currently one or two functions to curate relevance when encoding (pushing/broadcasting) on twitter; while there are numerous functions when decoding (pulling) curated relevant content. From an organizational stand point, this represents a broken loop system. 7) *And most important* The Information Architecture and User Experience of twitter is designed for chaos, not relevance.
    1) Universal Naming Conventions are critically important to the development of taxonomies, which in turn are critically important to the development of communities online. While authority organically develops over time, all things being equal in the twittersphere, fragmentation and factioning occurs. Case in point:The super strings of the universe saw to it that Brian and I were on the same page this morning. Sorta. I’ve been following US Open (golf (I am distinguishing one taxonomy versus another, parenthetically, because tennis has it’s own US Open)) coverage on television and following various conversations about the e vent on twitter. In professional golf, the top authority is the PGA Tour (@PGATour). Week to week, the PGA Tour hosts and covers a new event. This week, however, the PGA Tour takes a back seat to the United States Golf Association as host, though PGA Tour is still considered an authority on coverage of the event, especially via social networks. (It should be noted that the television/radio networks obviously cover profesional golf events, but I will get to that shortly.) At this moment in time there are numerous hashtags to follow to stay abreast of the global conversation around the golf tournament: #golf; #pgatour; #usopen; #usopengolf; #congressional (the site of the event/tournament this year); #ESPNGolf; event sponsors and sponsors of specific athletes. Whereas I can automate specific searches around specific hashtags that develop “better” conversations, it is next to impossible to fully receive and subsequently “decode” all of the conversation. And whereas I am certainly not aiming at censoring innovation or creation, the authority of the conversation has not prescribed a specific hashtag to follow, or is not aggregating and curating other hashtags and spilling them into the primary stream.Conclusion: In order to effectively aggregate, curate and participate, an authority (or lateral authorities) if a particular concept (hashtag) need to establish the naming convention.2)Now reverse that: rather than thinking about the issues with naming conventions of a hashtag and the inevitable factioning of conversation around the same subject, consider the issues around encoding/pushing/broadcasting.I’m a generalist, not by definition, but by action. Just about every day I am responsible for a services side business, two product business startups, and I am interested in a member of numerous interest groups and activities: investing, golf, basketball, creative writing, politics, economics, ad nauseum. I’m a notorious contrarian. Tweet infrastructure (I really cannot believe I just typed that) in the case of my contribution to a golf conversation usually goes as follow:Rory is really tearing it up at the #USOpen out there at #Congressional. cc  Today, around 3,530 people (and bots) follow me on twitter. Because I am a generalist, this number fluctuates dramatically, especially when I tweet my politics or total disdain for Keynesian economics. As a generalist, my tweets are not relevant to clusters of followers uninterested in golf, politics, startup, marketing, etc. Whereas I have the ability to create lists in order to follow various authorities on a wide range of topics I am interested in, the only way I can target communications to a specific cluster population specific to relevance is to tweet to them as a grouping of individuals. Because of character limitations when communicating through the twitter medium, when I do this, the quality of my input is nominal. Case in point: @samdecker @aaronstrout @pistacio @stoweboyd @briansolis @loic @cynthiaisgr8 @briansolis:disqus massrelevance Check out my comment re: #hashtag economy http://bit.ly/mRpZdU (My thinking is now: I am 13 characters over the 140 limit. Perhaps twitter is not the best medium to communicate this. As alternative, maybe I should email them and try to migrate them to the blog post and flesh out the conversation there.)But this takes time. A lot of it and every single person listed here is short on time. What is the likliehood the conversation will get anywhere?Now, I could create a hashtag around these points, tweet at the people I am inviting into the conversation, accordingly, but in doing so, I’ve just created another task (or two or three) to perform. based on the list protocols, and given the issues around broadcasting relevant information to followers, would it be so difficult for twitter to add functionality that alows me to efficiently address an organically developing conversation community? Case in point:#hashtagecon Universal Naming Conventions are critically important to the development of communities.  http://bit.ly/mRpZdUNow imagine if the content of this tweet was anarchist in nature. Not only would I think twice about publishing, if I did publish most of my followers would not appreciate it and have no context as to what I was talking about. Given the option, All I need do is establish a list for  @samdecker  @aaronstrout @pistacio @stoweboyd @briansolis @loic @cynthiaisgr8 @briansolis:disqus  @massrelevance = #hashtagecon and an efficient, focused community around this conversation is born, while simultaenously saving 99.9% of my followers from content that is potentially irrelevant.Attached below is a photo of Russian Matryoshka Dolls- a doll within a doll within a doll, X 3: This metaphorically represents my point: There is now way for me to focus my outbound communication with a specific community on twitter, efficiently. I have to communicate with all of the dolls just to initiate a conversation with one.

  • http://www.jmaproperties.com/ Portland Real Estate

    I had no idea the hashtag had become a hand signal but I am LOL at the thought of SM people flashing what looks like a gang signal.

    I will admit that the prevalence of twitter is making the tag show up everywhere and I’m excited to be #intheknow

  • @Greensideupveg

    I really enjoyed this article. I noticed recently when composing an email (and this comment) that I was writing it in ‘Twitter speak’ and had to make a conscious effort to re-word.

  • http://www.moneygraffiti.com Richard

    !
    Provocative analysis, Brian, many thanks. As I wander through the cavernous and unfamiliar Twitterverse, trying to comprehend #hashtags and harness their power (which I intuit is in there somewhere), I find your insights directing beams of illumination into cobwebby corners.

  • http://www.extremejohn.com Extreme John

    That’s something new to me. Hastags as Twitter’s secret handshake or nothing less than Twitter’s signature or the equivalent of punctuating a thought or experience.The Hashtag economy has indeed gone beyond the online culture. It marks the growing presence of Twitter culture not just in the virtual world but in the real world as well. 

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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