Minimalistic forms of self-expression masquerade as a new information economy. Instead, it’s a new information democracy that represents the greatest era for self-expression in history. What we say, however, defines the value of the social economy and our place in it.
If we are defined by our actions and words, essentially the currencies we exchange, the question is, are we investing in our social capital or social arbitrage?
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Time is always limited, but in these historic times, I wished to add perspective in the hopes of moving this important conversation in a productive direction.
Malcolm Gladwell continues his march toward dissension with his latest installment in the New Yorker about social media vs. social activism. Honestly, Gladwell is more than welcome to share his thoughts as it is a democratized information economy after all. I do find it alarming however, that he is wielding his influence through an equally influential medium to spin intellectual and impressionable minds in unrewarding and pointless cycles. Is he not listening to opposition or consulting existing research?
From my new book…The End of Business as Usual
Several years ago, Mollie Sterling shared a picture of a classroom at her alma mater, The Missouri School of Journalism. The picture eventually went viral and in 2008, Apple used it in a press conference announcing a next generation Macbook event.
You’ll soon learn why I’m posting shorter, but more frequent posts…In the mean time, I wanted to share with you something I’ve been thinking quite a bit about these days.
Think about the generation or two before us. A significant portion of free time was spent consuming media. From print to broadcast, everyday people simply digested information and content presented to them. But then, everything changed. We were gifted with the ability to share what we think, feel, and experience, on demand. The democratization of information was finally upon us and we the people would ensure that our voices would be heard and felt. This was our time, quite literally as Time Magazine named “us” as the person of the year.
Last year at SXSW, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley joined Frank Eliason (previously @comcastcares), Altimeter Group’s Jeremiah Owyang and me on stage to discuss the shifting landscape of social engagement. While I focused on the sociology of engagement and the impact it is having on culture and society, I also sought to balance the conversation by demonstrating the impact of digital actions and interaction between people and businesses.
In part one of Rethinking the Future of Business, we examined the state of social media in business. Once again, we take a look at a recent report published by Altimeter Group’s Jeremiah Owyang,”Career Path of the Corporate Social Media Strategist.” As part of a study on social media strategists and the divergent career paths that lie ahead, Owyang reviewed the social framework for socially renowned enterprise businesses as well as corresponding strategies and resources for 2011. The results says more than we may realize at first blush. Most importantly, we’re given a looking glass into the genesis of a next generation business that’s more sociably aware and responsible.
Whether you know it or not, the path that social media follows within the organization is in your hands. But as we’re learning, mastery of the latest social tools does not guarantee a place in the ranks of upper management let alone a place on the team period. The role of the social media champion is not timeless; in fact, the days of its designation are numbered. However, your role and the role of new media in your organization is developing as we go. Organizations need leaders right now.
Guest post by Chris Heuer, Founder/Chairman Social Media Club
What’s the biggest problem in business today?
It’s not access to capital, though that is a real problem in that it inhibits growth in some places where it shouldn’t. No, it’s not command and control management hierarchies, despite the contribution they certainly make. It’s not the problem of “the other” that plagues broad swaths of our society, though that is a close second. I contend the biggest problem is that each business has too few people looking after the whole of the business. This is not only seen in the concentration of power in the hands of the C-Suite and the Board, but also in the org charts that map an often too real silo like operational structure.
I pay attention to emerging technology and trends on a daily basis. While I track many networks, tools, and services, I take the time to share those that appear to gain traction or offer interesting prospects for tomorrow’s business, today.
If it’s one thing that I’ve learned over the years of studying social media, business, and the pursuit of influence, it’s that we are competing for the moment in order to earn and maintain a semblance of relevance. For businesses struggling to gain traction through Likes, RT’s, comments, clicks, friend and follower counts, the moment for which we compete, never really comes. It is perpetual.
As I was thinking about this idea for an upcoming post, I paused when I heard the following lyrics to Airplane by B.o.B.
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish 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. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.