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Archive for April, 2012

Here it goes, here it is. The power of business is so important now, that the way we drive “relations” is no really efficient confronted with private efforts, taking markets, shares and business stakes. Long is sometimes the road for public diplomacy but the real angels now are more blue boss than politic icons. When you stare for example at Indian area and the crossroad to complicated relations with Pakistant, Russia and China in the same zone, we saw the importance of the last first trade exposition, focused with the influence of business private sector in the tough situation in stranger policy. More and more, economy and trade lead the diplomatic relationship in this area, and drive the international scene. Why?

The enforced moves with several organization (world trade, trade chambers, huge world companies with stakes strategy…) generate an interesting return on “investment”, more efficient than slow diplomatic shifts. the development of local markets, even if local represents in these areas, very important zones and high potential. Because trade shows real issues and useful outcomes to people, companies and organization while politic swamp into long and whispered relations, that bring on difficulty to advance safe, with no backtricks.

We can reinstall the famous quote “think global BUT act local”. Any fair and peaceful matter is now a kind few local acts of smart trade improvements that makes the wheel turning. And the most influencer as a ministry may be the trade minister of any regular and democratic country. Average class of citizen is growing fast in any corner of the world and is hungry for consumption, modernity and innovation. They in fact lead the growth and make the things happen: buy, share thoughts and opinions faster than any politic entity. The more we believe in our faith to local innovation and the fewest trade act, the more we step forward in a kind of silent diplomacy, finding its path to more exchange and democracy. Fair trade has been created as a volontee movement to go fairest and create fast, cheap and useful trade places in local, where politics never went anymore. Forget about stocks, think deals and moreover, connections between people, things and fair currency. And when polls comes in, be careful of “useful poll”, the one that creates employment and justice throughout the world.

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The global revolution about social platforms, from uses to communication changes is rising far and far, dealing with reputation,

techs inputs, buzz and new handlings. Citizens, politics, economics through all sectors have been troubled with the hidden movement no one guessed.

Surfing with fear, doubts but also huge opportunities, the subjects dealt with several conferences all around the world. And we can see how information now flows in a few seconds on the planet, information shaped sometimes with “leaks”, keeping us alive about democracy, transparency but bearing in mind, dangers around: fake, hoax, unverified…the best and the worst indeed, as we face the impacts of e-democracy, shouted by so many citizens in the Arab spring, but fooled when buzzing a false rumor about French notation.

Today, “passive consumption” is out of fashion: we need trust, advice, experience. Sharing, comments and branding reputation. We’ll never be the same again, because “technology changes expectations”. It shapes itself, our deepest desires and the way we express them.

Everybody can now give advice, exploring the core of marketing outside companies, but collaborating and shaping the next product taste.

We need expression. To be heard, consulted, another status than “a number in an anonymous society”. Social media is as the term “a media” and markets are conversations now (Cluetrain Manifesto, 1999).

Considering these obvious situations, I was wondering what could be just next, to take the best of this whole revolution, and leave the rest, keeping barriers to “control” somewhat (is this possible, in the spirit of “WWW”?). We can’t stay in a passive state, where “canaries in coalmines” are the only indicators to draw the future…

So, what’s next: bright development or mistrust and go back to old behaviors?

Let’s stare at some important shifts that took place, these past years…:

  • More transparency, democracy and ability to participate in debates, reactions and sharing
  • More leisure, plays, networking, but much wasted time
  • More interactivity between all parts: brands, citizens, consumers, politics, communities, education, corporate, government…
  • Important changes, I think in a longer term, even physiological behavior: physical writing training, memory loss, information access…
  • Huge pollution in information with a real fence in journalist jobs and the way we consume information but also how we report it

First hypothesis: if we believe in a huge development and growth of social tools, we may spend some attention to keys to do it. Keys which still now, are unachieved but are core to get the essence of the global phenomena. We could talk about:

  • Organize and optimize content, curation and filtering to value information on social platforms
  • Raise professional platforms as references to build « social enterprise » as a global project
  • Build schools, education and knowhow, as a real job and sustainable competence in the future
  • Create official “label” to guarantee content verification and reliance
  • Promote new organization of collaborative working in companies

But in fact, writing this means to me an attempt to more “classical” and normalization of WWW, that is a real touchy subject, where is such freedom, in the initial goals of the internet. And then, the question: is it really possible to “norm”, “control”, the social web?

Until now, I don’t’ really think so. But I think more clear resources and building recipes would improve the game.

We face today high titles like « the end of the internet » or « the end of social », but need to decrypt what could be the next steps with it. A PoSo (Post Social) status, at this point could mean:

  • A next wave with social opportunities
  • A rich and growing professional market for “social” (from now, I’m still doubtful)
  • The new social platform: Apps/Internet (fall of browsing and PC)
  • And an evolved form of “socializing”, more organized, valuable and targeted (fall of gaming, entertainment and wasting time on Facebook so long)

Guidelines, education, strong beliefs and resources to guide the whole topic might be the points to bear in mind for this new wave. In a single quote “consolidate social media tactics to put it into a operational guideline, into the actual ecosocial system”.

Second hypothesis: fed up with too much information, the mistrust feedback could generate a threat that must be studied. All efforts could be wasted, in a two crowded environment. The fact comes with the significant figures where we see the incredible traffic and noise generated by the audience. We would have a reverse revolution where people would start to doubt, stop sharing and participating: an incredible danger for social enhancement…

  • Recovering and taking back to old schemas
  • Increasing costs in communication: old media/traditional ones
  • Mistrust in sourcing information
  • Changes in tech: network, availability, service levels, privacy enforcement…
  • No more credit to online reputation

We can have a real risk, a total burnout for social platforms, with the increase of too much information, links, nodes, RT,…noise. The recent wave for curation (scoop-it, Pearltrees…) leads a path to more standardization of content. But in the same way, how do we measure and value the real impact and relevance of so much information? How do we handle secret, confidential R&D, ideas in a whole opened world for social and collaborative exchanges? Which value considered, as information is free, for everyone and anytime? How long will we trust social signals: real big pictures or sparkling fashion?

We’re now seeing the great dangers of going back to old methods, even if new uses are coming: social tv for example has still to be invented, not in tech but for which features?

We must keep the several joys and opportunities of social media, because they are in their complete shape, all the components for a better world: community, respect, collaborative building, sharing and keeping balanced relations. In a word, far beyond simple pleasure and entertainment: Links.

Why links are the future is because there’s with social media one world, only one world, and in this point of view, no need to argue and prove about origins, culture or personal goals: only one language to hold welfare in networks, as a guarantee of sustainable world.

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