Some thoughts on why Australians are #1 globally on social media usage (from a slow start)


Well there are already plenty of opinions flying around and some excellent comments on my post yesterday Australians are #1 globally in usage of social media: Why?, which pointed to new research showing this startling result. I guess it’s time for me to offer some of my thoughts, helped along by the conversation so far. Be sure to read the insightful comments on the topic!

To my mind the question is less why Australians are such heavy users of social media, as why the uptake was so slow initially before a startling acceleration over the last couple of years. Here are a few initial thoughts.

Attitudes about the individual.

One of the most famed aspects of Australian culture is the ‘tall poppy’ syndrome (your head might get lopped off). This has tempered much over the years, but there has still been until recently a relative reticence to stand up and shout out personal opinions (with of course a number of notable exceptions). I felt this contributed to the initial slow uptake by Australians of blogging. Perhaps once enough people are expressing their views on social media, you no longer stand out by blogging and Twittering – you are in a majority and your self-expression is unleashed.

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Australians are #1 globally in usage of social media: Why?


Some very interesting data just out from Nielsen on social media usage. The headline is that people in developed countries are spending 82% more time on social media than they were one year ago.

However the data point that struck my interest most is that…

Australia is #1 globally in usage of social media


This is a real news. For many years I was bemoaning the slow uptake of social networks in Australia. Research featured as late as our Future of Media Report 2007 showed that Australia was dramatically behind the US and UK in Facebook usage, though it was beginning to catch up on usage of MySpace usage and tools such as Photobucket.

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We are fast learning how to create “enhanced serendipity”


Serendipity is one of the most beautiful words in the English language. It originates from the story of “the Three Princes of Serendip”, which tells the tale of three princes who had the faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries (see more on the story here).

For the last decade I have been talking about the idea of “enhanced serendipity”. For example I wrote about how I used social networking software to create enhanced serendipity at a Living Networks event that I ran in New York in 2003, used the term to describe what was done by mobile social networking platform Dodgeball (the first attempt in the space by the founders of today’s success story in the space Foursquare), and a longer post about Creating Enhanced Serendipity in 2006.

In today’s New York Times, Nick Bilton writes a post titled ‘Controlled Serendipity’ Liberates the Web. He writes:

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How reputation measurement will transform professional services


Earlier this week I did the opening keynote at the AMP Hillross annual convention, with the title of Embracing the Future. Hillross, one of the most upmarket of the wealth management networks, is seeking to lead the rest of the market by shifting to a pure fee-for-advice model, and rapidly developing a true professional culture. My keynote was designed to bring home the necessity of individual and firm leadership at this key juncture in industry structure.

One of the central themes of my talk was the increasing importance of reputation for professionals. Clearly reputation has always been critical for any professional, and there are some parts of professional services markets where reputation is already highly visible, such as prominent M&A lawyers, who are identified by numerous client surveys. While clients of other professional services (for example audit or management consulting) tend to be more focused on engaging firms rather than individuals, there is a fundamental shift from corporate to individual reputation under way.

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Who is most influential in Enterprise 2.0?


Over the holidays Mark Fidelman launched his 2010 Enterprise 2.0 All-Star Blogger Roster. Mark says:

Now that the holiday hangover has worn off and the bills are coming due, I want to turn your attention to the individuals that are most influencing the Enterprise 2.0 space. Those of you that are early adopters or just starting to research Enterprise 2.0 can short cut the search for quality information by following and reading from these all-stars.

The list of 22 people includes Andrew McAfee, who coined the term Enterprise 2.0 and has recently launched his book by the same name, sits at the top of the tree, with five termed “Most Influential” (where Mark has kindly placed me, presumably partly due to the success of my book Implementing Enterprise 2.0), five “Highly Influential”, ten “Influential”, with as a special extra Dennis Howlett, who believes that Enterprise 2.0 is ‘a crock’, as “Enterprise 2.0 Referee”.

Click on the image to see Mark’s post including a larger version of the image and the data used to assess the influence of the all-stars.


Creating Knowledge-based CRM initiatives


I am running a two-day executive program on Relationship Management for Financial Services in Kuala Lumpur on 28-29 January, organized by IBN International. The workshop will be attended by executives from a variety of local and global financial institutions in South-East Asia.

Over the last few years I have spent less time on these issues as I’ve broadened my scope to look at the future of business, however much of my earlier career was in financial services, working at Merrill Lynch and Thomson Financial, and my focus was for a number of years on high-value client relationships, best expressed in my book Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships. As such , in the late 1990s and the first years of the following decade I did considerable work with major financial institutions on enhancing their client relationship capabilities.

Increasingly, the key client programs applied in corporate and insitutional banking and the CRM initiatives implemented in retail and private banking are coming together. The shift to online and data-driven relationships has facilitated that shift.

To help explain some of the key drivers of CRM programs from a “knowledge-based” perspective, I have created a Knowledge-Based CRM Framework which I will use in the executive program in KL. This will complement my existing content and frameworks on high-value relationships, which are summarized in Chapter 6 of Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships. Hopefully the framework below is largely self-explanatory, however I will try to find the time at a later stage to explain the framework in more detail.


Click on the image to download Knowledge-based CRM Framework

Top Twitter nations: USA, Singapore, Canada, Ireland, UK, New Zealand, Australia


Software firm Sysomos has provided some more interesting research on Twitter usage.

Using this data, we have analyzed which countries use Twitter the most on a per capita basis, shown below.


I did the same analysis from Sysomos’ report in June, showing the most prominent Twitter nations on a per capita basis at the time, according to the data provided.

While the results are fairly consistent between the June 2009 and January 2010, it seems that neither set of results is complete. Norway, which ranked as the third highest per capita Twitter nation last June, had no data provided on it in this survey, while Singapore – now the second highest ranked nation – and Ireland – now ranked fourth – were not included in the June survey.

On a relative basis New Zealand has gained ground, catching up with Australia and the UK, while Germany appears to have moved ahead considerably compared to other countries such as France.

Sysomos doesn’t give details on its “proprietary” methodology for identifying the location of Twitterers, however it very interestingly says that only 0.23% of tweets are tagged with location through Twitter’s geo-location API tool. I may have a play with getting some of this data directly at some point.

Effective strategies for a rapidly changing media industry


When I wrote my recent article Creating the Future of Media: 4 Driving Forces, 4 Strategic Issues, 4 Essential Capabilities for Media Titles magazine, they kindly offered Future Exploration Network a full page ad in the magazine.

The ad provides a nice overview of our current work with media organizations that are having to develop and implement strategies on the fly as the industry landscape shifts.

Click on the ad image for a larger version, or the key offerings are described below. If you’re interested in finding out more, some of the strategy tools we think are particularly useful in the current environment are described in our Future of Media: Strategy Tools framework.


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Trends in the Living Networks hits the AdAge 150


Over the last couple of years the AdAge 150 has collated a dynamic list of the top blogs in advertising, media, and marketing. The list actually covers over 1,000 blogs, and ranks them daily by prominence, using a variety of sources including rankings from Alexa, PostRank, and Collective Intellect, as well as a subjective ranking by the list developer Todd Andrlik. These sources have changed throughout the history of the AdAge 150 list, in trying to provide a balanced view of blog authority

This blog was added to the list a couple of months ago, having previously not come to the attention of the list creators. While I write about other topics, including enterprise technology and the future of business, a large proportion of this blog is about media and marketing in their many guises. In fact I have often described the future of business as the media economy, in which almost all economic activity is a form of media.

The AdAge rankings are highly dynamic since they emphasize recent activity. At the time of writing this blog is ranked #97, which is pretty solid given many of the blogs on the list are professional blogs.

I’ve written before about blog rankings, notably about Wikio’s approach, and I’ve been intending to write about Technorati’s recent changes in authority ranking. I’ll try to get to a broader overview of the blog authority systems before long.

Where is privacy heading and who is driving it?


Here is a video of a very interesting interview of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg by Mike Arrington of Techcrunch.

There are a number of very interesting comments by Zuckerberg in the interview, including on how Facebook Connect is so fundamental to the company. He said that “obviously much more is going to be developed outside of Facebook than inside,” meaning that the development of Facebook into a platform is critical.

More controversial was Zuckerberg’s comments on privacy. At around 3:15 in the video he says:

“People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time. We view it as our role in the system to constantly be innovating and be updating what our system is to reflect what the current social norms are.”

This prompted Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb to write a long diatribe, saying:

I don’t buy Zuckerberg’s argument that Facebook is now only reflecting the changes that society is undergoing. I think Facebook itself is a major agent of social change and by acting otherwise Zuckerberg is being arrogant and condescending.

This is a fascinating issue. I and many others – including Zuckerberg – have been surprised through this decade by quite how much people have been prepared to share, given the opportunity by the rapid rise of Web 2.0 tools. Undoubtedly there has been a rapid evolution of social attitudes to privacy, as many people have discovered that they are in fact comfortable sharing some personal information.

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