The power of Juicystar07 demonstrates two key trends in influence


While we were working on the Future of Influence Summit last year I encapsulated the essence of what I was seeing in the space in Five key trends in how influence is transforming society, complementing our Influence Landscape.

If you’ve managed to avoid Juicystar07 and Allthatglitters21 so far, your time is up. They provide a fantastic example of two of the key trends in influence. Blair Fowler (Juicystar07) and Elle Fowler (Allthatglitters21) are sisters who review beauty and fashion products on their YouTube channels, with a total of 50 million and 31 million video views respectively. The video below is a “haul” review of a sponsor’s products which was also being filmed by Good Morning America.

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Yes, internet bandwidth IS a key driver of economic growth


A commenter on my last blog post The latest country comparisons in that key economic driver: broadband speed questioned whether bandwidth does drive economic growth.

While it is easy to take that for granted, there are in fact many studies that have demonstrated this fact. One of the more interesting is a Booz & Co study that compared labor productivity growth over 5 years with bandwidth, titled Digital Highways: The Role of Government in 21st-Century Infrastructure.


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The latest country comparisons in that key economic driver: broadband speed

By is my go-to resource for Internet speed testing, whether it’s checking whether there are service problems, or making sure that event venues where we have video over IP links to speakers around the world have sufficient bandwidth.

One of the great additions to the service is a compilation of all their data to show bandwidth speeds around the world. While it is not necessarily fully accurate data, it is definitely current. The most thoroughly researched source for broadband comparisons is the OECD, but unfortunately the latest data from them is a couple of years old now, during which there have been significant changes in the landscape.

South Korea is the winner, with an average speed of 22.47Mbps, but it is closely followed by Japan, and countries in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia (including the #2 on the list, Aland Islands, part of Finland).

USA is #30 and Australia #43, well down in the rankings, though both are very large and economically distributed. Countries like China and Malaysia do respectably, in the 2-3Mbps range, though the problem is China in particularly still has substantial dial-up access.

As pretty much all governments have recognized, there is no question that broadband access will be a key economic driver. It will be interesting to map quite how much.

Full list of broadband speeds in 181 countries below the fold.

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Ad networks increase their domination of the online ad market


I’m in the process of preparing for an internal webinar to a global network of media specialists of a leading agency. I looked back at and updated one of the charts from my Seven Driving Forces Shaping Media framework, illustrating the shift in revenue and advertising models.


Source: comScore media metrix

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More on personal reputation systems – video interview of Travis Kalanick


Following up on my post Personal reputation systems are about to take off… but the next start-up won’t last, taking off on Techcrunch’s pre-announcement of a new personal reputation start-up, Brad King pointed me to this very interesting video he took of investor Travis Kalanick, who is almost certainly talking about the same start-up. He makes some very interesting comments, not least about how pissed off everyone is going to be about this.

Personal reputation systems are about to take off… but the next start-up won’t last


Michael Arrington of Techcrunch writes that this week a start-up will launch that is “effectively Yelp for people,” and promises detailed coverage in the next few days.

This is of great interest, not least because our own start-up Repyoot will be launching in public beta in the next couple of weeks, starting as an influence ratings engine within a limited domain, and intending to evolve into a broad-based reputation engine for people.

The thrust of Arrington’s article is that if we are all open to anonymous feedback…

It’s time for a centralized, well organized place for anonymous mass defamation on the Internet. Scary? Yes. But it’s coming nonetheless.

…we will have to change how we judge reputation.

We’re going to be forced to adjust as a society. I firmly believe that we will simply become much more accepting of indiscretions over time. Employers just won’t care that ridiculous drunk college pictures pop up about you when they do a HR background search on you.

In 2007 I expressed similar sentiments in Watch out! The intimate details of your life will be visible forever more…, saying

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New ventures in political crowdsourcing



User-contributed content is often far more up-to-date than other sources. I just stumbled across some interesting current news while browsing through Wikipedia’s List of crowdsourcing projects.

The UK Conservative Party has launched Your Budget Response 2010, a website that is intended to allow anyone to identify problems, oversights and issues in the government’s budget, to fuel the Conservative Party’s response to the budget.

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3 steps to creating participative strategy processes in organizations


Some of my most interesting work in in helping clients create effective processes for participative strategy. The traditional approach to strategy is that it is generated in the executive suite or by highly-paid consultants, then it is communicated to staff, usually rather ineffectively.

There is an increasing recognition that many people across the organization have invaluable insights into industry change, competition, client requirements, innovation and other issues that will help shape strategy. The challenge is in establishing processes that enable broad-based participation in a useful way, tapping ideas and generating positive energy for change.

In some cases, for example as I helped a global real-estate development company to implement, this can be framed in a fun competition format, assisting teams to generate visions of where the company can go. In other cases, a formal process can be created to expose staff across the company to strategic issues, then generating, capturing, filtering, and applying their insights to corporate strategy, as I did for a large financial services company.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 7 of my book Living Networks providing some of the broader issues to address in implementing participative strategy.


The Work-Out process is one of General Electric’s standard practices. This brings together 40 to 100 people in a “town meeting” to discuss specific issues, and make firm recommendations. Once the issues that need to be addressed have been identified, these are clearly defined by a team, and attendees for the meeting are selected from a range of functions and managerial levels. The team meet in an offsite location for usually three days, commencing with a briefing by the relevant executive, who then leaves. The participants break into a number of teams, and in a structured process come up with clear recommendations. At the end these are presented to the senior manager, who must make a decision on the spot whether to proceed. Work-Out sessions are routinely run across General Electric’s divisions, and often include customers and suppliers.

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New research: Microblogging Inside and Outside the Workplace


I just got off the phone with Kate Ehrlich of IBM Research, who I’ve known for many years and was one my co-authors for our California Management Review article Managing Collaboration: Improving Team Effectiveness through a Network Perspective.

We had a great discussion about a variety of common interests, including where things are going in using social network analysis for performance improvement, and the value of social media in sales teams. Kate shared with me some recent research she has done with the use of microblogging inside and outside the enterprise, which has been written up as a paper titled Microblogging Inside and Outside the Workplace – it’s well worth a read.

IBM established BlueTwit some time ago as an internal microblogging tool, and its employees also use Twitter. As such, they were able to do research comparing how staff used microblogging for internal and external audiences.


Source: Microblogging Inside and Outside the Workplace

The research showed that Twitter is used more for sharing information and status updates, while the internal tool was used more for asking questions and directed interaction.

The study also included a qualitative component of interviews with IBM employees on how they used the microblogging tools. Below are the motivations and perspectives identified in the studies, together with representative quotes. See the article for the detailed research.


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6 Steps in Enterprise 2.0 Governance Projects


I believe that governance is at the heart of effective Enterprise 2.0 implementation. While many shy away at the term, mainly because governance is usually focused on risk and limitations, I see it differently. True governance is just as much about ensuring that opportunities are taken as it is as about containing risk. Governance, done well, is an enabler of innovation, providing parameters, guidelines and policies that address risks, and allow the greatest possible scope for experimentation and value creation.

As such most of my client work on Enterprise 2.0 is helping executives to frame governance and develop effective strategies. Advanced Human Technologies doesn’t do implementation; we work with partners for the nitty-gritty of larger projects. We believe that the greatest value creation is getting the frame right. Everything else flows from that.

The chapter on governance in my book Implementing Enterprise 2.0 is available for free download from the book website. However I thought it was also worth excerpting the chapter, as below. This section describes a typical Enterprise 2.0 governance process. Of course projects must be always tailored to the situation, addressing issues including organizational culture and existing processes.


1. Nominate a project leader and project sponsor

Creating a governance framework is a significant initiative that requires access to key stakeholders. A senior executive project sponsor should be named who will facilitate access to resources and people where required. The project leader can be either an internal manager with the appropriate skills and understanding of the organization, or an external consultant who has the benefit of independence from organizational politics.

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