Corporate blogging: value versus risks

[email protected] School of Business recently published an interesting article on corporate blogging, which drew on an interview with me. Here are the quotes it took from my interview, along with a few comments.

One of the greatest dangers is not getting involved in blogging at all, claims Ross Dawson – futurist, blogger and chairman of Advanced Human Technologies, a company that consults on “the network economy”.

It’s certainly not that every company needs to be blogging, far from it. But many companies that would get great value from blogging, in particular for defending their reputation online, are being held back by overwrought fears of the potential dangers.
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Proof: Intelligent machines can become religious by talking to each other

Going beyond human interaction with (quasi) intelligent machines, we are now beginning to explore interactions between (somewhat) intelligent machines. One of the concepts of the Singularity is that machines will before long be able to teach themselves and each other, to the point where their interactions and conversations are incomprehensible to our puny minds.

This video shows the results of two ‘chatbots’ from Cornell University’s Creative Machines Lab speaking to each other. I laughed until I cried. But it is funny partly because it is almost as much a human as a robotic conversation.

Futurist conversations: Ross Dawson and Gerd Leonhard on the future of Nokia

In this final video in the series of ‘futurist conversations’ between myself and Gerd Leonhard of The Futures Agency, we discuss the future of Nokia as a keyhole on where the mobile phone market is going.

Here are a few of the points we make in the conversation:
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Breaking: Google+ will be a reputation engine

For years I have been writing about reputation and have often said that this will be the decade of the reputation economy. Yet until recently there has been very little in the space. The social media measurement systems such as Klout and PeerIndex have limited data scope and while they talk the language of reputation actually measure influence. is a more pure play in the individual reputation space, but has got limited traction so far.

In recognition of the massive opportunity in the reputation space we have been building a stealth start-up Repyoot (holding page only for now), which will shortly be launched as a limited scale influence ratings engine, with the intention of morphing into a generalized reputation engine.

In developing the service and discussing it with VCs, we have always seen the most obvious latent competitors in the reputation measurement space as Google and LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s recommendation service is a long way from a true reputation service, but it provides a foundation for building one. Google’s depth of data, positioning, and mentality mean that it is well-positioned to develop an individual reputation service. While it is probably not related, I know that, Google’s philanthropic arm, has been very interested in reputation services for some years, as one of the services that would be of most value in helping developing regions.
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Why Steve Jobs’ resignation is a (relative) non-event as Apple becomes a living company

I was just interviewed by ABC TV for tonight’s 7pm news about Steve Jobs’ resignation as CEO of Apple.

My initial reaction is that is as close to a non-event as it could be. 

It was absolutely major news when Jobs announced his first medical leave for a life-threatening disease. It underlined that he would not be at Apple for ever, and might not return to Apple from his leave. He in fact returned twice, and now on his third medical leave he has said his role as CEO is over.
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Keynote: Creating the future of retail shopping precincts: The Power of Community and Uniqueness

Tomorrow morning I will give the keynote at Mainstreet Australia conference on the topic of Creating the Future of Business.

My slides are below. The usual caveat applies – the slides are designed to accompany my presentation and not to stand alone.

While the title of the presentation is Creating the Future of Business, it has been tailored to the conference audience, so after a more general introduction on the driving forces of business, the presentation is really about the future of retail shopping precincts. Here are some of the points I will be making in my keynote.
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The implications of the new broader, flatter distribution of music taste

The distribution of music taste and consumption has shifted dramatically over the decade years, and will continue to evolve significantly in coming years.

Back before a dozen years ago, radio and MTV exposed people to a limited range of music from label playlists, and the cost of records and CDs made it hard to experiment with new music.

The first big change from that landscape was the widespread availability of online music downloads, which suddenly massively broadened the music libraries of the minority of people who were active downloaders, though didn’t give people an easy way of discovering music they liked that they hadn’t heard before.
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Qantas Business Radio: why crowdsourcing will drive the future of organizations

This month’s Qantas Business Radio has a technology focus, including interviews with Nick Leeder, Managing Director of Google Australia, Simon Hackett, Managing Director of Internode, Peter Williams, CEO of Deloitte Digital, Charis Palmer, Editor of Technology Spectator, Ian Hogg, CEO of FremantleMedia Australia, as well as myself.

There are some great insights in the various interviews, and if you’re not going to be on a Qantas flight you can listen to or download the interviews here, though I believe only until the end of August.

My interview was very broad-ranging: we spent some time discussing implications for organizations of a connected world including the role of crowdsourcing and the idea of the global brain, went on to look at how to use the iPad for work and why it is the first technology that is better than paper for many purposes, and finally when newspapers will become extinct around the world.
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Research: The acceleration of Australian banks’ use of social media

Financial services is one of the most industries in which the use of social media is the most relevant, not least because customer service is a critical differentiator between highly commoditized offerings. While financial services and banking were traditionally highly relationship-based, the shift to online has significantly eroded those relationships. Social media, used well, provides an opportunity to build relationships in a world in which most financial services are executed online.

In a global context, Australian banks were fairly slow to adopt the use of social media, however more recently a number have become a lot more active as they recognize its fundamental importance to their future.

Vindaya Senadheera, Prof. Matthew Warren, and Dr. Shona Leitch from Deakin University have done some interesting research in their paper A study on how Australian banks use social media.

To analyze the banks’ activity they use the Honeycomb framework of social media which was presented by Kietzmann et al in their paper Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media, which points to the key elements of social media engagement as Identity, Groups, Relationships, Presence, Sharing, Conversations, and Reputation.

Here are a few key points from the research


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Futurist conversations: Ross Dawson and Gerd Leonhard on the future of newspapers

Continuing our series of conversations between fellow-futurist Gerd Leonhard of The Futures Agency and myself, here is our session on the future of newspapers.

Here are a few notes from our conversation:
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