10 most popular blog posts on the living networks of 2012


I have just had a look at the most popular posts this year on my blog, and very interestingly almost all of the top dozen were written before this year, with perennials like the launches of our Web 2.0 Framework, Social Media Strategy Framework, Trend Map to 2050, and Newspaper Extinction Timeline still attracting consistent very healthy traffic.

Below are the most popular posts written this year on my blog. I will share the list of all-time favorites another time.

1. Which countries have the most Twitter users per capita?
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New framework: 2013 and beyond – What will appear and disappear in our lives


As a futurist, the end of the year means it is once again time to release a structured look at the future.

As every year, at Future Exploration Network we are using a substantially different format from our most other annual frameworks, 12 Themes for 2012 and Zeitgeist 2011.

This year we are focusing on what will appear and disappear in our everyday lives next year and beyond. We are once again collaborating with Richard Watson of NowandNext.com, following the extensive work we’ve done together in the past, notably on the famous ‘London tube map’ 2007+ Trend Blend (the original trendsetter for all the other city underground trend maps over the last years), 2008+ Trend Blend, and our highly popular Extinction Timeline.

As always the framework is released on a Creative Commons license so please feel free to download and share.

Click on the image for the full-size framework
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5 things to tweet and 5 things not to tweet – Twitter expert Ross Dawson


Recently Twitter expert and keynote speaker Ross Dawson spoke at a financial advisor retreat in the stunning Margaret River region of Western Australia, a region of wide-open beauty that is the source of many extraordinary wines.

He gave two compelling keynotes at the event on subsequent days, on How to Lock-in Your Clients, and Success in a Connected World, which drew on his connected world visual framework.

Following is a brief excerpt of what Dawson presented in his keynote speech on how to approach Twitter


* Interesting, current links with useful descriptions. The most valuable tweets usually point to fantastic content, with sufficient description for people to know why they should click on it.

* Links to your own content. People like links to content created by the Twitter account owner, which is why they follow them.

* Stimulating questions. People find value in interesting and provocative questions, whether or not they respond on Twitter.

* Occasional unusual or humorous posts. It is good to break up the flow of a Twitter account with funny or different posts, rather than have it be too consistent.

* Responses to others. Twitter is a conversation, so it is important to respond to others, and these can be among the most interesting and informative posts.


* Content-free statements. Don’t say things like hello and goodbye, or other interjections that contain no content and add no value.

* Excessive personal updates. Unless your Twitter circle is only close friends, don’t just tweet your day-by-day activities. It is good to share of yourself and the notable things that you experience, just don’t overdo it.

* Negative thoughts. If you’re feeling down, it’s usually better to keep it to yourself. People are attracted to positive attitudes rather than negative ones. Of course, if you do want to reach for connection at a time of need, Twitter can be invaluable.

* Extended conversations with individuals. Anything much more than a couple of to-and-fro tweets is stultifying to everyone else. Move to direct messages or email.

* Old news. Don’t share things that everyone has already seen. If you’ve seen something on the TV news, be sure that everyone on Twitter knew about it a long time ago.

Every keynote speech by twitter expert and keynote speaker Ross Dawson is fully customized to the client and the audience. Energize your event with his inspirational presentations that leave audiences with valuable and actionable insights.

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Energize your event with Twitter expert Ross Dawson’s compelling and inspirational presentations that leave audiences stimulated. Contact Ross Dawson’s office today to discuss the precise keynote topic and title that will best meet your requirements.

Keynote speech – The future of local government


Recently Australian futurist Ross Dawson gave a keynote speech on ‘Creating the future of local government’ at the Local Government Association of Tasmania‘s annual conference. On the occasion of its 100th anniversary, the association wanted to look forward to the future.

The current issue of the association’s magazine, LGAT News, contains a write-up of his insightful keynote speech:

“In a defining era for government globally, councils are in the front-line of changes and challenges and are best placed to take the lead in turning these challenges into opportunities.” This was the message to Tasmanian councils from leading business futurist, Ross Dawson, in his keynote address to conference delegates.

Mr. Dawson said among the prominent trends were the rapid ageing of our communities, particularly in regional areas, changing patterns to work enabled by communications technologies, heightened expectations of service and a widespread desire to ensure our society is sustainable. “Councils need to address these shifts in their organizational structures, from attracting and inspiring talented younger workers, to making the knowledge and expertise of their most experienced staff available beyond their retirement,” Mr. Dawson said.

“The ability to collaborate easily and effectively is now fundamental for any organization and one of the biggest opportunities is for councils to get their communities truly involved in their day-to-day thinking, Around the world, forward-thinking local councils are creating powerful ways for their residents to participate, contribute, and to have genuine conversations across their communities on the issues that really matter to them. Tapping into the ideas and energy of local residents can help to generate better outcomes than ever before,” he said.

“Elected representatives could also benefit greatly from understanding the current dramatic shift in how people communicated with their peers and friends. Those who can participate genuinely in the new flow of online conversation will be best positioned to have their voices heard and views supported,” he said.

“The vital role played by Local Government will grow even more important in the decades ahead as greater value is placed on peoples’ local communities. Local Government is the closest tier of government to the people and is central to creating a prosperous world for our citizens. It just needs to recognize and effectively respond to the inexorable forces of change,” Mr. Dawson concluded.

Contact keynote speaker on future of local government Contact

Energize your event with leading futurist and keynote speaker Ross Dawson’s compelling and inspirational presentations that leave audiences stimulated. Contact Ross Dawson’s office today to discuss the precise keynote topic and title that will best meet your requirements.

Future of customer service – Marketing futurist Ross Dawson


Recently marketing futurist Ross Dawson gave a keynote speech on the ‘The future of customer service’ at KANA Connect in Las Vegas.

In his keynote he packed in a wide-ranging view on where customer service is going, including the impact of connectivity, the rise of new channels, where value will reside in relationships, and what supports the integration and integrity that will be at the heart of successful customer service.

Following is a brief extract of the content Dawson covered in his keynote speech.

marketing futurist

Back in 1999 Evans and Wurster in their book Blown to Bits said that the trade-off between richness and reach had disappeared. That wasn’t true. Today the trade-off between what I prefer to call Relationship Strength and Efficiency is eroding, but still exists. The challenge today is to continue to push out against that trade-off, while recognizing that it will never entirely disappear.

A large part of the path forward is in using technologies. There are three categories of channels for customer service:

Presence: There is no substitute for people being physically present in the same place, which allows them to sit down together, converse, relate as humans, and discover more about each other. Shop fronts and meetings will always have their place in customer interaction, however increasingly physical venues will also incorporate other media for accessing customer service.

Human connectivity: The majority of customer service is provided by people, connected to customers via communication technologies. This includes voice, however now includes email, chat, video, and social media.

Automated: Beginning from Interactive Voice Response (IVR), technology is now providing automated interaction using instant messaging, avatars, intelligent voice interaction, and a range of new technologies using the cutting edge of artificial intelligence.

For different industries, countries, customer segments, and companies there will be very distinct issues.

– Physical presence in branches or stores may still be important in some cases, but its role is usually eroding.

– Human connectivity is rising in importance, not least with social media becoming a significant channel for customer service. Quality people are still required, however richer interaction through a variety of means including and beyond telepresence can create far stronger relationships.

– Automation is still a frontier in truly being able to build rather than erode customer relationships, however intelligent implementations are moving into that territory.

Across these categories of customer service channels, there are of course key issues in selecting appropriate channels, and where appropriate migrating or guiding customers to the right portfolio of channels.

Not surprisingly in a world of channel proliferation, things are getting more complex rather than easier. However those companies that can use technologies to push out the trade-off between efficiency and relationship strength will undoubtedly lead their industries.

Contact keynote speaker on future of local government Contact

Energize your event with leading futurist and keynote speaker Ross Dawson’s compelling and inspirational presentations that leave audiences stimulated. Contact Ross Dawson’s office today to discuss the precise keynote topic and title that will best meet your requirements.

Why microblogging has moved to the heart of enterprise social initiatives


I recently wrote Why conversational skills are needed to create a high-performance, engaged, networked organization, reflecting on an executive roundtable discussion I lead as part of the 21st anniversary celebrations of the Graduate School of Business of the University of New England.

The roundtable was also written up in the Australian Financial Review, which provides a good summary of the discussion in a piece titled Conversation killers: managers who can’t talk the talk.

Interestingly, what the journalist drew out from my contributions was about the rise of microblogging:

Dawson said micro-blogging had soared with employers including Deloitte, the NSW Department of Education and NSW Department of Premier and cabinet using microblogs for internal communication with staff. “Of all the social media platforms microblogging is the most akin to conversation,” he said. “Email is not going to die, but it is reducing,” he said.

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How to make friends with and influence Sydney’s entrepreneurial and self-employed community


This year we celebrate the 14th annual Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Xmas Party in Sydney.

As every year, the intention is to provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs and self-employed people, primarily from the technology and creative sectors, to celebrate the end of a great year with their peers. While corporate employees have someone to put on their Christmas party for them, those making it happen for themselves don’t have that luxury.

As we did last year, we have invited companies to support the Entrepreneurs Xmas Party by helping to buy drinks for early arrivals at the event. So far we have almost all the companies that supported our event from last year, who all found it highly valuable, plus a couple more on board.
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The inside is the outside: The Möbius strip and Klein bottle as metaphors for the future of organizations


In a number of my recent keynotes, including at Connected Enterprise and the CIO Summit, I have discussed the blurring of the inside and outside as a critical facet of the future of organizations.

The Möbius strip is a simple strip of paper folded once and pasted so that it has only one side. A Klein bottle is its (hypothetical) three-dimensional equivalent, where the outside and inside of the bottle are the one and the same.

This is a powerful and highly relevant metaphor for the successful organizations of today and tomorrow.
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Creating a better world through apps: the power of mobile in catalyzing networks for good


I was recently invited to attend the presentations and awards for the Vodafone App Aid competition and to interview Guy Kawasaki, who was one of the event’s judges.

App Aid selected 10 charities who saw the need for a mobile app. App developers signed up for teams that developed apps from scratch in 48 hours for each of the charities. The winning teams received prizes to help them complete and launch their apps. The video below shows brief snippets from the winners.

What struck me while I was watching the charities’ presentations was that the underlying premise of almost all the apps was connecting resources to where they can do the most good.
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