The death of news-on-paper is the rebirth of news organizations


My Newspaper Extinction Timeline is now well over 3 years old, in which time it has been viewed many millions of times and appeared in publications in over 30 countries. There has been a revival of interest recently from the extensive coverage of a keynote I gave at Arab Media Forum in Dubai last month and comments I made afterwards.

Many commentators on my framework seem to equate newspapers with newspaper companies. That is completely incorrect.

Such a thing as a “newspaper” company has ceased to exist except in regional areas of developing countries. What were newspaper companies are now news organizations.

The death of news-on-paper absolutely does not imply the death of news organizations. In fact it is an enabler of their rebirth.

Dominique Delport, the very switched-on Global MD of Havas Media Group, has created an excellent slide deck titled Newspapers: The End… Seriously? (embedded below). He opens with my Newspaper Extinction Timeline and goes on to paint a bright future for the industry.

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The massive impact on economic growth of open data in government


I was very pleased to see today’s launch of the report Open for Business: How Open Data Can Help Achieve the G20 Growth Target, from Nicholas Gruen’s Lateral Economics, commissioned by Omidyar Networks, the philanthropic organization of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

The report looks at the massive positive economic impact of governments adopting open data policies.

Source: Open for Business

The major figure from the report is that potential value from open data to the G20 nations is $2.6 trillion annually, or around 1.1% of GDP over the next 5 years. The major sectors where value accrues from open data policies are Education, Transport, Consumer Products, Electricity, Oil and Gas, Health Care, and Consumer Finance.

As the report explains:
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How the next generation of display technologies will transform mobile computing


This morning I was interviewed on the Morning Show about next generation technologies including holograms on smartphones, machine to machine (M2M) communication, neuro-hacking and brain implants.

Click on the image to see a video of the segment.


The possibility of holograms on smartphones is absolutely compelling.

Back from when the first smartphones came out I pointed to the interfaces as the critical enabler of rich computing on-the-go, as shown for example in my Future of the Media Lifecycle framework.
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Civic crowdfunding and the future of government and taxation


Crowdfunding is central to my interests in understanding the future. My background in capital markets and long-standing perspective of the living networks has made it a natural space for me, in looking at new ways our collective financial resources can yield the greatest economic and social benefit.

I was recently named one of the top 30 influential thought leaders in crowdfunding in the world (of which there are only 2 outside the US). I think it’s fair to say that’s an exaggeration of my prominence, however as I am increasingly focusing on the future of crowdfunding I hope the insights and perspectives I am currently developing will have a significant reach.

One of the most obvious ways in which crowdfunding can have a far broader impact than it does today is in playing a role alongside government, by allocating funds to benefit citizens. The “civic crowdfunding” space, focused on funding local community projects such parks, community centers, festivals, and education, has thrived, with platforms such as Spacehive and Neighborly doing well, and strong enthusiasm from cities such as Bristol.
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Using social network analysis to uncover authority and centrality


As reflected by the title of this blog, networks have long been at the heart of how I see the world.

I have applied the tools and approaches of network analysis to a wide variety of domains, including organizational analysis, industry analysis, client relationship analysis, influence networks, sales and innovation networks, high-performance personal networks, and far more.

Much of my work today is helping organizations and senior executives to think effectively about the future, so as to set and implement effective strategies for success. However network analysis is an invaluable complement to that work, applying it as a tool to help improve performance.

In a networked world, we must understand the networks in which we are embedded.

On I have just published a brief piece Futurists on Twitter: An analysis of network centrality and authority.

The chart showing the network analysis is shown below, uncovering authority and centrality among futurists on Twitter. Zoom in by clicking on the image.

Read the article for full details on the analysis.

Futurists on Twitter: An analysis of network centrality and authority


By Ross Dawson

Since the 1990s I have been applying network analysis to help understand the development of technology, business, and society. In 2002 I wrote the book Living Networks to describe how networks are moving to the center of our world.

Over the years I have analyzed the network characteristics of many domains, including organizations, industries, influence, business relationships, innovation, decision-making and more. I am now coming back to spend more time exploring how network analysis can provide us with useful insights.

To kick off a forthcoming series of network analyses, we have done an analysis of prominent futurists on Twitter who are included on my Futurists Twitter list.

Below is a zoomable (and embeddable) image of the analysis. An explanation is provided below.

Each node in the graph represents a futurist’s twitter profile. A line connecting two nodes represents a follower relationship. On average each user follows and is followed by 37 other people.

Two important concepts in social network analysis are authority and centrality .

Authority reflects importance based on quality and connectedness of followers.

Centrality is a broader concept, reflecting the time it takes for a message sent by that user to reach everyone in the network. More connections mean faster propagation and higher centrality.

In this chart centrality is shown by color (green most central) and authority by the size of the node. As these are related concepts, nodes with the same color tend to have similar size.

The network is fairly well connected, showing a relatively “flat” social structure with no established hierarchy.

The 40 highest authority Twitter profiles in the network are:

@iftf – Institute for the Future
@WorldFutureSoc – World Future Society
@rossdawson – Ross Dawson
@gleonhard – Gerd Leonhard
@DefTechPat – Patrick Tucker
@Urbanverse – Cindy Frewen
@VenessaMiemis – Venessa Miemis
@cshirky – Clay Shirky
@cascio – Jamais Cascio
@bruces – Bruce Sterling
@mitchbetts – Mitch Betts
@frankspencer – Frank Spencer
@futuryst – Stuart Candy
@johnmsmart – John Smart
@Geofutures – Josh Calder
@ThomasFrey – Thomas Frey
@doctorow – Cory Doctorow
@heathervescent – Heather Schlegel
@psaffo – Paul Saffo
@MareeConway – Maree Conway
@dunagan23 – Jake Dunagan
@jenjarratt – Jennifer Jarratt
@kevin2kelly – Kevin Kelly
@wendyinfutures – Wendy L Schultz
@patrickdixon – Patrick Dixon
@Joi – Joi Ito
@GreatDismal – William Gibson
@futuristpaul – Paul Higgins
@futuramb – P A Martin Börjesson
@kristinalford – Kristin Alford
@nraford – Noah Raford
@avantgame – Jane McGonigal
@DavidBrin – David Brin
@jhagel – John Hagel
@fastfuture – Rohit Talwar
@singularityhub – Singularity Hub
@singularityu – SingularityU
@futureguru – Dr. James Canton
@timeguide – Ian Pearson
@FutureCon – Future Conscience

We will later post some further network analyses of futurists using some different analytic approaches

Why social media oversharing may NOT ruin your career


At the launch of the Safeguarding the Future of Digital Australia in 2025 report I authored for McAfee, part of Intel Security, a question came up about the implications of social media indiscretions.

Angus Kidman of Lifehacker describes my response in an article Will Social Media Indiscretions Really Wreck Your Career?

Futurist Ross Dawson, who contributed to the report, agreed when I asked that question at the launch. “If everybody has something dark online, then you haven’t got anybody left to hire anymore,” he said. “So I think we will be more tolerant, because we’re seeing more of everybody’s lives. Many employers will feel that they’re happy to accept a few foibles on social media.”

“Human brains are malleable,” Dawson pointed out. “We are shaped by our environment, and our younger generation are in a different environment, This is something we must understand, and it’s not that it’s being different is wrong. And ultimately there will be more career opportunities for those who are engaged in the social world.”

This is not a new thought. Back in 2007 women’s magazine Madison ran a piece on the dangers of social media sharing quoting me. In those days it was important to highlight the risks of oversharing, as many people hadn’t yet fully grasped the implications of what they share online.
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Our reputation, personal opportunities, and identity will be shaped by social media


This morning was the launch of the Safeguarding the Future of Digital Australia 2025 that I wrote and compiled for McAfee, part of Intel Security.

There has been a very strong response to the report, with so far good articles in The Australian, Dynamic Business, WA Today, and many others, and the Federal Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull saying “Intel Security’s report makes a major contribution to our understanding of how to safeguard Australians online and into the future.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Communications Paul Fletcher spoke at the report’s launch at Parliament House, drawing particular attention to the tagline we created for the Future of Social section:
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Report: The Future of Digital Australia in 2025 and what Australians think


I have been recently working with McAfee, now part of Intel Security, to write a report on Safeguarding the Future of Digital Australia in 2025, being launched this morning in Parliament House in Canberra as part of the Federal Government’s Stay Smart Online Week.

SafeguardingFuture2025_cover_250_shadowThe report consists of my insights into the Future of Home, Social, Work, and GenNext in 2025, together with commentary from McAfee and other experts on how to keep safe in these worlds.

Click on the report cover image left to download the report.

Accompanying the report, we did a survey of what Australians think about their digital future in 2025. The results of the survey are in the video below. There are some fascinating insights.

All the assets are on the Intel Security 2025 site. I’ll comment more on both the report and the survey results later this week.

For now, please feel free to share the resources. I would love to hear your thoughts on the report.

TECH SECURITY INFOGRAPHIC vimeo HD 1080.mp4 from McAfee APAC on Vimeo.