Launch of Futurist Influence Rankings app

We have just launched a Futurist Influence Rankings tracker, you can see the original here and an embed of the app below.

It is certainly not intended to be rigorous, but simply to give an indication of how influential futurists are on social media and the web by combining a few key indicators such as Klout, web traffic and Twitter followers, using a simple algorithm.

No doubt we are missing quite a few futurists who should be included on the list. Just let us know if there’s anyone we should add to the list.

Feel free to embed it on your site if you wish.

Enjoy, and be sure not to take it too seriously! :-)

Collaboration and activation: the nub of the merger of physical and digital retail

Last week I visited Melbourne Spring Fashion Week as a guest of IBM and the City of Melbourne.

City of Melbourne’s over-arching vision for the annual Melbourne Spring Fashion Week is to position Melbourne as Australia’s premier fashion destination, and have a real economic impact by driving increased sales for retailers in the city.

MSFW

In partnering with IBM for the second year the intention was to extend the impact of the event beyond the week and to drive ticket sales and in turn sales by tapping the social currency of influencers.

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week is unusual in fashion shows in that everything on the runways can be bought at stores in the city. This contrasts to the traditional role of fashion shows as breaking new fashion, which may not be available for many months after it is launched.

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week used IBM Social Media Analytics on Twitter and Instagram to uncover the top 50 relevant fashion influencers, used Watson Personality Insights to work out how best to approach them, and invited them to be MSFW “insiders”, asking them what content would be most useful to them.

Ticket sales have been considerably higher than last year, with 4 of the events sold out.

The initiative is particularly interesting in showing how social analytics and engagement can help drive shoppers into shopping centers and physical stores.

While individual stores can do a great deal to merge their digital, social and physical engagement, the real power comes in bringing people to a shopping center or area, or even an entire city center.

All shopping is becoming social. Retail strategies for merging physical and digital are best envisaged and implemented on a large scale, tapping collaboration and activating buyers.

Image credit: Eva Rinaldi

Launch of Creating the Future of PR – shaping an exceptional future for the industry

Advanced Human Technologies Group has just launched Creating the Future of PR, a publication that looks at how the Public Relations industry can create an exceptional future for itself and its clients in a fast-changing world.
CFoPRfront_500
In my article Join Us in Creating the Future of PR I frame the context for the launch of the publication:

The fundamental capabilities of PR professionals are more relevant than ever in our intensely networked world. Arguably, PR should be at the center of the marketing universe, since it is better able than any other discipline to deal with a world driven by relationships, fueled by connectivity, social, mobile, and power shifting to the individual.

The big question is: will the PR industry seize the immense opportunity before it?

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Consumer expectations continue to rise: advocacy reduces, antagonism rises, but trust enables value creation

The latest results from IBM’s annual Smarter Consumer Study provide interesting insights.

If consumers are smarter, they are expressing it with not just increased expectations, but an increasingly active expression of their displeasure if expectations are not met.

The following chart, provided to me by IBM in response to a request for more detailed information, shows that in all major countries advocates – those who actively advocate for their primary retailer – have decreased, while antagonists – those who would actively discredit their retailer – have increased.

IBM_advocates_antagonists
Source: IBM
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Launch of keynote speaker influence ranking tracker

We have just launched a keynote speaker influence ranking page, giving an indication of the social and online reach of people who work primarily as keynote speakers. The widget is embedded below (and you can embed it in your own website if you want), though it is better viewed on the main rankings page.

There are and have been many influence ranking systems around. This one focuses on a particular group – keynote speakers – for whom online influence is particularly important, and brings together three measures: Klout, website traffic, and Twitter followers.

It is of course very easy to criticise any influence rankings mechanism, and we do not pretend this is by any means ‘accurate’, it is intended to be indicative and interesting. We have provided complete transparency by publishing the algorithm we use. The intention is to tweak and develop the algorithm over time. Let us know if you have suggestions on how to improve it!
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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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VIDEO – ExaTrends of the Decade: Reputation Economy

A while back we released our Map of the ExaTrends of the Decade.

We are now releasing a series of short videos delving into the ExaTrends, starting with Reputation Economy.

Some of the issues covered in the video include:
* The amount of data we have now is enabling the measurement of reputation
* Influence and Reputation are different
* Klout, PeerIndex and their peers do not measure reputation, they are trying to measure influence.
* Other players in the emerging reputation space include LinkedIn, Honestly.com and CubeDuel
* Service marketplaces such as Freelancer.com, oDesk and Elance have internal reputation measures
* There is immense value to reputation measures, across many aspects of business
* Reputation is becoming central to business and society

You can download the full Map of the Decade including descriptions of each ExaTrend by clicking on the image:
MapoftheDecade_500w.jpg

The headache (and opportunity) of managing your company’s online reputation

In a world of instantaneous information flows, managing company reputation is ever more fraught.

An interesting article in Techworld titled How to manage your online reputation goes into the issue, describing how pharma firm GlaxoSmithKline had one of its trademarks hijacked by a dodgy company. The piece goes on:

“Reputations are more visible – and more vulnerable – than ever before,” says futurist Ross Dawson, who cites reputation as one of the key themes for 2012. So what can you do to ensure that your organisation is remembered for the right reasons?

The article then suggests some strategies, including this quote from me:
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Techmeme: The power of the headline

I first wrote about Techmeme over 5 years ago. Today Techmeme remains the reference point for what’s hot in technology news. Bloggers and publishers strive to appear on its pages, not just because of the traffic it drives, but also because the people who visit Techmeme are among the most influential in the business.

Founder Gabe Rivera has just shared some insights into how particular articles are selected as the lead article on Techmeme for a particular breaking story. For the first few years Techmeme used only an algorithm, however it has had human editors to complement the algorithm for almost three years now.

It turns out that one of the reasons to have humans is to select the stories with the most informative headlines. In an aggregator site, headlines are critical, as they need to tell as much of the story as possible. The rise of the web has had a big impact on headline writing, not least for search optimization, but also increasingly for aggregation.

Here are some of Gabe’s tips on how to make your story hit the front page of Techmeme:
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Six thoughts on the Klout scoring changes

Today influence ratings service Klout significantly changed its rankings. Last week Klout CEO Joe Fernandez announced there would be changes, saying “a majority of users will see their scores stay the same or go up but some users will see a drop”. It seems that was not correct, and rankings levels have been revised such that most people’s scores go down. The results appears to be plenty of unhappy people.

Before I offer a few thoughts on this, it’s worth addressing those who say they couldn’t care less about their Klout score. It is absolutely fine, and quite possibly the most appropriate response, not to care a jot what number a service happens to attribute to your influence.

I’ve written extensively on this blog about influence and influence networks over the last six years, and in fact our Future of Influence Summit 2009 had Klout CEO Joe Fernandez and other luminaries of the emerging influence space speak on the business models for influence and reputation panel.

The reason is that, like it or not, the measurement of influence and reputation is one of the most important changes we are seeing in society. We see the ‘reputation economy’ as one of the ExaTrends of the decade.

In a world in which influence has become completely democratized, having measures of influence and reputation will drive many facets of society. Of course, the validity of the influence measures we use is a different matter, but an increasingly important one.

Here are a few quick thoughts on the changes:
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