Why it matters that networks in organizations and social systems are shifting to power-law distributions

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I recently gave a keynote address on Science and Leadership for the Future to a small group of major media and corporate clients of New Scientist magazine.

Given the context, I was able to delve a little deeper into the issues than I would for most audiences.

The video of my presentation was sliced into a number of brief segments. Below is the video of the section of my presentation on Networks.


Here is a summary of the points made in the video:
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Four lessons learned from 12 years of blogging

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It is 12 years since I started this Trends in the Living Networks blog to accompany the launch of my book Living Networks. It is interesting to look at my posts from October 2002, in which I reflected on some of the earlier signs of the networks coming to life.

The original blog was on the book website, but a couple of years later I moved it to this domain, rossdawsonblog.com. At the time I put quite a lot of consideration into whether that was a good name, given that ‘blog’ was a neologism that might fade or be replaced.

The concept of a blog is now firmly mainstream, with not just tens of millions of people and many companies blogging, but a significant chunk of mainstream media having shifted to blog-like formats.

I still spot many articles about how to get attention to your new blog, and many people still seem to be setting up blogs (though of course many are also abandoning them after having tried for a while).

So what are some of the things I have learned from 12 years of blogging?
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4 important implications of us reaching Crunch Time

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A little while ago we released our “Crunch Time” framework, looking at the 14 domains where we are hitting dramatic disruption, including work, money, privacy, government, education, media, climate and more. You can see the full Crunch Time framework on the Future Exploration Network website.

We have created a short video to introduce the concept of Crunch Time, and the four major implications that apply across the board.


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How will TV and digital video converge and who will take the bulk of the value?

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While news-on-paper is on the way out, it appears to be quite a different story for TV. The TV industry globally is challenged in a variety of ways, however revenues in the US remain resilient, as shown in this chart.

Luma_TV_spend
Source: LUMA’s The Future of (Digital) TV

Digital video has exploded over the last 8 years however that has, in the main, being a complement to TV, with TV viewing eroding surprisingly slowly compared to earlier forecasts.
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The death of news-on-paper is the rebirth of news organizations

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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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Updating the newspaper extinction timeline for the Arab world

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Yesterday I gave the opening keynote at the Arab Media Forum in Dubai, on Creating the Future of Arab Media.

My speech and a series of interviews I did afterwards have received broad coverage, including articles in Al Arabiya, Gulf Today, Huffington Post, Emirates 24/7, Zawya, and Gulf News, as well as interviews on Dubai Eye and Dubai One. I thought it was worth reviewing a few of the major points made.
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Keynote slides: Creating the Future of Arab Media

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Tomorrow I am doing the opening presentation at Arab Media Forum in Dubai, the largest and most prestigious conference on media in the Arab world.

The slides to my presentation are below. As always, slides are designed to support my presentation, not to stand alone, but may still be of value even if you didn’t attend my keynote.

In my presentation I cover:
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Future/ media/ social media meetup in Dubai – Wednesday 21 May

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I am in Dubai for the next few days to do a keynote at Arab Media Forum on the future of media.

I’d love to catch up with anyone who is interesting in an informal meetup to chat about the future, media, and social media in the Arab world and beyond.

It has been a while since I’ve been in UAE and keen to connect with interesting people and hear what’s happening.

Where: A’Rukn cafe, Souk Madinat Jumeirah (location link)

When: 6-8pm, Wednesday 21 May

Register on Eventbrite

Hope to see you there! Everyone is welcome, feel free to pass on word, whoever turns up will be the right people

Launch of 2014 Crunch Time report: 14 domains hitting the crunch and responses

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At the end of each year we share some thoughts about current trends and what to expect next year and beyond.

Some of our past frameworks include Trend Blend 2007+, Trend Blend 2008+, Map of the Decade: 2010s, Zeitgeist 2011, 12 Themes for 2012, and 2013 – Life Next Year and Beyond: Appearing and Disappearing.

Today Future Exploration Network launches our 2014: Crunch Time mini-report. It explains why we are reaching Crunch Time, the implications, descriptions of 14 domains in which we are hitting the crunch, and how we need to respond.

The graphic slideshow of Crunch Time is embedded below. You can also read the full text in one page at 2014: Crunch Time on the original posting on the Future Exploration Network website.

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The (in)accuracy of long-tail Wikipedia articles – can you help improve mine?

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The quality of Wikipedia has been well established. A well-known study was carried out in 2005 by scientific journal Nature showing that the accuracy of Wikipedia articles on science was comparable to that of Encyclopedia Brittanica. A more recent study by Epic and University of Oxford again showed comparable quality of articles across many domains of study and languages.

These well-publicized studies have led people to believe that Wikipedia is always a reliable source of information. However the problem is that both of these studies compared articles of substance on academic topics. There are more than 23 million articles on Wikipedia, and around 130,000 on Encyclopedia Brittanica. There is no way to assess on a comparative basis the accuracy of the close to 23 million Wikipedia articles on topics that aren’t substantively covered elsewhere.
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