At current growth rates everyone in the US will have a Twitter account by August 22 2009!

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ComScore has just announced that the number of Twitter users in the US went up by 131% in March.

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At this rate, everyone in the US will have a Twitter account by August 22 of this year.

In other news, CNN (which just acquired CNNbrk) and Ashton Kutcher are battling it out to be the first to reach one million followers.

With many million of synapses now firing frantically, the global brain is finally awakening

Yet another logo competition – first public news of a new influence ratings engine

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I’ve just posted my third logo competition on 99 designs in as many months, as I am now firmly in venture generation mode, and have found that 99 designs can provide excellent results if you approach it the right way. After rebranding Advanced Human Technologies (full launch announced shortly) and launching events firm The Insight Exchange 10 days ago, I have just put up a logo competition for Repyoot, which will be announced soon pre-beta as what will soon emerge as a leading influence and reputation ratings engine.

So if you’re a designer or know a great designer who would like to create a very influential logo design, check out the logo competition!

Twitter on ABC TV – the impact on politics, media and socializing

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ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) TV had a very nice segment on Twitter yesterday, as below.

As befits the august institution, the segment was more thoughtful than some other recent media coverage.

It begins with how politicians are using Twitter, including Barack Obama, Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd, opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull, and South Australian state premier Mike Rann, who announced his new cabinet on Twitter, and talks about how he embraces it as a way of communicating with his electorate.

The segment then looks at how Twitter is becoming a media channel, including providing breaking coverage of events such as the Mumbai terrorist attacks and Australian bushfires, and quotes me saying that many news events are covered first and sometimes better on Twitter than on mainstream media.

On the segment ABC Managing Director Mark Scott says that most Twitter sources cannot be trusted, so people will look to credible sources such as the ABC, possibly delivered over the ABC’s own Twitter channel.

This approach just takes us back to the traditional view that news is only news once a journalist has reported it. In part of my interview that wasn’t used in the segment I noted that people are increasingly looking for primary sources for news. They are not interested in waiting until the broadcast journalists get to the scene, and they feel capable of assessing the validity of these unauthorized sources themselves.

The segment wraps up mentioning Twitter’s search for a business model.

Embracing the Future: keynote speaker at Direct Selling Assocation

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Tomorrow I am giving the opening keynote at the Direct Selling Association of Australia Conference 09 which is on the theme of ‘Defining our Future’.

The slides for my presentation are below. As always, these are intended to accompany my keynote, not as stand-alone slides.

The presentation includes a diverse range of examples of markets that are currently growing:

Guitars

Home renovation tools

Home gardening

Books

Cookware

Lipstick

Quality jewellery (in the case of my wife’s business www.victoriabuckley.com)

Brain fitness

Clean energy

Robots

Aged care

Mobile applications

Events (done well, in the right sectors)

I’ll write more soon about the array of growth markets that offer great opportunities at the moment.

Why GFC explains everything (to Australians)

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This morning an email from a client mentioned the GFC. Earlier this week another client was talking about the GEC (which has the advantage that you can pronounce it, while GFC has to be spelled out).

When this morning I Twittered about how we have a new acronym that doesn’t need to be explained, I got some interesting responses. @ITSinsider in America said that she had heard it before from someone else in Australia. An Australian initially thought I meant Geelong Football Club, so googled it to find out.

Which gives very interesting results…

If you Google “GFC” in Australia the #3 result is a newspaper story Tough week ends in talk of ‘GFC’, dated from October last year, with four of the top 10 results referring to the planet’s economic woes, including three newspaper headlines.

If you Google “GFC” in the US, aside from a #5 entry from Wikipedia which includes various acronyms including the contemporary one, the first entry which refers to GFC in this way is at #45.

So are Australians particularly acronym-crazy? Are we in the vanguard of what will be a global trend to summarize the state of the world as GFC?

Of course the very best thing about GFC is that it is an easy explanation for everything, in three easy letters. It was all getting very complicated for a while. Now it’s simple again – yay!

Enterprise 2.0: Competitive differentiation occurs at the intersection of technology and culture

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Recently I have been immersing myself in the Enterprise 2.0 space, organizing the second annual Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum which is on in two weeks now, writing the Implementing Enterprise 2.0 Report which will be launched at the same time (slightly afterwards for the international market), and helping a variety of large organizations to drive their Enterprise 2.0 initiatives forward.

It’s a long time since I came up with my definition for Enterprise 2.0 as below. While I generally dislike jargon and the liberal addition of “2.0” to words, I find the term Enterprise 2.0 highly meaningful because it is, in addition to tapping the value of Web 2.0 in a specific context, literally about creating the next version of the organization.

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What that stayed with me more than anything else from Andrew McAfee’s speech at our inaugural Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum last year, is one of his key conclusions: “Enterprise 2.0 will make companies less similar” (or as I always remembered it, ‘Enterprise 2.0 makes companies more different’).

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Timewarp discovered: What daily life will be like in the year 2049

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Have you ever wondered what life will be like in the year 2049?

Amazingly I seem to have stumbled across a timewarp. The blog p40y is being written every day in the year 2049, and each blog post appears daily 40 years earlier. Since the blog began on New Years Day 2049 (and 2009 via the timewarp) some fantastic insights into the future 40 years from now.

Here are a few excerpts that give a flavor for what we can expect at the end of this half-century.

Claytronics

Today I sat in a meeting with some people and some Claytronic replicas of other people that were unable (couldn’t be bothered?) to make the meeting in person. Now I know this is a new technology but it’s total rubbish. In theory you just pmail or gfax over some instructions to a giant programmable lump of clay sitting in one of the spare chairs and it automatically morphs into a life size 3-D, walking, talking replica of the real person.

However, it didn’t. In this instance the millions of tiny microprocessors didn’t seem to be communicating with each other correctly – or the electrostatic forces weren’t working because someone left an AiPhone™ on – and what we got instead was a giant brown talking turd. “Different day, same old talking shit” as one wit observed.

This is particularly interesting. Kil’n People by David Brin, one of my favorite science fiction books, describes a world in which people create animated clay replicas of themselves. I have also blogged about a Japanese professor who has created a doppelganger of himself – though not in clay…

DNA Hacking

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Wealth Adaptation Syndrome (WAS): a defining malaise of our times and the opportunities that stem from it

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I was interviewed last week on social trends in 2009 for a feature story in the Sunday Times magazine in Perth. In order to illustrate my ideas, I coined a term, Wealth Adaptation Syndrome, or WAS.

(One of the great things about the growth of Internet content and search engines is that when you invent a phrase you can check whether anyone has ever written it before. This post is the first ever appearance of the phrase ‘Wealth Adaptation Syndrome’. However note that Sudden Wealth Syndrome (a quite different phenomenon) was commonly referred to during the dot-com boom.)

Wealth Adaptation Syndrome is, quite simply, the process of adjusting to significantly different perceptions of your personal wealth. This applies quite differently depending on starting levels of wealth, but in all cases requires adjustment of not just wealth status, but also social status, and usually behaviors including spending patterns.

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Our trend map for 2009: The vital Trends, Risks, and Red Herrings you must know

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Following our extremely popular Trend Blend 2007 and Trend Blend 2008 trend maps comes…. Trend Blend 2009!

Created by Future Exploration Network’s Chief Futurist Richard Watson, also of NowandNext.com, the 2009 trend map moves on from the subway map theme of the last years to show the multi-tentacled hydra that is the year ahead.

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Click on the map to download the pdf (810KB)

To pick out just a few noteworthy elements of the trend map:

CORE THEMES include:

Uncertainy

Ageing

Global Connectivity

Anxiety

Power Shift Eastwards

SUBJECT THEMES include:

SOCIETY: Search for control, enoughism

TECHNOLOGY: Simplicity, Telepresence, Gesture based computing

ECONOMY: De-leveraging, 2-speed economies, Shorter product lifecycles

ENVIRONMENT: Bio fuel backlash, Negawatts, Nuclear power

POLITICS: Virtual protests, Globalisation in retreat, Immigration backlash

BUSINESS: Networked risk, Transparency, Asset price uncertainty

FAMILY: Debt stress, Allowable luxuries, Middle class unrest

MEDIA: Flight to quality, Facebook fatigue, Skimming, Micro boredom

POSSIBLE RED HERRINGS include:

Climate change crisis

Fall of US Empire

Nuclear power

Device convergence

GLOBAL RISKS include:

Major Internet failure

Influenza pandemic

Major earthquake in economic centre

Obesity

Electricity shortages

People taking trend maps too seriously

As usual, this is released on a Creative Commons license, so feel free to play with it, adapt it, and improve it!

Wishing everyone a fabulous 2009 – be sure to take advantage of these upcoming trends!

Interviews: Six important forces that will shape 2009

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I’ve done two radio interviews this morning, asking me for forecasts for the year ahead.

The broader issue I am emphasizing in my current interviews and speaking is that 2009 will bring more change than any other year this decade.

Perversely, a slowing economy will accelerate the pace of change. Many companies will take advantage of the downturn to use technology in innovative ways. Technology ranging from mobile applications to online gaming will become an everyday part of our work lives.

Social change tends to be faster in a downturn. Our attitudes to what is acceptable behavior by the government and companies will rapidly evolve. Technology is shaping society, but society is also shaping technology, particularly in how it allows us to express forcible opinions.

In these interviews for non-professional audiences I briefly covered six important forces that will shape business and society in 2009:

1. Constant partial attention. 2009 will see more people consuming 20 hours or more of media a day. And no, it’s not just the insomniacs. It is due to a phenomenon called Constant Partial Attention, or CPA, in which our attention is constantly divided between a massive array of channels now including mobile Internet, video screens on buses, and more. Over two-thirds of people watch TV while reading. To be successful, we need to thrive on constant interruption.

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