Serendipity is at the heart of today’s emerging society


Serendipity is for me a deeply meaningful word.

The more than dozen posts discussing serendipity on my blog include how we created “enhanced serendipity” at an event I ran in 2003 in New York, more details on the story of the word serendipity and how to enhance it, the importance of the “serendipity dial” and far more.

One of the reasons I love Twitter so much is that it provides a rich substrate for serendipitous connections. A majority of the worthwhile connections I make these days come from Twitter. One of those connections is @AnaDataGirl. We have followed each other and had some conversations for a good while. So I heard multiple times that she did a gem of a presentation at SwitchConf in Oporto, Portugal last week.

Here are her lovely slides – while I’m sure they don’t do justice to the presentation itself they are well worth going through, as they capture some of the key concepts of serendipity and provide some delightful examples.

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Keynote: Building Business in a Connected World


Tomorrow morning I am giving the keynote at City of Port Phillip’s inaugural Breakfast Briefing session for the year in St Kilda, Melbourne, on the topic of Building Business in a Connected World. Here are event details and registration.

Below are my slides for the presentation, which is almost entirely based on our Success in a Connected World visual framework launched earlier today.

The usual caveats apply – the slides are NOT intended to stand alone but to provide a visual accompaniment to my presentation, so these are shared primarily for those who attended my keynote. However others may still find them useful or interesting.

Note that the presentation is intended primarily for individuals and smaller businesses. It’s a completely different presentation for large enterprise.

Five awesome music videos


Of a Saturday morning I feel like watching some nice videos and music as I work. So, as we go along, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite music videos:

Bjork – All is full of love

One of the best videos ever, exploring the future of sexuality amid humans merging with machines. If you like this kind of stuff, check out our new media site: Future of Sex.
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The Future of Customer Relationships: notes on where they are going


I’ve just finished a teleconference on The Future of Customer Relationships (follow the link for an overview), hosted by and Brian Vellmure.

The panellists were:
Ross Dawson
Dr. Graham Hill
Dr. Michael Wu
Denis Pombriant

Our discussion will be available shortly as an mp3. For now, here are a few quick notes I took from the discussion. We certainly didn’t have the time to cover the full scope of the future of customer relationships in our 45 minute discussion, but we did get across some very interesting issues.

We started by talking about the big picture, where I covered a few of the themes from my map of the ExaTrends of the Decade.


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Will our reputation systems be distributed? Probably not for a long time


The development of reputation systems will be a central aspect of the economy and society this decade. While we are still early in the overall process of building robust systems that are themselves trustworthy, the pace of development is accelerating.

Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist) is putting a lot of thought into the issue. His recent post Trust and reputation systems: redistributing power and influence, begins:

People use social networking tools to figure out who they can trust and rely on for decision making. By the end of this decade, power and influence will shift largely to those people with the best reputations and trust networks, from people with money and nominal power. That is, peer networks will confer legitimacy on people emerging from the grassroots.

The ultimate issue for Craig is how these systems are developed:

I think the solution lies in a network of trust and reputation systems. We’re seeing the evolution of a number of different ways of measuring trust, which reflects a human reality; different people think of trust in different ways.

We need to be able to move around the currency of trust, whatever that turns out to be, like we move money from one bank to another. That suggests the need for interchange standards, and ethical standards that require the release of that information when requested.

Craig expanded on these ideas in an interview for GigaOm, below.

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The power of Juicystar07 demonstrates two key trends in influence


While we were working on the Future of Influence Summit last year I encapsulated the essence of what I was seeing in the space in Five key trends in how influence is transforming society, complementing our Influence Landscape.

If you’ve managed to avoid Juicystar07 and Allthatglitters21 so far, your time is up. They provide a fantastic example of two of the key trends in influence. Blair Fowler (Juicystar07) and Elle Fowler (Allthatglitters21) are sisters who review beauty and fashion products on their YouTube channels, with a total of 50 million and 31 million video views respectively. The video below is a “haul” review of a sponsor’s products which was also being filmed by Good Morning America.

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Personal reputation systems are about to take off… but the next start-up won’t last


Michael Arrington of Techcrunch writes that this week a start-up will launch that is “effectively Yelp for people,” and promises detailed coverage in the next few days.

This is of great interest, not least because our own start-up Repyoot will be launching in public beta in the next couple of weeks, starting as an influence ratings engine within a limited domain, and intending to evolve into a broad-based reputation engine for people.

The thrust of Arrington’s article is that if we are all open to anonymous feedback…

It’s time for a centralized, well organized place for anonymous mass defamation on the Internet. Scary? Yes. But it’s coming nonetheless.

…we will have to change how we judge reputation.

We’re going to be forced to adjust as a society. I firmly believe that we will simply become much more accepting of indiscretions over time. Employers just won’t care that ridiculous drunk college pictures pop up about you when they do a HR background search on you.

In 2007 I expressed similar sentiments in Watch out! The intimate details of your life will be visible forever more…, saying

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Key management trend: Reputation management


I was recently interviewed for a report created by the executive forum Vistage, titled 12 Trends That Will Define Business in the “New Normal”.

One of the key trends covered in the report in which they drew on my thoughts is reputation management, excerpted below.

Trend 7: Reputation Management

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We are fast learning how to create “enhanced serendipity”


Serendipity is one of the most beautiful words in the English language. It originates from the story of “the Three Princes of Serendip”, which tells the tale of three princes who had the faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries (see more on the story here).

For the last decade I have been talking about the idea of “enhanced serendipity”. For example I wrote about how I used social networking software to create enhanced serendipity at a Living Networks event that I ran in New York in 2003, used the term to describe what was done by mobile social networking platform Dodgeball (the first attempt in the space by the founders of today’s success story in the space Foursquare), and a longer post about Creating Enhanced Serendipity in 2006.

In today’s New York Times, Nick Bilton writes a post titled ‘Controlled Serendipity’ Liberates the Web. He writes:

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How reputation measurement will transform professional services


Earlier this week I did the opening keynote at the AMP Hillross annual convention, with the title of Embracing the Future. Hillross, one of the most upmarket of the wealth management networks, is seeking to lead the rest of the market by shifting to a pure fee-for-advice model, and rapidly developing a true professional culture. My keynote was designed to bring home the necessity of individual and firm leadership at this key juncture in industry structure.

One of the central themes of my talk was the increasing importance of reputation for professionals. Clearly reputation has always been critical for any professional, and there are some parts of professional services markets where reputation is already highly visible, such as prominent M&A lawyers, who are identified by numerous client surveys. While clients of other professional services (for example audit or management consulting) tend to be more focused on engaging firms rather than individuals, there is a fundamental shift from corporate to individual reputation under way.

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