3 major shifts in the nature of trust in business relationships


While the subtitle of my book Living Networks referred to the ‘hyperconnected’ economy, the reality is that living networks are built primarily on human relationships based on mutual knowledge and trust. Here is a brief excerpt from the book about what is changing in the world of trust.

Trust is a business perennial—from the days when chickens were traded for cowrie shells until we start trading with extraterrestrial races, trust has been and always will be the central factor in business relationships. However in the networked world there are three vital shifts in the nature and role of trust.
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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.

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 Focus.com 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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Transparency has long been driving business and society… but it’s only just begun


One of the most surprising things about Wikileaks is that it took this long for the massive shift to transparency to have an impact on this scale. The trend to transparency has long been evident, and sites to facilitate leaks have been around for many years now. The inevitability of a transparent world has long shaped my thinking about the future.

In my 2002 book Living Networks, the final chapter was on the future of a networked world. The second of my ten predictions was: Transparency will drive business and society.

Even before the book came out I spoke at KMWorld in Silicon Valley on Creating the Transparent Corporation, and given my background in capital markets, I have been interested in and written and spoken about transparency in investor relations from the 1990s with the rise of intangibles reporting and beyond to the impact of the rise of social media.

One of the facets in my widely read 2006 article Six Facets of the Future of PR was Transparency is a given, while one of my Seven Megatrends of Professional Services was Transparency.

In both of these papers, as in a number of keynotes I gave earlier in the decade, I mentioning the now-defunct corporate leaks site internalmemos.com, which was launched in 2002, and had a significant impact for a number of companies (which are next target in line for Wikileaks and its peers).

The full text of my 2002 prediction on transparency from Living Networks is here, with the full book chapter embedded at the bottom of the post.

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Infographic: The NewsScape – 8 sources of value creation in a post-channel media world


Tomorrow I’m doing the closing keynote at the Newspaper Publishers Association Future Forum conference in Sydney, with already considerable attention on what I will discuss.

I have just prepared a framework to crystallize some of my thoughts on the news landscape today, which I’ve called The NewsScape. Individual channels – such as print, TV, internet, and more – are becoming meaningless. In the post-channel media world we are entering, the entire landscape is laid open. The NewsScape shows how value is created in this world. (Media revenue models are addressed elsewhere with an update on this coming.)

The NewsScape

Click on the image to see large version

Interfaces are the furnace at the heart of how we access news. Adding to the established interfaces of newspapers and television, newer interfaces including phones and tablets have emerged. Before long digital paper that has most of the great qualities of print as well as the advantages of the digital will be available at reasonable prices.

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Lessons from iPhone4 Applegate: social media augmentation of consumer voices and the need to listen


A few days ago I was interviewed by ABC’s Newsline program for a segment they did on Apple’s response to the iPhone4 ‘Antennagate’ problem.

Here is the second part of the segment including my thoughts. To see the full piece go to the Newsline archives and click on ‘Bad Press’ dated 21/7.

Despite the way the piece was edited, I was not scathing about Apple’s response. I think their solution of a free Bumper case is, so far, reasonable. However there are two important points.

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Will there be capital markets for equity in people?


I recently read the entertaining science fiction novel The Unincorporated Man by brothers Dani and Eytan Kollin. The premise is that several hundred years in the future everyone is incorporated at birth, with the government owning 5% and parents 20%. People trade equity in themselves for their education and development, then spend their life trying to earn back majority ownership so they can control their lives. Into this world an entrepreneur of today who underwent cryogenic freezing is revived, and refuses to cede ownership of himself.

This is not a new idea. In 1995 aspiring British actress Caroline Ilana, trying to fund her attendance at acting school, established a corporation with herself as the sole asset, giving shareholders 10% of her earnings. Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ben Elton, Julie Christie and many other celebrities she approached bought shares.

In their 1998 book Blur, Stan Davis and Chris Meyer wrote about the blurring line between being a laborer and a capitalist, resulting in the securitization of individuals.

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Outsourcing journalism – how far can you take it?


Seed.com, AOL’s venture in crowdsourced journalism, has just sent out a survey to its contributors, with some very interesting questions, notes Business Insider.


Source: Business Insider

A few interesting thoughts coming out of the issues raised in the survey:

* Seed.com is considering outsourcing fact-checking and copy-editing – given finding the right talent and quality control systems this should be feasible

* Contests and ratings systems could be a significant incentive to contributing, notes New York Observer. This is because aspiring journalists, through this kind of reputation, could more readily move on to more attractive opportunities. In a similar vein TopCoder uses contents to draw in the best developers.

* There could be real value in building communities for aspiring writers, as well as providing training and development. Attracting talent requires more than just providing an outlet.

Seed.com, Demand Media and others are in the vanguard of doing what they can to attract talented contributors who are motivated by things other than money. We are beginning to discover how far we can take outsourced journalism.

There will be two types of people: content creators and non-content creators


In the future there will be two types of people.

Either you will create content to share with the world, or you will not.

Many of us have already made the choice to share content with the world at large. We will be joined by many more.

The advantages of having a visible presence in a world awash with information will create a substantial economic and social difference between content creators and the rest.

Yet some people will not to want to share. Some won’t want to share anything about themselves beyond family and close friends. Others will be concerned about the privacy implications. They will not share of themselves to the world.

However if you choose to be a content-creator, it’s a slippery slope. Once you are sharing your voice online, be it through blogging, Twitter, social networks, videos, or other channels, the demands are intense just to keep it going. It’s fun, it’s rewarding, but it’s a commitment.

When your reputation and personal potential are driven by sharing, you do more. So as I just wrote, there can be spiralling demands from content creation.

If you choose to create content, content creation will be your life.

Information filtering and reputation will be evolutionary battlefields


When I wrote earlier Will our reputation systems be distributed? Probably not for a long time, a number of people noted that reputation systems will be gamed.

Absolutely. The more valuable a system is, the more people will try to game it. If reputation systems influence who people buy from, who they date, who they read, then massive efforts will be made to game the systems.

However the value of a reliable reputation system is such that it is worth doing anything possible to counter-act the gamers, and it is possible. The energy and money devoted to trying to game Google is extraordinary, yet these efforts have limited success.

In the last chapter of my book Living Networks I made a number of predictions for the future of the living networks, including that Information filtering will be an evolutionary battlefield.

While reputation is a slightly different space from information filtering, both are absolutely evolutionary battlefields where each party’s tactics will evolve in response to the others’, all the while creating valuable outcomes for users. Here is the excerpt from Living Networks.

Information filtering will be an evolutionary battlefield

Bats’ use of echolocation to find their prey is one of the marvels of nature. Bats produce high-frequency sounds, and by picking up and distinguishing the immensely quieter echoes off insects in the air, can instantaneously calculate the location of their next meal. The evolution of this extraordinary capability has led to moths evolving in response. The soft outside of their wings and bodies absorbs the bats’ ultrasound. Moths engage in evasive flying stunts when they hear bats squeaking. Some moths have even evolved the ability to produce ultrasound as well, possibly to startle and throw off bats. In turn, bats have developed complex flying behaviors to confuse moths, and occasionally turn off their echolocation to stop the moths jamming their signals.

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