Immediacy Of Innovation

The economics of digital technology are launching us into an era where, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, “passive analysis will be subordinate to active participation”.

Technology is transforming innovation as both the costs and time to innovation are much more accessible to companies who seek change and rapid feedback. Moving away from formal, drawn out, plans and analysis – expect to see more rapid prototyping, agile development, and environments driven by experimentation.

These changes will have great effects on culture as innovation will not just be the focus of a traditional research and development group – but, instead, it should be a central element to a company’s culture. People’s perspectives will be focused less on the future and more into the immediate because they will be able to see the cause and effect of ideas and changes right away, instead of speculated over formal processes and hours in conference rooms.Continue reading

How Personal Metrics Can Change Our Lives

America is trapped in a consumption driven lifestyle, and the consequences of our actions are being revealed more now than ever before. Our economy has reached a state of turmoil not seen since the Great Depression. In March 2009, the collective credit card debt of Americans was just over $940 billion. Our nation’s obesity levels have reached ultimate highs with two thirds of adults and one third of children in America are obese. And, we are in the middle of a massive climate crisis. The United States per capital carbon dioxide emissions in 2005 were more than four times greater than China’s and almost fourteen times India’s.

Have we become blind to the consequences of our actions?

There is an eminent need to quantify our behavior and bring more transparency and understanding to the effects that our actions have.Continue reading

Target Me Please

With an uprising of recent concerns about privacy and ownership of digital content and data, is it possible that perhaps the current generation really doesn’t care at all?

In a recent presentation at the OMMA Behavioral Summit, Forrester analyst Emily Riley presented the idea that Generation Y expects us to know everything about them – and argued that we should develop more innovative ways for customers to manage their relationships with brands.Continue reading

Searching Twitter

With a growth rate of over 900 percent last year (and now 6 million users) Twitter is rapidly becoming a part of our every day life – and brands want to be a part of it. So much so that there are dedicated people at companies such as Comcast, Time Warner, Livestrong, Southwest, and Lululemon that use Twitter as a means to be a part of the conversation about their brands.

In a recent interview with Charlie Rose, Marc Andreessen, described Twitter as being “a real time electronic worldwide nervous system”. The challenge now lies in creating a way to read this nervous system, measure what’s happening, and make this information accessible and useful to a brand’s ability to continue conversations with consumers.

The question everyone wants answered is – how will Twitter make money? Having just closed on a $35 million investment from Institutional Venture Partners and Benchmark Capital – Twitter is eying search as a means to increase their value. However, the company says that the priority right now is to continue the user growth.

For more on the influence of search in Twitter’s future, check out the article Twitter Eyes Search as a Means to Monetize from

Re-Creating A Mindset

What if the same amount of creativity and innovation that is applied to creating new products and campaigns was applied to shifting our approach and mindsets and vision of the future. Valerie Casey is trying to inspire and educate the creative community to take a pledge to reduce their organization’s carbon footprints, raise social and environment impact with every client, and start conversations to encourage collaboration in creating sustainable products, services, and businesses.

As an adopter of the accord, all organizations and individuals commit to a code of conduct: Do no harm; Communicate and collaborate; Keep learning, keep teaching; Instigate meaningful change; Make theory action.

Though the movement is still in its infancy, companies such as Adobe, Autodesk, and New Leaf Paper have already signed on. And with the support of these organizations, the movement has spread to countries including Australia, Mexico, and Finland. To learn more about the program, check out the Designer’s Accordas well as their online community where creative organizations and professionals can connect and catalyze innovation around sustainable practices that will change our future.

Are We Really Friends

While cruising Facebook, I’m often amazed at how many friends people have and wonder what the quality of these relationships is. Do we really know these people? Do we really care about them? What was the criteria for them becoming our friend – or is there any criteria anymore?? Are we just auto-programmed to click “approve” anytime we receive a friend request? What does it really mean to know someone these days? Has the digital age of social networking created an obsessive need to amass as large a following as possible just to maintain some status?

There is a great article in the New York Times that hits this idea right on –Facebook in a Crowd is by Toronto based author Hal Heidzviecki’s commentary on a little experiment he did to see who is real Facebook friends are.

This really leads me to a greater discussion about the quality of the relationships that we develop online and whether our online relationships are creating a false sense of community.

Are there any online communities that really foster true meaningful communication and experience? Can the current model of online communities adequately support interactions that add value to our lives and relationships?

The State Of Behavioral Targeting

According to Forrester data, 24% of advertisers used behavioral targeting in 2008, 8% more than in 2007. Privacy advocates are concerned that this type of analysis is too invasive. However users don’t seem to mind.

With the rise of social networking activity, users are letting their guards down. In a recent Forrester poll, 29% of respondents said they would prefer to receive appropriately targeted ads as opposed to random ones. However, as they share more personal details than ever – what are they getting in return?

The idea of behavioral targeting is still in its infancy as advertisers navigate the data, technology, and metrics. Check out the article in Brandweek about the future of behavioral targeting, what we are learning from social networks, and how we can leverage community influences to spread our messages.

Digital Intimacy

A few nights ago, someone who did not grow up with the Internet asked me what the purpose of Twitter is – and how following hundreds of people’s every day activities can add to your life. For me, the main value is that I have a large social circle of people who I can draw on at any time to help me solve a problem, answer a question, spark an idea, or stay in touch with close friends. I completely disagree with people who believe that the constant connectedness that exists in society is causing us to lack meaningful interactions.

The New York Times magazine recently had a great article about technology, privacy, and culture called Brand New World of Digital Intimacy. The article focuses on how technologies such as TwitterDopplrLoopt, and the Facebook Newsfeed allow us to have Continue reading

Crowd Or Community

I recently read an article by Mark Pesce who is a Sydney, Australia based consultant, writer and lecturer. He runs a consultancy called FutureSt. Mark was a speaker at Web Directions South and gave a great talk called “This, That, and the Other“.

Here’s part of his presentation.

“I’m telling you things I shouldn’t have to tell you. I’m telling you things that you already know. But the other, this laziness, it’s built into our culture. Socially, we have two states of being: community and crowd. A community can collaborate to bring a new mobile carrier into being. A crowd can only gripe about their carrier. And now, as the strict lines between community and crowd get increasingly confused because of the upswing in hyperconnectivity, we behave like crowds when we really ought to be organizing like a community.

The future – for all of us – is the battle over the boundary between the community and the crowd. I am choosing to embrace the community. It seems the right thing to do. And as I walk off-stage here, this afternoon, I want you to remember that each of you holds the keys to the kingdom. Our community is yours to shape as you will. Everything that you do is translated into how we operate as a culture, as a society, as a civilization. It can be a coming together, or it can be a breaking apart. And it’s up to you.”

Unlocking The Value Of A Community

Four and a half years ago, MySpace had just launched, and only a month later, Facebook was on the scene. What many don’t know is that though MySpace was the leader, Facebook is actually now the larger site. Also this year, MySpace failed to hit its revenue targets. But these facts don’t even phase MySpace. This month’s Fast Company features a glimpse into MySpace’s future. Going back to their roots – MySpace is focusing on what they are calling a Social Portal – a “global, content-rich hub with a social component”.

MySpace is planning a return to a focus on the music industry – partnering with Sony and Warner to launch a joint venture called MySpace Music. Aiming to be a competitor to iTunes, MySpace Music is positioned “let people listen to and share streaming songs from a full catalog of music for free – but also create playlists and buy ring tones, merchandise, concert tickets, and music.”

In theory, this idea is not that different from other music sites – however, when you consider the reach of audience and the social networking power, it will be interesting to see how the MySpace audience responds. Michael Nash, the EVPof digital strategy and business development at Warner Music says it best – “Unlocking the social value in the context of an online community is one of our most important priorities”.