Is it perverse that your boss might know more about your life than your best friends? That you spend more time with your desk neighbor at work than with your spouse? That your colleagues experience you in more emotionally extreme situations than most of your friends, in moments of utmost success and failure, triumph and defeat?
From “marketing in the age of streams” to the “Googlization of media” to “situational awareness” to “location, location, locaton” to “business becomes social” to “private becomes public” – in their latest report, Edelman’s digital mavens Steve Rubel and David Armano provide a solid overview of the six key digital trends to watch.
As widely discussed by privacy advocates and blogs, Facebook recently changed some of its privacy settings. Users are no longer able to limit the viewing of their profile photos, home towns, and friends lists to only approved friends. Those are all public now by default. Moreover, Facebook’s new default settings “recommend” that dynamic content such as status messages and photos be made public. While the blogosphere still closely scrutinizes these changes and is aghast at Mark Zuckerberg’s ‘privacy is over’ claims made at the Crunchies awards (he didn’t actually say it verbatim but his statements more or less implied it), I have to admit I was surprised that all this stirred such an uproar. Facebook is only reacting to a larger social trend as it strives to become an asymmetrical and therefore more growth-enabled network (or communications platform) – like Twitter. Privacy, at least a more traditional notion thereof, is the collateral damage of this strategic agenda. With the value of reciprocity (narrowcasting) succumbing to the prospect of exponentiality (broadcasting), privacy is no longer commercially exploitable. “No one makes money off of creating private communities in an era of ‘free,’” writes social networking researcher Danah Boyd in a blog post in which she otherwise harshly criticizes Facebook’s move. The age of privacy as we know it might be over indeed. Is it worth fighting for?
To help expand the global conversation about design to improve life, INDEX:, a global non-profit network organization based in Copenhagen, is partnering with Facebook to promote the online voting for the INDEX: 2009 People's Choice Award and enable an online discussion during the live stream of the awards show on 28 August.
The question which brands are the best at “socializing” with their audiences is often asked, but rarely answered. Now Vitrue, a social media advertising solutions company, has attempted to capture a snapshot by releasing a Top Social Brands of 2008 list. The ranking is based on the Social Media Index (SMI), a measurement system the company launched to help track brands' share of voice on the social web.
A few months after Barack Obama’s historic election, and a couple of weeks after the release of Barry Libert’s and Rick Faulk’s book Obama Inc. (and, of course, Obama's inauguration), the first start-ups are popping up that directly apply some of the widely heralded business lessons emerging from the innovative campaign.
While not a member of the Net Generation (the 88 million Millennials for whom social networking is a birthright) myself, I have many friends and co-workers who qualify, and I am constantly baffled by their ease and eagerness to narrow- and broadcast their lives through digital media and with post-privacy transparency. The audience size doesn't matter, it can be narrow or broad, but cast it must be, even if it is often mundane. And yet, it is one of the ironies of such "ego-casting" that the status updates, which become critical life signs, the activity metrics of one's public life, do not begin with "I" but mostly appear in third person on Facebook and Twitter and the likes. This is because all these outlets treat the amateur publisher as a dramatic person per se: "Anthony is happy." – "Tim is working on an economic stimulus plan." – "Sarah loves Tea Leaf Green." When the Net Geners aggregate their social media publishing output into one FriendFeed, the effect becomes fully obvious: here we have the constant flux, the permanent Now as manifest and yet as fragmented as it can be. "It ain't why, why, why, it just is," Van Morrison sang, and another famous Irish artist, James Joyce, based on the concluding free-flow monologue of his Ulysses, would likely agree with the inevitability of "the river of life" as a never-ending "stream of consciousness" that affirms nothing but the fact that one is alive: "Yes."