Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Social networks and the broadcast conversation starter

I spoke at EPublishing Innovation Forum in London today and it was fun. The brilliant Vin Crosbie was doing the keynote and I'm delighted to say he came by to say hi after my presentation because I'd reminded him of some important stuff that he usually forgets to say - the why of the internet is people reaching out to find other people. And we had a great conversation.

That highlighted something for me: presenting makes you the deliverer of content - this waves a flag for the start of conversation. As a presenter the audience has acquired some very useful metadata about me and my purpose and that triggers conversation galore once the broadcast (me speaking from the stage) is over. There's a lesson in here about the value of content in a broadcast mode which media could get something from. I'm going to think about this some more.

The other thing is that Vin's keynote covers much of the theoretical framework I'm interested in so I kind of adapted my presentation on the hoof.

I floated an idea I've been toying with in recent days - that perhaps we were guilty of over estimating the impact of the internet before the arrival of ubiquitous social networking.

Social networks have only gained currency in the last five years or so. Is it a coincidence that this has been the same period in which broadcast media has seen its revenues dwindle and its audiences shrink?

The real ease with which groups of purpose can organise in social networks is something that wasn't so easily enabled on forums and in newsgroups of emails.

When new tools become truly ubiquitous change happens. In this case I'm suggesting the new tools isn't simply the internet, it's the refinement of social networks (networking for the masses?)

The process of using social networks has educated a new and huge generation in the value of real-time synchronous communication which is the guts of the formation of communities of purpose.

Just a thought at this stage, and one lashed down at speed driven by battery run-down fear! Your input welcome.

I'm on my way to Cannes now, for MeM and the Meffys. More from there as live as I can make it!

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?