Monday, March 29, 2010

I bumped into David Cameron in Starbucks - and talked Twitter

I bumped into David Cameron this morning - Tory Party leader and the man who would become Prime Minister in the UK should his party win the general election in May.

Actually, he slipped past me in the queue at Starbucks at St Pancras railway station. He went straight to a table without buying anything - and that set my sense of fair play twitching.

Turns out a colleague/assistant was doing the queueing for him, which I guess is fair enough?
I sat at the table next to him. At this point I thought he was just some young exec who looked a bit like David Cameron (I'd not met him before).

But when he opened his mouth to talk with said assistant the voice and content of their conversation was a heavy hint.

So I turned to him and asked: "You look familiar. Should I know you?"

He smiled. "Perhaps"

I raised an eyebrow, inviting clarification.

"I'm David Cameron, leader of The Conservative Party."

So. I shook his hand. Wished him luck. But told him I wouldn't be supporting him all the way.

I asked if I could take a snap (to tweet) and also whether he was using Twitter himself.

I told him I'd heard what he'd said about Twitter while being interview by Absolute Radio.
And he explained he didn't use it.

Politicians, he said, needed to think about what they said, before they said it.

He worried that those who tweeted all the time were sharing a stream of consciousness.

I said politicians ought not think too hard before they speak, they should tweet their stream of consciousness. I'd prefer the direct honesty.

And I cited John Prescott (@johnprescott) - and how for years the media had painted him as a bumbling fool - but Twitter enabled him to go direct to the public - to disintermediate the media - revealing the passionate and intelligent man Prescott actually is, rather than the charicature you see in the press.

Cameron did concede that Prescott is a very clever man - but also pointed out that the 140characters of Twitter were a blessed limitation on Prescott's tendency to verbosity. A fair point.

I don't suppose Cameron will start tweeting any time soon. Which is a shame.

Because I prefer my politicians to tell me what they honestly think and as directly as possibly. I want them to admit their human face, warts and all - rather than a mediated, bland/sanitised version of themselves.

Twitter enables that way better than any amount of 'press' ever can.

I only wish more politicians of all parties would give it a go. We may end up knowing who and what we're expected to vote for. And that would be a pleasant first.

UPDATE: Jonathan Macdonald shared an image that captures me sat on the next table to Cameron - just before I was sure who he was and started bending his ear. Watchers watching the watchers :-) View it larger here.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Publishers should abandon both paid content AND advertising to survive

I'm glad that some Murdoch publications are going back to the failed experiment of paywalls - if only because it will reveal once and for all how far from right they've got their strategy for the networked world.

I understand completely why they are doing it - they've done the math (I've been through it with similar orgs). With only small audiences who pay they can make more money than with vast audiences who don't.

That's because those who advertise online don't pay as much as those who advertise in more traditional mediums. There has been a race to the bottom on advertising pricing which made certain of that.

Mass media publishers have learned that they can't make as much money in the networked world (where everyone is publisher, distributor and creator of their own user journey/experience) as they did in the world of control. So, they are attempting to go back to the world of control (when that genie is well and truly out of the bottle and showing no signs of wanting to return to it).

Information is free. But the way it is packaged - the experience of it - you can add a price to. Music, for example is commoditised. People don't pay Apple for music at iTunes. They pay for the packaging, the user experience, ease of usefulness. If this is what the TimesOnline etc will deliver for news content, they may have a business case. I struggle to imagine the parallel myself.

And if all they are going to do is offer access to information in the way they have done until now - but behind a paywall - then they will lose. They can only ever offer access to limited information with limited sources and processes of verification (and trust creation). The rest of the open web is unlimited in both these key respects. Open wins.

But I think through all this publishers are avoiding the key questions. Why do people pay less to advertise online than they did in traditional media? Online the Times et al can acquire greater audiences, more eyeballs. Why isn't that of higher value than print to those taking the broadcast approach to advertising? More eyeballs = pay me more - surely? Why is an online 'eyeball' worth less than an offline one?

Is it that the many digital innovations in advertising that the internet has enabled has lifted the wool from many eyes? It has shown that an eyeball doesn't equal a sale. Never did. But when you are able to measure the lack of transaction, the lack of interest, the scale of your interruptive spam - as the internet has enabled like no other medium - then the wastage of 'Advertising' becomes ever more clear.

Yet publishers persist with pay-for-my-content/pay-for-adverts-on-my-content as their only experiment - as if the solution can only be one or other, or both. Perhaps it's time for them to try a new experiment rather than repeat a failed one? Perhaps it's time to try not one, or other, or both... but neither.

How can publishers create value if they do not charge for content and do not take adverts?

Micro-contributions? Nah - that's just paying for content by novel means (as was Radiohead's pay what you like for our album) Sponsorship? Nah - that's just placing adverts on my content, by another name. Affiliate deals - just another digital ad innovation.

What can they do? Start with the Because Effect. Don't try to make money with content, try to make it because of it.

Content can be the social object around which communities of purpose form - co-creating communities ready and willing to wikifix solutions with brands and organisations - instead of having them imposed on them and fed to them through advertising.

Publishers can become platform organisations: platforms for creating outcomes with genuine ROI rather than platforms for pumping out things people may find useful attached to ads for things they rarely do.

Pay for content/Place ads on content, worked in a world of mass production and distribution - of mass media. But a new 'neither' model is required in a world of niche, of communities of purpose, of active rather than passive consumers - in a networked world.

Platform could be it.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Discounts on Social Media In Business and Being Social

I'm speaking at a couple of London events in May. And, as is traditional, there are some discounts available for those of you who'd like to come along beyond the usual book-early stuff.

Social Media in Business - educating businesses in using social media - is on at Paypal's HQ in Richmond, London on May 21, 2010.

I'll be talking about the whole Using + Social Media = Fail thang.

Anyway. Loads of good people are lined up for it, check the agenda etc out here. Follow that link and you can also land a 15% discount if you use the code: SMIBUBNK

And then there's Being Social on May 13. Another great line up of folk - many of whom I appear to know... I'm speaking on... well that's still TBA - but favourite at the moment is What Replaces The Failed Experiment of Advertising (on a similar theme to that which we presented in Madrid).

I've got 10 25% discounts (on top of the earlybird discount) to give away. Once they've gone, they're gone. Use this link and use this code: SPEAKERS_BS10

Hope to see you at one or both.
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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Plug collaboration into your business

Bringing communities together, co-creating, collaboration, open source... open ended?

The whole notion of businesses without walls can be very difficult for those embedded in traditional organisations to imagine. Where to start? Where does it end?

So at (disclosure, I work there) 90:10 we have been working on a whole series of products to help those organisations benefit from the value created by co-creation in a rapid, outcome-oriented way. First, clear, effective action-oriented steps.

They each have deliverables and outcomes, fixed and short timescales (from 1 week to 3 months) and fixed prices to go with them.

The following slidedeck reveals our approach. If you're interested in the products themselves and how they can create value for your organisation - let me know.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Landing a man on the networked moon

Gordon Brown's plans to 'create innovation and personisation (is that customer-centric for the public sector?) in the delivery of public services will require rather more than faster broadband and a centre to understand and exploit the semantic web.
"Companies that use technology to interact with their users are positioning themselves for the future, and government must do likewise. Mygov marks the end of the one-size-fits-all, man-from-the-ministry-knows-best approach to public services.
"Mygov will constitute a radical new model for how public services will be delivered and for how citizens engage with government - making interaction with government as easy as internet banking or online shopping. This open, personalised platform will allow us to deliver universal services that are also tailored to the needs of each individual; to move from top-down, monolithic websites broadcasting public service information in the hope that the people who need help will find it - to government on demand."
Gordon Brown, PM. read full transcript

For Government,this is truly a mission on the scale of landing a man on the moon.

Not because it seems almost impossible to do, but because the scale of change, the number of barriers to overcome are so large, that essentially the UK system of government, the control from the centre model that matched the industrial age, must be utterly transformed to match the demands of the networked age.

I fear the announcement Brown made today in London is fundamentally too focused on the technology, too little on the organisational changes required to deliver the vision.

The UK Government, like every other government, like every other business, like every other organisation, must be redesigned on the principles of a networked business to deliver its purpose through a platform approach.

In this way they reduce the transaction costs of making things happen; turning a shared idea into an efficient 'fit' through the bringing together of communities of purpose.

There are no hard edges to networked organisations. There can't be. To scale and to enable they have to go beyond traditional boundaries. And they are not made by technology.

The fact that the technology enables transparency and connectedness like never before IS critical. But the desire for, and organisational design for, transparency and connectedness (for sharing; for scale through participation; for search to discover and help us organise through connecting us and our data; and for enabling the always on/not-always-available nature of the web (asychronous/synchronous) is the critical part - not the technology enabling it.

So Government - and all organisations aiming for longevity in this networked world of ours - must adapt (funny how my diagram below looks a little like rocket... perhaps it could land a man on the networked moon...):

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Friday, March 19, 2010

How to build a business for the networked world

Former accidental economist turned accidental technologist JP Rangaswami was at his engaging best when he gave a keynote at the first European Social Business Summit in London yesterday.

JP - on twitter as Jobsworth and blogging as Confused Of Calcutta - is a big brain behind clever stuff at BT.

Yesterday he turned his attention to what it takes to be a business in the networked world.

Economists will know that the purpose of a company is to reduce transaction costs.

Starting from that view point, JP outlined three key elements that must be designed into a business from the word go to succeed in the networked economy.

There is much resonance with the platform thinking approach I advocate:

In a nutshell, organisations should use their resources to discover and bring together people who care about solving the same issues they do and support them in resolving those issues (reducing the transaction costs for all).

This platform approach means the company (the org) doesn't end at the edge of your premises, or at the firewall... and certainly not at those listed on the payroll. It's the Ninety10 way

JP's three tips for building a business for the networked world were these:

1. Design for sharing;
2. Design for scale through participation,
3. Design to take advantage of the synchronicity/asynchronicity the web enables.

Design for sharing: JP gave a neat example of how the ability to benefit from the value creation of sharing has to be part of the structure of the organisation: Food. (image courtesy Photo Mind)

He noted how in India he could always bring a few extra people home for dinner with him. It was never an issue. In England it is much harder to be as spontaneous because our food is structured differently. You may have four steaks ready at home to feed four people. If another three turn up, sharing becomes awkward.

Indian food is more granular, easier to redistribute. It is structured for sharing.

And it's this kind of thinking you have to embed in the structure of the networked org.

People aren't for doing stuff to, they are for doing stuff with
Design for scale through participation: The likes of wikipedia, facebook, twitter have hundreds of employees - millions of willing participants. They were designed from the off as a participatory business. If no one outside participates, they fail. Those outside aren't seen as people to do stuff to, they are seen as people to do stuff with. They are essential and integral.
To pick up on JP's food metaphor - think about a pic-nic. A pic-nic is a meal in which everyone attending contributes something. That can scale from 2 to a million or more.

Design for the Synchronous/Asynchronous:
JP says: "Things that were previously synchronous, like voice communications, can now be asynchronous, and things that were previously asynchronous [like knowing people, status, location or current work] can be synchronous."
In the industrial era people and resources had to be brought together not only physically, but also temporally, to create an outcome. In the networked world this is no longer the case. People all around the world, and at all different times, can contribute. Design this into the structure of your org.

I'm hoping that I've captured the key elements of JP's points here. And I'm sure that if I haven't he will be willing to clarify and/or expand. (UPDATE - JP has added to this in a comment below; with reference to reducing the transaction cost of information for an organisation through search - and the value of social search).

His approach gives an interesting check list for those of us building businesses, or attempting to make existing ones better adapted to the networked world.

And there isn't anyone in any business or organisation anywhere who shouldn't include themselves in that number.

After all, as JP put it: "Trying to create an industrial era firm in a network age is plain blind stupidity."

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We don't pass on messages - we share ideas

I've often discussed why traditional advertising can't succeed in social environments.

It comes down to transmission: In social spaces the only way something gets distributed at all is because it is passed from one person who finds it useful/cool to someone else they think will think it useful/cool, too. (image courtesy furiousgeorge81)

So you have to provide messages that can be adapted. Jokes that can be retold in the form people wish to retell them. Unfinished articles. Messy kitchens.

The message you send out isn't how it'll be passed on. It never was anyway. There is more on that in this deck:

But of course what people pass on isn't a message.
"Hey Joe! Come on over here. I've got this great message to tell you!"
That is advertising. That is broadcast. It lacks the human touch.

No, what we actually do is pass on ideas, not messages.

So, what's the idea you want to share, that others can adapt, embrace, contribute to, share?
"Hey Joe! Come on over here. I've got a great idea I want to share!"
That is human. And being human is a bit of a bonus when you want to communicate with other humans.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Twitter's Anywhere can change the game, the web and your life

Wow. Twitter made an announcement at SXSW (I'm not there, for the record) which, according to reports, got overshadowed by other events.

I don't want to go into that. I do want to make sure you don't miss the real story here. Something that is potentially beyond game-changing - it is life changing. And it is called @anywhere.

From Twitter's blog:
"When we designed Twitter, we took a different approach—we didn’t require a relationship model like that of a social network. Keeping things open meant you could browse our site to read tweets from friends, celebrities, companies, media outlets, fictional characters, and more. You could follow any account and be followed by any account. As a result, companies started interacting with customers, celebrities connected with fans, governments became more transparent, and people started discovering and sharing information in a new, participatory manner.

"We’ve developed a new set of frameworks for adding this Twitter experience anywhere on the web. Soon, sites... will be able to recreate these open, engaging interactions providing a new layer of value for visitors without sending them to Our open technology platform is well known and Twitter APIs are already widely implemented but this is a different approach because we’ve created something incredibly simple. Rather than implementing APIs, site owners need only drop in a few lines of javascript. This new set of frameworks is called @anywhere."
It took hypertext to create the open, unsilo'd web of documents we see today.

We are waiting for something similar to do for the web of people what hypertext does for the web of documents. (image courtesy Erica Marshall)

And @anywhere sounds like it could be a judicious punt in the right direction.

Imagine if @anywhere could become a standard protocol for people's real-time meta data in the way hypertext has proved to be for documents?

That's potentially web changing - and therefore life changing. For all of us.

In its present iteration the @anywhere platform twitterises sites. Launch partners include eBay and The New York Times, Amazon and (watch out Google) Yahoo!

But surely the end game isn't about serving individual sites? Just as hypertext isn't about better internal navigation within a website. No, @anywhere is all about connecting people through the real-time expression of their meta data. So @anywhere is the building blocks of the twitterisation of the web - taking the real-time adhoc fuzzy-edged community-of-purpose forming that Twitter delivers beyond the silo of Twitter itself - and across the entire internet..

Imagine if all sites used it. And it all connected us from site to site. Beyond the silos.

Forget the 140character thing, that's just clever interaction design. It's the framework and standardising of a protocol emerging here which excites me.

Facebook Connect connects. But to me the way it connects people is in a hypertext, node-to-node way. The potential for @anywhere is to connect via interaction between nodes. And that's a much richer space with far greater opportunities to connect with people who share your real-time expression of need, a much greater opportunity to find each other when you need each other.

The value is in the interactions, not in the nodes. Twitter may just have identified that - and found a way to extract it.

And the great thing about value in interactions is that it is value in which we can all share. An even better way to find those who care about the same issue we do right now, come together and act to fix it.

Efficiency beyond the dreams of the broadcast world.

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The internet simply shows us the way the world actually is

I had lunch with Gregory Lent today. We have known each other digitally for some time. He is the artist responsible for the work on the cover of my book. This was the first time we had met in person.

Greg is a truly fascinating, very warm and very wise man. His twitter profile tells us: 'Emptiness consultant, transformation ecologist, artist, economist ... pro-intelligence'. Not average.

Our conversation, our interaction, resulted in a phrase which Greg seized upon. And on reflection it is one you may also feel is worthy of further consideration.

"The internet simply shows us the way the world actually is," what I came out with. Or at least something very similar to that.

That could be a very interesting stub. The internet reveals to us how connected we are, how connected we could be, how connected we should be.

It reveals to us our interdependency. It demands we collaborate. You can't participate without others, you can't distribute without others. You can't publish to yourself.
You can't be a disconnected individual node when you are part of the web.

On the internet you can't achieve without others, without one another.

Think how an idea is distributed and evolves online: If it is not passed on from one human to another it goes nowhere. You can't blast it out, it has to be handed one to another. It may go global. It may reach us all. But it has done so at a very human, hand-to-hand scale. From one person who cared enough about it to pass it on to another human they cared about.

The internet makes those connected to it part of a whole. And it makes it a real, tangible thing, in a way we could only believe in or conceive of in the past (the Buddha, as Greg points out, tells us nothing exists in isolation, more recent philosophies introduce ideas such as 'without context there is no meaning').

In so doing, the internet (perhaps more specifically the web of humanity woven upon it) makes real what was once the realm of the transcendental philopsopher.

It makes this truth of our collective self accessible to anyone who chooses to connect. It can be accessed not only through philosophy, but also through action - by learning from connecting.

It makes real what we instinctively know. It provides the evidence.

Imagine the next generation: in which almost everyone understands humanity as a collective, not a series of national, political, language, religious or other silos.

How will that change politics, the law, education, the structure of business... us?

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Wanted: Paid intern to work on a co-created movie

NinetyTen (my lot) has been helping Honda (a client) on a project to co-create a road trip movie.
There are lots of ways you can get involved. But the latest is rather splendid if you have some time to learn the magic of movies from April 19 to June 11, 2010.

Working with award winning director Claudio Von Planta (you may know him from his work on the Charley Boorman and Ewan Macgregor BBC bike trips Long Way Round and Long Way Down) and the agency producer, you'll be paid £1500 and be provided with accommodation in and travel to and from London.

You need to know your way around social media (if you found this while online, you are on the right lines) and be able to write a blog.

The job is based in central London, but you may be asked to attend the 35-day shoot around Europe throughout May.

You can come from anywhere in Europe, but you need to be able to speak English. Additional languages are beneficial (particularly French, German, Italian or Spanish) and you need to have the appropriate working
visa for employment in the UK.

If you, or anyone you know, should be taking part, send your CV to and describe why you'd be perfect for the project.

You don't need to contact me directly :-)

Here's Claudio talking about the project:

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Accessibility and your responsibility to the network

By (almost) anyone's count, stats, vibe, gut, whatever... 'social media' is becoming the dominant form of media across the world.

We are collectively and globally spending more of our time taking part in it than we do passively receiving all the other broadcast media put together.

And with that position of dominance comes responsibility.

In large traditional media companies (such as the ones I spent much of my life working in) there is a demand for legal compliance. The big boys sign-up to W3C etc. They also make an effort to make their output e-accessible.

They need to be seen to be meeting the needs of disabled users - whether those users have difficulty, seeing, hearing, moving etc. They see a box they need to tick.

But there appears to be little thought for the needs of these users in many of the most mainstream of social tools, technologies and platforms. (image - an open door - via Ben Zvan)

APIs are of course usually available - which offers opportunities for those with the skills and the inclinations to create tools to improve accessibility. They result in great stuff like Accessible Twitter and EasyYouTube for example, but by no means the whole solution. There aren't enough of them solving the whole range of issues, for a start.

You never see accessibility buttons easy to find on your sign in to Facebook etc. And many a sign-in process includes some unfriendly CAPTCHA processes, too.

I don't have solutions - I do think it's going to take a motivated crowd response to sort out. But I also think, like so much else about a networked world, we all have to take responsibility for each other.

I often say that one extra node on your network doubles its value (that's group forming network theory, folks).

Conversely, if the barriers of accessibility preclude one extra node from joining your network you are halving its value. That's a sobering thought.

Or as Stowe Boyd puts it: "I am made greater by the sum of my connections, so are my connections."

CitizensOnline (the charity which I serve as a trustee) is trying to do something about access to the web - and I'll update you as soon as I'm able on the detail of that. Dr Gail Bradbrook has started a blog on this Fix The Web issue. She's also set up a poll you can take part in:

But in the meantime you could start doing your bit by providing captions for your videos, titling your photographs descriptively and usefully and limiting the abbreviations you use in your status updates (hat tip to Joseph C Dolson)

I'm not going to get this right myself every time. Expect howlers. How do I embed a description in the flickr-hosted image with this post, for example? But I do know it's in my interests - and that of the network - to try.

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Monday, March 08, 2010

We police ourselves better than the Advertising Standards Agency ever could

The uk's advertising standards authority wants to apply the same rules to brand-run Twitter accounts and Facebook pages as it does to TV ads and billboards: (via The Guardian)

On the face of it the drive to enforce legality, honesty and truthfulness seems wise.

They (the Advertising Association) even say they are advocating this primarily to protect children; Always a good tactic to deploy to deflect those who would oppose.

You have to ask how they expect the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to police this?

And more importantly, why they think they are better placed to police this than those they seek to protect?

It's another example of the advertising world attempting to place a broadcast, centre-out solution on a peer-to-peer space. You ain't in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.

They make the assumption that the act of setting up a page or account and filling it with dishonesty is equal to broadcasting that dishonesty to unsuspecting audiences. Which is to fundamentally misunderstand how distribution happens in social media.

We ONLY pass on that which we think is useful to those we think will also find it useful.

If we get that wrong our followers stop being our followers, our friends stop being our friends. It is in our interest only to share what we judge to be the honest and truthful (we make our own judgements about the legal - file sharing etc).

We are best placed to make these judgements in the context of OUR communities of purpose (yes, and kids too - by the power of the wisdom of their crowds).
We make those judgements fast, and, since the crowd offers self-correcting mechanics, we make them accurate and relevant.

We at the edge, not them at the centre - and certainly not the ASA.

Sorry but your rules - quite literally - do not apply here.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Can you help design the future?

I've been lucky enough to bag myself a place at the SOMESSO / Headshift Social Business Summit in London on March 18.
Places are limited to 100 and keynote speakers include Jeff Dachis and JP Rangaswami. It's very much not just a passive consumption event though. Attendees are expected to help design the future.
If you'd like to join us, I do have a limited number of discount codes available to distribute.
To get one, drop me an email (davidpcushman AT gmail DOT com) and - if you don't feel I know you already - outline why you think you should be there.
See you on March 18.

If you're US-based, can I point you at an event which Ninety Ten (the company I work for) is supporting in New York on April 19: Social Business Edge. It's run by 90:10 collaborator Stowe Boyd.

And if you've got your social biz thinking cap on, please consider submitting a nominee for the latest round of the Social Business Innovation Awards. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Angry of Percy Street

I'm fuming.

I've just wasted more than an hour on a call which could have lasted 30 seconds. If the caller had been upfront and honest.

An organisation called me because they had been 'given my name' in association with my work with NinetyTen and CitizensOnline (at least that's what they said). They felt we should be introduced to senior people in the UK Government to help effect change after the next election.

They asked questions about what I/we do. They listened carefully as I outlined the impact of the network on every aspect of our lives - and how what we do focuses on creating new efficiencies through social technologies.

They asked how we could see ourselves and our services fitting in with local government and national government requirements and processes.

And when I asked what they needed from us they said a 650-word document about what we do, to place in front of Public Sector commissioners (the people with the purse strings).

It would be part of a book (a page in fact) guiding these commissioners in what needs to change.

Oh - and that'll cost me £3995.


I'm angry (image by darrenhester) for a number of reasons:

1. I feel like a fool. I feel fooled. I was (mis)led on to believe there was genuine interest among senior government officials in trying to make sense of the power of collaboration, of wikifixing, of a platform approach to the organisation. In fact I was being asked to buy an advertorial. A 650-word listing. The whole approach was disingenuous and as far from transparent as I ever want to try to see through.
2. This is no way to serve the community of commissioners this content is intended for. Serving the community FIRST is a guiding principle in media for me. To do this you get the best, most relevant content you can get from all sources, rivals included. Certainly NOT JUST FROM THOSE WHO WILL PAY.
3. As a UK taxpayer, I'm concerned at the implication from the vendors of this listing that commissioners will spend public money based on a company's appearance (or otherwise) on a paid-for listing (you say 'book', I say ad listing.) Any UK public sector commissioners that does should be shown the door for both negligence and incompetence.

For the record, those of you with an interest in public sector (particularly commissioners), a number of 90:10 consultants have deep experience of working with UK Governments at both national and local level.

We use listening technologies to discover people who care about issues and use social tools to bring them together and surface their concerns to enable improved efficiencies in the production, marketing and delivery of products and services.

We don't need to appear on a paid-for list to tell you that. If you'd like to know how we can help you, give us a call, drop us an email, let's meet face to face. Ninety Ten awaits.

Just don't expect us to show up in a book sent to you free any time soon.

Tip for everyone else on planet earth: If you are expecting me to pay to create your content say so right up front. It'll save us both a lot of time.

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Nominate a social business innovator

It's March. So it must be time for the next (the second!) monthly Social Business Innovation Award.
And, just as last month, they can't happen without you.
Right now we need to work together on nominations; making them and attracting suggestions from others. Later in the month we'll need to join together to vote.

Last month found a worthy winner in BusinessCard2.0.

This month let's focus on businesses and organisations which have created,, or significantly improved, their products or services using digital social tools - from forums, microblogs, blogs and ideas platforms to social networks, email and SMS.

As last month, please nominate, with any relevant links, by posting a comment below.
Those that appear in the final nominees list will be entitled to display the badge you see here.

Please call on your friends to join in.

What are these awards all about?
Social business innovation: Efficiency and tranformation through the use of social tools.

We have the best set of tools in history for people to find each other and act together to create and improve on the things that matter to them.

What are we doing with them?

Some businesses and organisations are grasping them to wikifix their products and services, to deliver best-fit R&D and NPD and join in waste-free people-powered communications and marketing. The wikifixing of the world has begun.

Those engaging in the process reach new levels of efficiency thanks to an ever-better fit with the needs of their partners - those formerly known as the customer. (By way of disclosure, that's what we at 90:10 Group help organisations with).

I hope you will join with me to celebrate the best of them - and through this find a path to the communities-of-purpose-driven future of the organisation.

So each month this blog will host a Social Business Innovation of The Month award, nominated by you and voted on by you. The format is very much inspired by Neil Perkin's ThinkTank.

The awards are to recognise great work in open/social business/organisational design/innovation/tranformation/efficiency using social technologies.

The winners will enter a case-study Hall of Fame to be shared with all - and in which the winners can revel in the glory of their peers' admiration ;-). More importantly, we can all get inspiration and guidance.

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Monday, March 01, 2010

Time to end the failed experiment of advertising

As promised, here's the slidedeck Jamie Burke and I presented in Madrid last week. By way of disclosure we were in Madrid for the official launch of 90:10 Spain - and took the opportunity to present our thinking at the OMEXPO.

The slides ask the question, if advertising didn't exist today, would you reinvent it? We think too much digital tech, innovation and effort has been focused on making a better message when what is better for all parties is that we should work together on making better things.Platform thinking that delivers value innovation.

It's time time to end the insanity of repeating the failed experiment of advertising. Time to start creating platforms for change.

Video will follow later this week...
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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?