In 2016 we hardly need to be told that the web has a truth problem. Facebook is still considering ways to combat fake news, Google is still grappling with veracity in semantic search, experimenting with Knowledge Based Trust (KBT) as a means of ensuring that search is as reliable as possible in its answers.
Whether you are selling soap or news the key to capturing market share lies in the ability to capture attention. The ability to capture attention requires just one ingredient: relevance.
Here’s an experiment: You are in a burning building. Smoke and fire alarms blaring everywhere. An emergency robot appears in front of you, emerging out of the smoke. “This way” it signals. Would you go?
Trust is emerging as the key requirement in the 21st century in making businesses succeed, marketing campaigns stick and brands thrive. Its lack has the exact opposite effect. It has been around since we were able to stand up on our hind legs and form roving bands of hunters (probably even before that) so why are we only now looking at it in detail?
It’s Monday morning and here I am, my thoughts and ideas being put together and shared for free. Why not? You may well ask. Why should this not be so? And I have a couple of answers there that might interest you. The first one is very much a 21st century, co-creationist, open-minded one: I think that the traditional way we calculate value is narrow-minded and outdated and we really ought to find fresh ways to do it. Ways that empower not just ourselves but those around us. This builds relationships (even if we are not aware of it), creates connections, unleashes the power of shared information and the shareability of its results and creates a fluid, evolving matrix that makes us all smarter, more capable and better informed than ever before in history.
There is a gap which businesses bridge that can be truly transformative. I figuratively call it “the last mile”. Running a business is a marathon in the fullest sense of the word. It requires preparation, planning, endurance, strategy, skill, focus, smarts and analysis. There has to be a willingness to take the rough with the smooth and still come out ahead.
When the Spinning Jenny was invented the world didn’t change. Yes, many people lost their jobs, the social fabric of the time collapsed for a large segment of the population and a popular, anti-technology movement was formed in the Luddites. But none of that was of a sufficiently large scale or lasted long enough to create a lasting impact.
I have always liked Seth Godin. He’s one of these people who is quick to understand the fundamental dynamic of a given situation, analyze it, extrapolate from it and then use it as a guideline to understand what needs to be done next. Plus, I like his irreverence and have a soft spot for his way of putting things.
The trouble with social media (if blame is to be apportioned at all) is exemplified by the heading of my article here. A more accurate description of what I will talk about would be: “Why Social Media is not a Channel for Selling” or perhaps, even better: “Social Media Usage and Human Economic Behavior” but none of these would be as strong and strong is what is required in order to make an article stand out sufficiently to be read.
“To Google” may have become a transitive verb for “using search to obtain information” but at some point in the future one of its variants will be a synonym for “think big and disrupt everything”. Ok, let’s unpack this statement to add a little substance to its style.