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Strategy and Social Media
Navigating through our technologies of life
Curated by Alex Grech
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Lawrence Lessig: The unstoppable walk to political reform

Seven years ago, Internet activist Aaron Swartz convinced Lawrence Lessig to take up the fight for political reform. A year after Swartz's tragic death, Less...
Alex Grech's insight:

Lessig is always compelling.

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Where are the real outsiders in New Media?

Where are the real outsiders in New Media? | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it

From Vox to 538, white guys get feted as the future of journalism while everyone else gets attacked and dismissed.

Alex Grech's insight:

Outsiders + Technology + Ubiquitous Internet = 'The Political'.  

 

Perhaps.  That's the promised land for those of us who intuitively associated social technologies with 'challenging power' and spent time engaging with the media, getting their hands dirty and thinking critically about 'political participation'.  There should be no surprises that poster boys backed by VCs will occupy whatever 'space' is left in 'digital journalism'.  You may disrupt the hegemony, but you know damn well that the process of re-negotiation starts with the first dent to the system.  

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Newly unsealed documents show Steve Jobs' brutal response after getting a Google employee fired

Newly unsealed documents show Steve Jobs' brutal response after getting a Google employee fired | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it
In early March, 2007, as Google was expanding fast and furiously, one of its recruiters from the “Google.com Engineering” group made a career-ending mistake: She cold-contacted an Apple engineer by...
Alex Grech's insight:

It's not particularly fashionable to debunk icons, particularly those forged in the 'uber-cool' of our technologies of life, c/o Silicon Valley.  Well, there's nothing uber-cool about this exchange of emails between Jobs, Schmidt and suits in Google and Apple.  Just scamper for Gramsci's notebooks and look up 'Fordism'.  

 

Jodi Dean nailed it when she (and others) started to rail about communicative capitalism.  Plus ca change.  

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Bill Clinton on Lifelong Learning

Alex Grech's insight:

In this short clip from the excellent 'Big Think' series, Clinton talks about the hunger for lifelong learning; his obsession with particle physics in his late sixties; and the importance of literacy in our early years to make sense of the world around us.

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What’s the One Most Important Skill for a Content Marketer?

What’s the One Most Important Skill for a Content Marketer? | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it

Making the shift from egocentric content topic planning towards empathy takes time, but it’s an essential change.

Alex Grech's insight:

About 10 years ago, Seth Godin was urging people to stop thinking of 'me me me' and to adopt customer mindsets.  He also wrote a book called 'All Marketers are Liars'.

 

Making the point that marketers need 'empathy' in engaging in content marketing; and reiterating the need to optimise for the customer, over channels and tactics' is indicative of the ongoing disconnect between what marketers and readers' "wants".  In the era where Facebook and Google make money from 'native advertising', it's no surprise that 'digital marketing' is still equated to a bag of SEM and SEO tactics.  

 

The industry is still stuck in the advertising 'rut' and nobody is in any great rush to point it to more equitable 'customer engagement' directions.  'Content marketing' is much too slow burn for most marketers to understand - let alone implement.

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The problem with too much information

The problem with too much information | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it
The internet promised to feed our minds with information. What have we learned? That our minds need more than that
Alex Grech's insight:

Howard Rheingold has been saying for years that what we need is "infotention". Some interpret this to be an advanced form of digital literacy.  Rheingold describes this as "the psycho-social-techno skill/tools we all need to find our way online today, a mind-machine combination of brain-powered attention skills with computer-powered information filters".  

 

More at http://www.scoop.it/t/infotention.  And a great mind map at: http://cmapspublic3.ihmc.us/rid=1GGG55974-H3VQRB-J1D/Infotention%20Filters.cmap

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The disruptive power of collaboration: An interview with Clay Shirky

The disruptive power of collaboration: An interview with Clay Shirky | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it

How we collaborate has profound implications for how we live and work. The author and New York University professor explains how social media has upended traditional norms. 

Alex Grech's insight:

If you've read Shirky's books, there's nothing new here.  He remains firmly in the 'social media is a positive source of disruption' camp.  Yet Shirky remains a master of the soundbite.  Yes, "sharing changes everything"... for better or worse.  "Demand creates supply"... assuming you can get the attention of your target prospects.  And "failure may well lead to success" if its creators have the ability to change course and think sideways.  As for the "collaborative penumbra".. .that might just be taking the new vernacular a tad too far.

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This is Your Brain on Email

This is Your Brain on Email | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it
Email is a drug. At least, to our brain it is. We are kidding ourselves when we pretend we’re not obsessed with our email. This obsession is not normal or natural. It’s seriously dysfunctional and I’m gonna tell you why.
Alex Grech's insight:

There is much wisdom in Julia Roy's piece on our dopamine-induced behaviour in relation to email addiction.  Like most people, I struggle with this, as I've been programmed to believe that responding quickly to email makes me more 'efficient', 'professional', 'engaged'.. even 'human'.  Like most people, I need to unlearn my habits which hook me to a screen for most of my day.  It doesn't make for much of a thinking life either.

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Brands Aren't Dead, But Traditional Branding Tools Are Dying

Brands Aren't Dead, But Traditional Branding Tools Are Dying | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it

How can we strengthen our brand when the traditional tools such as advertising, corporate identity programs, and PR are becoming impotent?

Alex Grech's insight:

"Organizations can no longer draw clear lines between marketing and product development, between communications and services".

 

"Brand builders must embed themselves across the customer value chain".

 

"Products and services must be able to tell a story and communicate value without an extra advertising layer on top. As information is more and more available and the importance of brands increases, the ability to tell a meaningful story through actions and products, not words, is the only way to win".

 

EXACTLY.

 

Let's replace old mantras with others:

 

1.  The brand lives in the voices of your customers.

2.  The customer is king /queen.  More than ever.

3.   Nobody cares about your brand unless it makes them feel like a king / queen.

4.   Listen to your customers (assuming you have some) and your competitors with the social media tools of their choice and you may start to understand something about your brand.

5.  It's about time you realised that online power shifted to your customers as soon as they found the tools to self-publish, stop being passive audiences and communicate without intermediaries.  Ignore that at your peril. 

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Howard Rheingold

Howard Rheingold is a visionary writer and teacher on the subjects of new media and technology. He is the author of many books - his latest being "Net Smart". He…
Alex Grech's insight:

It is my privilege, like that of many others connected to each other via electronic networks, to have studied with Howard Rheingold. There is so much that Howard has brought to the digital media vernacular: 

 

#co-learners #virtual communities # hand-painted shoes # smart mobs #mind amplifiers # net smart 

 

Lifelong learning should always be like this:  wide-eyed joy and generosity of spirit.

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How to Train Your Mind to Think Critically and Form Your Own Opinions

How to Train Your Mind to Think Critically and Form Your Own Opinions | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it

Critical thinking just means absorbing important information and using that to form a decision or opinion of your own--rather than just spouting off what you hear others say. This doesn't always come naturally to us, but luckily, it's something you can train yourself to do better.

Alex Grech's insight:

As long as you can get past the first sentence (critical thinking is a buzzword?!!) and don't hold anything against Sherlock Holmes being used as an example of thinking sideways, this is actually a fun read.

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What Happened to Downtime? The Extinction of Deep Thinking & Sacred Space

What Happened to Downtime? The Extinction of Deep Thinking & Sacred Space | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it
We're addicted to distraction, and it's holding us back. To find genius in the 21st century, we must build a discipline of unplugging and deep thinking.
Alex Grech's insight:

If you're reading this, the chances are that you're either struggling for interruption-free space - or, ironically, finding it in the 'wilfing' that goes about when we consciously or unconsciously 'switch off' or get distracted from what we're supposed to be doing.  Yet we all know that we live in the age of 'noise', interruption by screens and much of the banality that can take root on the social web.  If we wish to use the Internet 'mindfully', we also need to find headspace somewhere else.  

 

I try and find my space using a pencil and paper.  In a book with a cover and paper.  In the shower.  In the car.  In music.  In talking to my 11 year-old about Minecraft strategies.  Yes, he too, needs to find some downtime and it is my job as a parent to help him find that space.

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Technology Is Not Driving Us Apart After All

Technology Is Not Driving Us Apart After All | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it
It turns out, we may be more social than we were 30 years ago — at least in public spaces.
Alex Grech's insight:

Back in time to determine if the Street Life Project can provide insights on the relationship between social disconnection and technology. 

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Altimeter: Technology Should Not Lead Digital Transformation

Altimeter: Technology Should Not Lead Digital Transformation | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it
Alex Grech's insight:

This Altimeter report on digital transformation has a couple of decent infographics and some qualified truisms:


"Digital transformation should be driven by the expectations of digital customers.  [Solis claims that the  values and expectations of digital customers are different than those of traditional customers.  Are we sure that there is much difference?  Customers typically demand fantastic products and services at affordable prices, irrespective of their channel of choice.  As for 'different values'..Really?]


“The role of the CMO is more important and strategic to a company’s success than ever before.” [As long as the CMO understands that throwing money at Facebook native advertising is not the only way to go.  Let's just say 'think strategy before technology']


"Many businesses are still operating in a funnel model" [The funnel / silo analogy extends way beyond digital marketing.  It will continue to exist in organisations which encourage 'information is power' cultures].

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Whatever goes up, that's what we do

Whatever goes up, that's what we do | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it

A year ago, Facebook announced a new News Feed that was completely redesigned to focus on content–it had large photos, big user icons, better integration with Facebook messenger, and it brought Facebook’s website into closer alignment... 

Alex Grech's insight:

A neat little treatise about Facebook's approach to the user experience vs its commitment to native advertising.

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15 Theses About the Digital Future

15 Theses About the Digital Future | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it

The world is moving rapidly towards ubiquitous connectivity that will further change how and where people associate, gather and share information.

Alex Grech's insight:

2,558 experts and technology builders predict where we will stand by the year 2025 in our relationship with the Internet.   15 hopeful and not so hopeful theses on 21st century connectivity.

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David Hain's curator insight, March 24, 4:30 AM

The tools are nearly there, but the mindset has a long way to go.

Lee JungSoo's curator insight, April 5, 9:52 AM

15 things that will happen in the future.. Internet will be like 'electricity' and it will become 'internets'.

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8 Ways Tech Has Completely Rewired Our Brains

8 Ways Tech Has Completely Rewired Our Brains | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it
Thanks to technology, our brains are being rewired -- for better or worse.
Alex Grech's insight:

We're just chipping at the tip of the iceberg that has formed between neuroscience and technology.  I'm not sure that my generation only dreamt in black and white - we didn't just watch TV, but ran in fields and got mud on our clothes.  Yet anyone with a child who has access to the Internet knows that there is some truth in the rewiring concept.

 

The challenge is:  if we accept that the brain can be rewired, if our popular culture is inevitably changing because of the mass take-up of affordable, social technologies - how can we put our rewired brains to  more mindful use?  As opposed to amusing ourselves to death watching endless Facebook streams in the hope someone remembers we exist because we have just posted more mindless drivel online?

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10 Most Common Rookie Mistakes in Public Speaking

10 Most Common Rookie Mistakes in Public Speaking | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it

Even if you're an experienced public speaker, there's no harm in reminding yourself of basics.  

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Marta Torán's curator insight, March 8, 5:36 AM

Un artículo con una presentación e información sobre los errores más comunes cuando se hace una presentación en público.

 

Muy bueno.

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The Internet is ready for a new cultural shift. Discuss.

The Internet is ready for a new cultural shift. Discuss. | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it
1. One of the early inventors of blogging, my old friend Dave Winer is trying to reclaim that thing that blogging was first designed for. Blogging
Alex Grech's insight:

We gone from information overload to noise.  I still tell  my students they have to go back to the spirit of blogging if they want to understand the potential of the social web.  Grappling with Hugh and Dave Winer is not a bad idea either.

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Why You Shouldn’t Stalk Your Kid Online

Why You Shouldn’t Stalk Your Kid Online | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it
Microsoft researcher and NYU media and culture professor danah boyd (who prefers to style her name in all lowercase) is one of my favorite people to talk with about teenagers and technology. That’s not because I agree with her all the time—often, I find that we see questions about privacy,...
Alex Grech's insight:

boyd is always interesting - particularly if you get beyond the 'academic rock star' aura which comes with the territory if you insist that people spell your surname in a particular manner.  Anyone with kids knows that we are navigating unknown territory when it comes to the way our children are navigating the web and engaging online with unknown others.  And it's not just the 'usual places' - my 11 year-old is a Minecraft devotee, and does most of his 'networking' on Mineplex.

 

The real take-home from this one is boyd's position on the responsibility of educators (and parents) to engage with younger people on the platforms of choice - as opposed to snooping on them.

 

"The moves educators have made away from using social media to talk to kids have been really destructive. Educators should have open-door policies for kids to reach out to them online. A teacher should create a profile that is herself or himself as a teacher, on Facebook or wherever your cohort of kids are."

 

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Is the Internet good or bad? Yes. 

Is the Internet good or bad? Yes.  | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it
It’s time to rethink our nightmares about surveillance.
Alex Grech's insight:

Long, fabulous piece by Zeynep Tufekci with equally fabulous photography, soundbites, and stories on the use of big data, personalised marketing and digital illiteracy:

 

"Resistance and surveillance: The design of today’s digital tools makes the two inseparable. And how to think about this is a real challenge...Our understanding of the dangers of surveillance is filtered by our thinking about previous threats to our freedoms. But today’s war is different. We’re in a new kind of environment, one that requires a new kind of understanding".

 

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The strength of ‘weak signals’

The strength of ‘weak signals’ | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it

Snippets of information, often hidden in social-media streams, offer companies a valuable new tool for staying ahead."

Alex Grech's insight:

Anyone who has engaged with Mark Granovetter's seminal theory of the strength of weak ties knows there is much wisdom in paying attention to weaker networks.  LinkedIn itself is a manifestation of a successful application of the principle.

 

Yet 'listening' to 'weak signals' and "navigating diverse, less corporate sources of information".is not exactly encouraged in many organisations focused on ROI and "broadcast marketing".  I guess now that McKinsey is expounding the merits of using social tools for strategic listening, some people in suits might start to pay more attention to less-familiar tactics that can really add value to customers. Still, it's early days.

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Interview: Mitchel Resnick

Interview: Mitchel Resnick | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it
We spoke to Mitchel Resnick, Director of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT Media Lab about computer science ed and creative learning.
Alex Grech's insight:

Resnick's insights on digital literacies and creativity - and how the two may be intertwined - as long as we do not assume that the relationship is automatic.  "It’s not just about using the computer—it’s the way in which it’s used".  Exactly.

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What's With New Blogging Platforms Like Medium? Should I Use One?

What's With New Blogging Platforms Like Medium? Should I Use One? | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it
Dear Lifehacker,I keep seeing these new blogging platforms pop up like Medium and Svbtle. Why would I use one of these new platforms instead of more powerful classics like Wordpress?
Alex Grech's insight:

I still need to get my head round more blogging platforms.  Simply because WordPress is about taking control of your content, and on the other side of the spectrum there are platforms like Tumblr and Blogger that enable you to aggregate content on the run.   I like the minimalism of Medium.  While I use it?  What's more important, do we have the bandwidth or the urge to engage with another platform?   

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The dreams of readers

The dreams of readers | Strategy and Social Media | Scoop.it
Spermatic. There’s a word you don’t come across much anymore. Not only does it sound fusty and arcane, as if it had been extracted from the nether regions of a moldy physiology handbook, but it see...
Alex Grech's insight:

On the sublime, personalised, dream world of reading.  And the disconnect with the technologically-deterministic view that the book, "in its traditional form, [is] a “passive” medium, lacking the “interactivity” of websites, apps, and video games.  Because a page of paper can’t accommodate links, Like buttons, search boxes, comment forms, and all the other spurs to online activity we’ve become accustomed to.."


Carr is right:  we have to stop the rot which is reducing a book to "a means of communicating information."  

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