Most of us spend little time looking at the future. Instead we concentrate on avoiding the obstacles in our current path. The next relationship networking wave of technology-driven change is fast approaching, and once again, people are ready but few of the BIG seem ready.
A Revolution is in Progress
Today, word spreads quickly! Watching the forums and interactions on numerous social networks one can see that customer feedback is instantaneous and the expectations for fixes or changes is high. The “instant fix” mentality of many customers leads to frustration when platform operators can’t or don’t create instant fixes to the existing system or respond to customer request. In essence suppliers begin to deteriorate the good will previously build between them and their customers. Peoples expectation for performance is high.
When a technology satisfies a social need, a revolution is created. One of mankind’s social needs is to communicate. Every time a technology like social networking emerges it has allowed us to lift the bar on our ability to communicate, a revolution in how we live, work and play creates new dynamics and new expectations.
These dynamics and the increased expectations create a readiness for the “next shift” which usually is developed and brought to market from someone or company not currently in the mix but on the fringes observing the market behavior and consumer dynamics. Now consider social networking technologies and their history. They have been around long enough to see copy cat mentality amongst competitors and user expectations for simply things not being met. It is time and the fringes are there for the next generation social technology to be released.
The next generation will not make incremental improvements over what currently is available rather breakthrough innovation that delivers way beyond the users expectations. Once released the next generation will quickly become the expected and old platforms will have to catch up to stay viable or be replaced. And the cycle will start all over.
When we examine all the :social platforms” out there several issues show up as “the blinding flash of the obvious” in terms of what should change for us to save time and be more productive.
Jumping from one network to another and signing into each is a ridiculous requirement only reflecting the closed environment and mentality of the operators. The signing in process is not a differential rather a requirement that begins a process. The process is connecting, reading, broadcasting, watching, interacting and searching for opportunities to expand relations and knowledge. The differential in networks is the people who use them and how the networks are structured and organized around “networking as a process”. The silo mentality of today’s operators create barriers to entry and hinder productivity from the users perspective.
One network offers rich media while another doesn’t offer any. One network controls your invitations while another doesn’t. Another network remains way to open in terms of unstated rules while another network stays closed in terms of strict unstated rules. Variation in process may seem like a differential but as we scream towards a relationship economy variation must be eliminated or value cannot be optimized.
Optimization of the system of “social computing” begins with the users in mind and ends with innovation. Network operators are being herded into “OpenSocial” with the promise of making things better for the end user. The mice will follow the maze that they themselves created as a paradigm of thinking within their closed walls. Optimization of the parts does not optimize the whole. System optimization requires coordination and cooperation of the parts which requires leadership. Improving a system requires ongoing customer feedback. But who in the market today is leading?
The Theory of Knowledge requires new theories, not old ones. Knowledge depends on theory. Information is not knowledge. Experience teaches nothing without theory. Practice makes permanent, not perfect. Copying examples does not lead to knowledge. The landscape of social computing promises to bring some interesting and new mediums for business and personal life objectives. However much of today’s leadership theories are reflected by the silo thinking of their particular networks or the copycat mentality. But who in the market today is leading?
The future holds a new paradigm for users. We will have our own Relationship Network Portal, online, on televisions and mobile versions that sync, from which we will have many options to choose which functions and features we want. We’ll decide which feeds from what networks we want appearing in our custom designed relationship portal. Not unlike creating your own blog, your custom designed relationship portal with have numerous plug in functions and features but you design it for the privileges and preferences you want.
Your Relationship portal will be rich with multi-media and instead of being served ads you’ll choose which ads interest you at any particular time. You’ll sign into your relationship portal once and from all the other networks you’ll decide who you want to connect with and communicate with. You’ll decide what communities of interest appear on your portal and you’ll have the power to change that at anytime. You will be able to watch custom and branded broadcast on topics that your interested in whether personal or professional.
A new economy will be born, or old if you think of the past, in which bartering and trading are the wealth equities that create more value than hard currency. Hard currency in terms of possible compensation for “time”, sale of hard products and critical services will be traded on your portal but your wealth will be build on soft capital. Your progress in the new economy will be driven by leveraging relationships and technology. By creating transactions and forming new markets. It will be a boom economy that will be driven by creativity and the convergence of media, yours and theirs.
The Relationship Economy will be born once a leader releases technology that leapfrogs ahead of today’s paradigms of social computing and it will be created by those on the fringes who currently control “connectivity”.
So be prepared for change and embrace it. It is just around the corner and evidence suggest both a few leaders are trying to change via innovation and others not currently involved are getting ready to introduce a new paradigm. Are we ready?
What say you?