How big is this opportunity?
Roughly 10% of the US gross Domestic Product can be attributed directly to the process of evaluating or examining transactions. This represents a 1.4 Trillion Dollar of value in a system that may be better organized, captured, and preserved through social networks and the conversations that they produce.
Social vetting on a scale that would allow social networks to monetize would require that communities organize their knowledge assets specifically for deployment to a market. All that an entrepreneur needs to do is fill this need.
What happens if they don’t?
The true cost of vetting may be calculated by what happens in the absence of oversight, transparency, and disclosure. When the vetting process fails, so too does the industry. The continuing financial crisis of 2008 was fueled by a failure to regulate mortgage backed securities. The financial Crisis of 2002 arose from a failed accounting (CPA) profession.
The losses due to the absence of vetting mechanism exceeds by many times the cost of having a system in place. The financial crises of 2002 and 2008 have together wiped out nearly 20 Trillion dollars of value and incurred high volatility to financial systems due to failed vetting mechanisms. The people who held the knowledge about the impending doom had no effective medium to share.
Who vets KNOWLEDGE assets?
The flow of money lives and dies by the vetting mechanism. CarFax, Experian, Ebay, Google owe their existence to the ability to vet information – However, they do not vet knowledge. The ability to deliver the right knowledge asset to the right place, at the right time for the right price is tantamount to being able to “manufacturing innovation”, that is, to print money. Inversely, the ability to foresee the result of specific knowledge assets deployed to specific business conditions is the Holy Grail of entrepreneurs.
Social networks can carry out this very important function of the Innovation economy; organize, locate, and develop knowledge assets in a form which can emulate a financial instrument.
How are things changing?
Emerging ideas such as conversational currency, relationship economics, innovation economics, and new ways to value intangibles are appearing in research blogs across the web. Disruptions to Global finance, environmental policy, and the emergence of global currencies are setting the stage for a huge transformation in how society organizes itself. Traditional industries such as print media, advertising, and banking are failing. Nothing is sacred except change.
Where are these communities, and what do they want?
Many communities exist today in a variety of forms and functions such as communities of practice, fellowships, service organizations, professional societies, trades groups, affinity groups, etc. Increasingly they are moving to Social Media such as Facebook groups, Linkedin groups, Affinity groups, aggregation groups, and political action groups. Communities are using social media technology to engage the knowledge domain contained within them.
As such, they will soon have ability to foresee the result of specific knowledge assets deployed to specific business conditions. This is the Holy Grail of modern civilization.