In 2007 myself and three others collaborated to study the “factors” which were attracting people to this thing called “social media” and influencing behavior.
As a result of our study we released a book titled “The Emergence of the Relationship Economy” which was released in early 2008. Three years after the initial research and the book release many things have changed while many have remained the same.The “factors” have remained the same while the speed of “factor intersections” has accelerated.
We defined “factors” as elements which actively contribute to the production (inputs & outputs) of results from the intersection of technology and human behavior. We defined “Relationship” as connection or association; the condition of being related. Third the definition of “Matrix” as something within or from which something else originates, develops, or takes form.
The relationship matrix is used to determine one relationship factor to another and the subsequent value proposition aimed at producing a result. Desired results are defined by the individuals, institutions, organizations and governments collaborating on-line and off. Results are produced by the interaction of all factors collectively or individually. Our initial analysis identified the initial set of factors currently influencing the emergence of the relationship economy. Taken within a matrix the combined factors illustrate the potential of over 400 possible interactions which both define and impact end results.
Using the Matrix
The purpose of the matrix was to provide a basis of interacting “factors” which are fueling the relationship economy. The matrix can be used to define which factors provide the most influence to achievement of an end result. Using other management tools such as a prioritization matrix, affinity diagramming and systemic mapping, the organization of factors can be aligned strategically. Using these tools, the alignment of relationships and efforts to maximize opportunities can be done with clarity of purpose and in context to achievement of specific goals.
The dynamics of the current “social space” is filled with reactionary responses to the stimulus of opportunity fueled by both the hype and adoption of users to the new medium. In other words the “factor intersection” is currently chaotic.
The most influential factor for success is leveraging multiple factors within the matrix and doing so expediently.
The Community Factor
Traditionally a “community” has been defined as a group of interacting people living in a common location. The word is often used to refer to a group that is organized around common values and social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household. The word can also refer to the national community or global community.
Since the advent of the Internet, the concept of community no longer has geographical limitations, as people can now virtually gather in an online community and share common interests regardless of physical location. What we are witnessing is the revelation of “factors” that are redefining the traditional definition of community. Instead of people “living in a common location” community is now people “collaborating around common objectives, values and affinities” both on-line and off. The “factors” of iteration still remain the same but the scale of productivity has changed.
If you notice the first factor in the matrix is “Revolutionary factors” refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavors. The term —both as a noun and adjective— is usually applied to the field of politics, and is occasionally used in the context of science, invention or art. Within the human network, a revolutionary is someone or something who supports abrupt, rapid, and drastic change.
Massive increases in productivity usually come from revolutionaries. Find out who and what propagates revolutionary ideas and you’ll find productivity on the fringes of change. Since writing the book we’ve witnessed many revolutionary changes fueled by the emergence of the relationship economy.