Social Media has demonstrated in many ways capable of meeting or exceeding the deliverable output of many traditional industries such as advertising, marketing, journalism, human resources, design, community organizing, education, and social vetting.
We have also seen social media form communities that increase productivity in manufacturing processes, software development, and project management. We have seen people self manage in social media to segregate and elevate good information away from bad information. We have seen communities act with logic, tact, and precision previously thought to be the province of top management guidance.
In short, we have seen social media replace or duplicate almost every structural element of the traditional corporation outside of the construct of corporations. Can social media provide a corporate structure in and among itself?
General Accounting Practices:
Corporations have an internal accounting system, internal processes, internal procedures, and often their own lexicon and unique job descriptions relative to their product. This is how a corporation stores knowledge and trades value internally and defends itself from external influence. The common thread is that each department is accounted, assessed, and compared in terms of money. Standard balance sheets are compared by banks and investors.
Social media uses the exchange of information, knowledge and new ideas to store value. Processes, procedures, job descriptions, and accounting are done in a public lexicon that everyone develops collectively. People share, trade, and exchange information, knowledge, and new ideas like tangible property; and they trade options on futures in the same. Increasingly, access to the community knowledge inventory is becoming a means be which people can convert productivity to money.
Standard Balance Sheet for Social Media
Most elements of a corporation can be duplicated in social media. For those parts that cannot, the entrepreneur will soon figure out how they can. The entrepreneur does not worry about money, they worry about productivity and the money always follows. The next paradigm of economic development will reside almost entirely on a statistical game of managing risk and return, matching surplus to deficit, and increasing human productivity in the operating system of Social Media. Every Newspaper that falls to Social Media is simply transferring its value to the new paradigm. That value is still in play. This trend will continue until a new currency representing that value is introduced.
Business Plans of the Future:
As you witness the progression of Social Media unfold, look for innovations that contain incentives for people to reorganize themselves. Look for similarities between new social media developments and traditional corporate departments. Look for businesses and institutions that support social vetting mechanisms, knowledge exchanges, and groups bringing together strategic combination of diverse knowledge assets, not just similar knowledge assets. Most importantly; look for the “Last Mile of Social Media”; diverse groups of 5-10 people living within a few miles of each other forming new enterprise.
Finally, look for the threats that can corrupt an innovation economy. Social Media is currently responsible for trillions of dollars of productivity gains – all this money is still on the table for social entrepreneurs to monetize once the integration reaches a tipping point. Be watchful for attempts at censorship, attempts to monopolize information nodes, and the corporatizations of social networks. Wall Street was corrupted when the value of the currency became divorced from human productivity. Don’t let the same happen to Social Media.