Wasting Social Productivity

by Jay Deragon on 12/12/2010

While all things social are being touted as innovative ways to “produce things” the reality is that all things social are currently non-productive.

You might say that social is much more productive than traditional advertising and marketing methods. However that is like saying that your car goes faster using higher octane gasoline, it doesn’t but it cost more.

Does the increase in hiring people with knowledge about all things social represent more production? NOT! Does having to create on-line content, maintain all those profiles, keep up with the daily technological advances and follow every word from the most popular represent a gain in productivity? Not!

So we must begin to ask how can we use all things social to improve productivity gains? Your next question is likely why?

Non Productive Activities Hurt Results

We wonder why much of the on-line dialog about social media is about ROI. Everyone is coming up with metrics to justify the investment of time and money to create and manage all things social. Subsequently we see quantitative and qualitative measures used to again justify investments in all things social.  Does anyone ever consider the time, energy and money spent trying to define and measure justification of social may be non-productive?

Productivity in Economics is simply the ratio of how much you can produce (Output), based on the resources available (Inputs). This is usually linked to production theory.

Production refers to the economic process of converting of inputs into outputs and is a field of study in microeconomics. Production uses resources to create a good or service that is suitable for exchange.

Production is a process, and as such it occurs through time and space. Because it is a flow concept, production is measured as a “rate of output per period of time”. Production is more efficient when the same output results from less input.

While the internet has advanced some productivity in many ways it is still very non-productive. There are 1,000’s of communities discussing KM, SC, Economics etc etc etc. None of which are able to inventory relevant and relative “knowledge assets” and parse them into “smart databases” for use for the many.

We are still stuck with key words and categories which are meaningless. The context of content loses meaning without being tied to a taxonomy or any “onomy” of sort. Subsequently content is for the moment because who has time to read and create a “logic tree” from dozens, hundreds or thousands of “post” wrapped in irrelevant containers.

Things will change soon but until then all of us have to decide what is and isn’t productive in terms of use of our time and individual knowledge assets.

The next phase of the internet will be driven by “knowledge inventories” created by individual knowledge assets” which can be accessed systemically rather then rest in silos of meaningless context which are very non productive. The next iteration of the internet will raise productivity when “accessing knowledge assets” is designed with intent, efficiency and effectiveness. Knowledge assets rest in the minds of those who have value to add to improving anything. When improvements are driven by knowledge productivity goes up. When productivity goes up everyone benefits.

However, sometimes we have to do non-productive things to learn how to be productive.

{ 1 comment }

Lanternerouge December 12, 2010 at 7:17 am

What a lot of bollocks. This looks feels and reads a lot like some one with a looming deadline and not much to say. Bung a few well worn cliches, mix with some up to the minute phrases, throw in some semi intellectual sounding references and choose a slightly controversial topic. Bingo I made my 500 words. Fail 2/10.

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