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Where did we land with Web 3.0?

I’m wondering if I missed any official news bulletins around the specifics of what would entail a Web 3.0 world? I know there were a lot of prognostications on this topic but don’t recall seeing anything formally declared.

I’d like to pile on this discussion with my own idea.

Everything around Web 2.0 was about expanding your world and all the shiny new social tools.

What if for Web 3.0 we start looking more closely at our immediate community? With the evolution from Facebook, where you just friend people you know (or don’t know very well at all in many cases), to the new community of Pinterest, where you are connecting and sharing content around common interests…  maybe that’s the key.

Let’s consider new offerings such as nextdoor.com where it’s all about setting up your immediate neighborhood allowing you to create a local group of neighbors based on how you define the clustering of homes?

Even our local Seattle TV station KOMO setup various suburban communities.

One of the best examples of how effective a community voice can be is the B-Town Blog from Burien, WA. I could always depend on this site to have THE latest community news, important police reports, and other general timely updates. I don’t mean next day news timely, I mean immediately. Here’s a great example through a post based on some police activity at a local pawn shop (the key to this story is to read through the comments because people who passed by or lived near the activity reported what they saw).

Now that sure sounds like a move from 2.0 to 3.0 to me…

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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Web

 

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It’s not social media, it’s democracy media

Unless you’ve been living with the Amish for the past week, you have no doubt heard about the Rush Limbaugh debacle. I have to admit, I have been blown away by the swift action by people to voice their opinion. Watching the blogs get posted, seeing the petitions come online, and viewing the news coverage jump all over this issue with lightning speed.

This got me to thinking… social media sounds casual and reflective of a couple of friends chit chatting. What we have today is democracy media. Average citizens taking advantage of available tools to speak out and rally others.

Think back just a couple of months to the Verizon billing issue. Verizon wanted to charge subscribers a fee for using their bill pay tools. The broader community immediately spoke and the whole issue was revoked by the company within a days (over the holidays no less).

A larger moment was around the Bank of America fees. The incredible groundswell of people Tweeting and posting blogs was staggering. BofA wound up canceling the fee, all due to an immediate public reaction.

This could have never happened a few years ago. It’s all due to technology and our instant access to twitter, facebook, and blogging.

How would the Bill Clinton – Monica Lewinsky scandal have evolved if social medial tools had been available at that time? Would the masses rise up and demand a complete and immediate dismissal of the allegations? Let’s remember that the organization, “Move On” sprung up because of this. They had an online petition that received loads of signatures. Uhm, wait… that was 1998! If that was the result, during a time when many people were still dialing up for their interwebs, what would that petition have looked like today?? Alternatively, would the opposition have had an edge and pushed for stronger action?

I don’t know but it’s an interesting comparison to consider how other issues might have been resolved with faster opinion tools. But to me, what’s more important, is around the idea of what issues are we going to change tomorrow that we could have never changed yesterday.

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Social

 

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What’s the definition of “the next big thing?”

I saw a blog headline the other day pondering what will be the next big thing in social after Facebook.

But this got me to thinking, “Are we required to have a next big thing?” Now I don’t say this in a negative context. Far from it, but rather, I wonder if the social space will take the route of other industries that became more fragmented as they matured.

I will use TV and Music as two examples. Think about television years ago, if you are older than 35, you may recall the first time a cable line was an option in your home. We went from the default of a few primary stations for entertainment to hundreds of options today.

The music business is another one, and I don’t mean the distribution. I am talking about the musicians! The odds of another act at the scale of U2, The Rolling Stones, or Madonna, are fading fast or have already sunset.

The actual genres for musicians today is broken out into more sub-genres than Lady GaGa has hairstyles. Just like the Burger King slogan, you can have music “your way.”  A few of my personal favorite names include… Shoegazing and Witch House (you can’t make this stuff).

If other big industries have moved this direction as they mature, why not social? Maybe the new landscape is more customized to my style, taste, community, etc.? Perhaps as awareness grows, people evolve into natural groupings and the right technology solutions are developed as a result. And yes, I would like a side of fries with that.

So, not to beat an analogy to death but it seems to me that the future of social may be more of a buffet style versus a prix fixe menu.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2011 in Social

 

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Can we celebrate Fourth of July on another day?

Now roll me with on this idea… What if we celebrated the Fourth of July on the first Friday of July and embrace “Independence Day” versus the Fourth?

Here’s my reasoning…  EVERYONE. And I do mean EVERYONE loves having three-day weekends. Not to mention, who doesn’t want to stay up late and watch their local fireworks extravaganza? Or at a minimum, go all hillbilly in your backyard with several dozen of Black Cat’s finest.

As such, let’s reflect on this year’s schedule, shall we? The fourth falls on a Monday. Which means, for most of the world with a Monday-Friday gig, this means you may not be able to participate in any late night revelry if you have to get up early on Tuesday. Mayjah Bummah!

But if we celebrated on a Friday each year, woo hoo! A new annual long weekend emerges. One could plan, one could vacation, it would be grand!

I would even go out on a limb and say that it might even help the economy with all those weekend warriors building fences, or families traveling out of town to visit a theme park or the beach (embrace that inner Clark Griswold), all because they knew they would have three luxurious days of vacation the first weekend in July.

Think about it (logically) and don’t go getting all patriotic on a specific day. Lemmeno your thoughts.

p.s. Alternatively, our government could declare a national holiday one day each summer and we call it Bob Vila day. Right???

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2011 in Rants

 

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So, we solved world hunger?

I have to believe that we must have solved world hunger given society’s interest in a creepy political figure and his social media habits, youth in British Columbia no longer needed at any soup kitchens, and today’s top news headline of our president playing golf with ‘that really tan guy.’

What else could be the explanation? Homelessness must not be an issue, everyone has found a job, and miraculously, ten feet of new ice must have formed around the north pole.

Will the breakdown of our civil society occur before climate change strangles us? Will we succumb to ridiculous content and news nobody can use? I think George Orwell had it all wrong. The government won’t control us…I think we are subordinating to an absolute deluge of mundane and totally creepified information.

Why are political figures covered in the news cycle similar to reality TV stars? I just can’t even bring myself to watch anything but the weather report these days. I am totally and utterly embarrassed that some executive producer of a cable news program said to one of his producers , “Make sure you scoop everyone else and get Larry Flynt to to talk about his job offer to Congressman Anthony Weiner.”

Now, I once met Larry when I worked on Roseanne’s daytime talk show. He’s a very smart and shrewd businessman. I don’t think I can blame him for capitalizing on the media moment. But please LA Times, don’t write about it. It’s like a car crash, just move along and let the police do their job.

Hey look, I am no snob when it comes to the world around me. I am just as big of fan of Khloe & Lamar’s show on E! as I am Fareed Zakaria’s GPS on CNN.

But I would really like to bring back our separation of church and state, or in this case, take me back to the good ole days when Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson were trying to cover up their sex tapes. For some reason, that actually felt like an extension of their entertainment brand. This new fascination with political figures and their sordid personal lives is just creepy and shouldn’t have received more than a passing mention on the back page of a small regional DC paper.

Nothing to see here people…  move along.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2011 in Rants, Uncategorized

 

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Again, half as long.

My favorite movie scene of all time is from A River Runs Through It, when young Maclean tries to write a story for his father. He walks into the room, presents the work to his father, out comes the red pen to review the copy, and he hears, "Good. Now make it half as long."

That’s a relevant message for everyone. Nowadays, you can craft a story as short as a Tweet by @badbanana or as long as a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film (almost three hours in case you forgot).

Connecting with your audience is all about the (right) words and perhaps some lovely visuals.  Are you providing them with graphics that make sense? Or are you caught up in your own internal messaging leaving your readers scratching their heads? Investing in good copy is what sets your content apart. Everyone seems to think they can write pithy taglines and marketing pitches, but if we all had the writing chops of the Coen brothers… then All My Children would have folks like Clive Owen doing guest appearances.

There is a book based on ridiculous comments attributed to network executives called, “A Martian Wouldn’t Say That” and it really sums up how out of touch people can be about the sweat equity writers produce over every single word: "This is the best script for the The Addams Family we’ve read in a year," wrote one happy suit. "Attached are the notes for the rewrite.”

It is extremely hard to remember what it was like before we knew how to ride a bicycle. So keeping your content balanced to your audience is crucial because you have to tell yourself that you might not be the best judge of what’s required. How far removed are you from a real customer interaction? How often have you asked a family member to give you a gut check analysis of your content?

I love working with good storytellers and treat their work as art. So always remember before you ask your writer to, “make the joke funnier.” Just remember, they weren’t holding out on you and keeping the really good joke in their pocket.

Some examples of work I’ve found to be uniquely inspiring at telling simple and engaging stories:

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2011 in Creative

 

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IKEA Checkout

*In honor of an upcoming coffee with the Messiah, I’m ripping off his blog format for a personal rant.*

I was having a grumpy moment on a recent trip to IKEA. I know, I know, why on earth would someone be grumpy in an IKEA? I mean, it’s all perfectly manicured and they have everything you could ever want, and tons of things you never dreamed of like breakfast for $0.99. Oh yes, I have been to the store in Renton so early in the morning on a weekend that the discussion of stopping at their school-style cafeteria for a meal was considered. For realz…

IKEA’s perfectly groomed showrooms were even the inspiration for an online soap opera. Some super-fans setup an entire website ecosystem dedicated to people who remix IKEA products and then share the ideas. Totally true.

So again, why so grumpy? Well, let me explain…

Let’s say you are working on a remodel of a room or you just moved into a new house, you create a handy little list of the items you need and off you go to IKEA-Town (not to be confused with its cousin Funky). You breeze past the Ansultas, the Grundtals, and the Poang series where you find yourself needing to enter the dreaded warehouse.

Commence rant: Can someone explain to me why this chain has yet to adopt a sophisticated tracking system for their gazillion SKUs? If you dare ask a salesperson if they have an Akurum with the Adel White doors, they look it up on their computer and say it appears there is one in the warehouse. Huh? Excuse me? It’s Saturday and there are precisely twenty-seven thousand people in the store and they all look like they are searching for the 36” wide Akurum. What if I get all the way back there and it’s gone? This is where the blank salesperson stare enters the picture.

Huh, so let me get this straight, you guys run a bajillion dollar business  and you have yet to insert a fifteen cent RFID tag (jump to geek spec doc)  onto each box giving you the ability to tell me if Sally from Maple Valley is wandering around aisle 42 with my cabinet?

And to add insult to injury…  wait for it…. wait…  I have to stand in a long line to give you my money when I could just roll through a metal detector looking thingy and it scans all the items in my cart in about two seconds (note to el-Costco). Oh, you don’t have that technology? Well, you could. And I guarantee you that it would pay for itself because I would find myself with extra time on my hands allowing me to enjoy a $0.99 breakfast.

IKEA Non-RFID Warehouse: You’re On My List

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2011 in Rants

 

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