All posts tagged social media

sacrificing quiet places quote nicholas carr

The Pauses We’ve Lost | The Cost Of Skippable Media

sacrificing quiet places quote nicholas carr

Why waiting was / is a good thing.

There was a time when the height of technological superiority was how slow the tape deck opened. The smooth, deliberate action hinted at a deeper level of sophistication and created a moment or two of heightened expectation.

tape

All media was slow and own its on timetable, like TV programmes, magazines and newspapers, to consume them meant waiting for their delivery. These pauses in our consumption related directly to the increased intention to savour the outcome.

As we know, the cassette went on to become one of the first portable mediums which influenced a whole set of other disruptive technologies; minituarising hardware which would enable us all to eventually take our music, then media, and now, our online and networked world, with us.

Three decades later, nearly all media is now transient. Fleeting. Immediate. Skippable. Waiting times are mere milliseconds, and even then we guffaw at any buffering icons working to serve us another video of a kid falling off a piano or a cat running into a tree.

If we lose those quiet spaces, or fill them up with “content”, we will sacrifice something important not only in our selves but in our culture.
Nicholas Carr via the article ‘Is Google Making Us Stupid’

Maybe it’s nostalgia relating to being of a generation who knew that watching movies meant putting on a coat and getting out money and the house due to a trip to the cinema or the video store. Or when recording television programmes meant running up or down the stairs and pressing the record button when they were literally ‘on’. Or from the experience of having to wait up to ten or twenty minutes for games to be loaded into my ZX Spectrum etc.

These delays were inherent. Built in. Welcomed even. There was space. Time. Time to create. Reflect. Be.

Technology has decreased patience along with the capacity to accept any empty length of time as a positive factor in the equation of the experience—waiting simply creates another opportunity to gaze into another screen and skip again. Our whole media interaction to the world has become skippable but what have we lost in those moments? What is the cost?

Social media (the industry I gave up this year after being in it for over a decade) has become diluted with “experts” throwing around words like connection, transparency, authenticity, engagement, but there’s fewer voices championing trusting the consumer with making balanced choices, framing content which situates us into the now and championing taking time offline or with others.

This isn’t a one way deluge. We produce more than ever before. We are saturating each other with our requests for attention and validation that our meal or view or opinion means something beyond our own experience of it. The cloud has given us immediacy although it only fogs our view to the importance of discernment. Of choosing better.

All brands and organisations care about is eyeballs. Attention. But it’s the lingering that matters. That’s where the impact is. The video or blog post which creates space and reflection are the ones folks remember.

It’s time to take time back again. To focus on the pauses. To stop hurrying and start living in the conscious(ly created) delays. To start appreciating the slow openers again.

Suction Media | The Death Of “Social”

suck suck suck spaceballs

Social media no longer has the spirit of unbiased discovery and the foundation of open collaboration it used to.

Gone are the bloggers exploring their voice and building story through a variety of mediums. Quiet are the RSS advocates hungry to curate their own discerning media menus then sharing it through their networks which they build with care. Muted are the excited discourse of connected communities who celebrate learnings of others and champion wonder / curiousity.

Platforms now base their whole business model on distraction and extraction; squeezing users for as much information as possible, repackaging to sell on to others, all whilst positioning only the content it wants its patrons to see which keeps them on the platform and in turn, their shareholders happy (as these are paid for ads). And so the cycle continues.

It’s no longer “social” but “suction” media.

Chamath Palihapitiya we are being programmed

And the permeating enabler is the rise in “smart” technology or any “surveillance device that also does something else” (our phones, computers, wearables, childrens toys, cars, offices, homes, cities). This is the crucial layer which provides multiplying access points without awareness and explicit permission from the user, and certainly without due care to the culture its cultivating.

Watch Cory Doctorow drop some knowledge about the impact of all this (an illustration of how deep the rabbit hole really goes):

Welcome to the suction media age.


In 2016 I launched a little blog focussed on how young people are consuming and creating new media. MediaSnackers (and the complimentary Social Media For Suits, a couple years later) became a business and flourished in their modest ways: in 5/6 years hit the six figure turnover threshold plus was employing a handful of awesome humans as well as enabling organisations to accelerate their understanding and adoption of new / emerging technologies.

In that short amount of time it took me to five continents, put me on stages speaking to tens of thousands of other cool folks and basically rapidly increased my learning by using the technology tools and the social media strategies I was championing.

In 2011 the move to NZ was to take up the position of social media manager for a national education company, an opportunity which included the indication of the same company buying into my ventures with the intention of relaunching it in the Southern Hemisphere. This buy-in never transpired and 18 months later I high-fived out and went back to the freelance life. Both MediaSnackers and Social Media for Suits were put into permanent-pause mode and I picked up social media speaking and consulting gigs ever since all over the place.

Even with employment stints like a year as a business designer or a little longer as an activation manager setting up a city-wide event programme, I still kept the social media services going and have been so lucky with the clients I’ve had, the people I’ve met, the wonderful souls I’ve collaborated with, the skills I’ve gained, and the lasting hunger for learning its created.

I owe a debt to the sector of “social” and it’s definitely been on the whole an enriching chapter.

But alas, the soul has been sucked out of it.

If I had the time and energy the focus would be on advocating for a newer form of social technologies. One which has opt-in/out options already built in rather than hidden due to the regulatory protection which protects its users. Assisting the development of school curriculums to focus on teaching algorithm biases and how to navigate / curtail / complain to platform creators. Learn how to code mobile apps / city infrastructure software which act with integrity and appreciation of the users interest first.

However, my service offerings have already been repositioned with this new site design, and the focus is now on:

  • creative producing—crafting delicious learning experiences for brands / organisations, continuing with TEDxWellington and also building on the past two independent events (this and this);
  • speaker coaching—storytelling and public speaking coaching for senior executives and leaders;
  • Creative Welly—imagine if Wellington was the most creative little capital in the world.
Addendum: This doesn’t mean I’m quitting social media and digital technologies. Will continue to utilise these as tools to humanise the brands and activities I’m working on, to add value to communities I interact with, to learn / curate like a banshee whilst celebrating those doing amazing work. It just means I’m no longer taking paid consulting / speaking gigs on it.

Apart from…

…if anyone wants a vitriolic talk taking to task the ninjas and gurus who have diluted the sector or the smart technologists who need to be smarter, then this is the only ‘social / digital media work’ I’ll now be available for. Anyone brave enough?

Chamath Palihapitiya | We Are Being Programmed

Chamath Palihapitiya we are being programmed

From former Vice President of Growth at Facebook.

I shared this via Twitter last month and it became my most clicked / retweeted / liked tweet of 2017:

For anyone who had ‘leaving Facebook’ as their New Years resolution this year, this might help:

Related posts: Goodbye Facebook | A Failed Social Media Utility That Is Succeeding In Other Ways & Living Without Television | Replacing The Idiot Box

Eagle Labs | Activating Latent Resources

A bank who does co-working / maker-spaces / incubating / mentoring.

Due to online and mobile banking, the use of branches is in decline. So if you run a business which own an array of centrally located urban real estate nationally, what do you do?

Well, Barclays UK (in collaboration with a couple of other folks) have launched Eagle Labs, an experiment in activating their latent spaces and making them available to the startup community as incubators whilst wrapping around supportive services as well.

With nine locations across the UK, it’s a great start to an intriguing project:

eagle labs why

Was wonderful to be able to visit Eagle Labs Brighton a few days ago and deliver a session plus spend some time advising some of the fantastic startups in the space:

DK at Eagle Labs Brighton

DK gave a brilliant keynote at the Eagle Lab Flight Programme for me where I am Creative Director. The programme is an accelerator run By Creative England in partnership with Barclays UK and their Eagle Lab Programme.

He delivered and inspiring talk with slides and resources for the companies on the programme at the Eagle Lab in Brighton UK on April 21st 2017. Having known and worked with DK at previous events I have run it was great to have him in person in the room with the businesses and clients. The keynote was on “putting the social back into social media” – and with a strong focus on authenticity and voice and remembering that the ‘audience has an audience’ too. Thanks DK – here’s to the next collaboration.
Marcus Romer

A superb example of an organisation needing to diversify, repurposing their latent resources (instead of simply selling them off) to add value to a community whilst still ensuring alignment with a potential customer base.

Here’s a silly man being scared by an eagle:

NetSquared Wellington Unconference | Giving Is Receiving

Participatory learning.

Originally, I intended to be a simple paid-up attendee of the NetSquared Wellington Unconference last week (Fri 10 February 2017).

Soon after registering the organiser reached out to invite me to say a few ‘inspirational’ words at the beginning. With the theme of “networking technology for social change” definitely lighting my fire it was an easy yes, however, leading three social media sessions and one on creating videos on your mobile phones sessions later, being a simple attendee was somewhat scuppered.

As with all good unconferences, the agenda is never set with the participants defining the events content. Switching mindsets early on and being open to offer as much as to take from these community focussed affairs certainly increased my enjoyment, plus the conversations provoked by the sessions definitely added to my knowledge / understanding.

Huge thanks to the organisers and sponsors of the event. Volunteering, attending and supporting such initiatives is so important in building informed communities of practice from which good things always are born.


“When I asked DK to share some insights about what he’d learned from running TEDXWellington at our community unconference, his answer was a very quick yes. His opening words really set everyone up for the day in terms of creating an atmosphere where people were willing to freely share. The well chosen stories gave people confidence to take a leap into the unknown. From there, many participants, probably two thirds, took the opportunity to join a impromptu session DK ran. It was a delight to have DK involved in our day, something I hope we are able to do again.”
Stephen Blyth, Organiser, NetSquared Wellington

The Ultimate Online Social Strategy | Which You Won’t Do

Just one simple thing. Big impact.

Here’s something I’ve been challenging clients with for the past couple of years during internal strategy workshop sessions.

A simple action that if done properly will produce the following:

  • more views to your website
  • deeper relationships with your audience / market
  • greater influence in your community / sector / industry
  • broader / deeper understanding of the space you serve
  • quicker connections to industry insiders / leaders

…and I guarantee hardly any of you will do it!

What is it?

Commenting.

Simply adding value to existing digital content out there.

Not a “hey yeh man, great post” but a “great post, really made me think about X and wanted to share this great book / video / quote with you which I thought was fitting. Thanks for creating it and looking forward to more related stuff from you.”

The simple truth is as creators of online material (whether it be blog posts like this one, videos, a tweeted image, slideshows etc) it’s extremely validating to receive a comment. And one of the first things we do is click through the digital breadcrumb to check out the persons background who took the time to connect.

Personally, loads of friendships to inspirational souls have been formed this way.

This one action also scales massively.

Just imagine the accumulative impact of every individual in your organisation / company leaving one comment, once a week on a piece of digital content out there… (a very small strategic commitment).

Imagine the gain in engagement if a council / a startup / a design firm / a theatre / a charity etc did this!

If you’re not adding value into the community by recognising their work then why should you expect them to give you their attention when you produce content?
Me

SMALL PRINT: I’m taking for granted what you have to offer in terms of your service / product etc is of quality and you know that by engaging it means genuinely conversing and not promoting.

Different Types Of Social Media Users | Conversationalists / Learners / Aggregators / Marketeers / Researchers / Lurkers (CLAMRL)

Different Types Of Social Media Users 2

What other personality / activity types are there?

Created a half a year ago during some random flight. Found and now sharing in the hope it offers value to someone:

  • Conversationalists: connecting and talking with like-minded souls whilst sharing all aspects of their lives / thoughts etc.;
  • Learners: connecting & applying ideas. The bloggers, bookmarkers, developers of skills / understanding;
  • Aggregators: scrapbooking the web. Tumbling / Pinning / posting / RTing the hell out of anything and everything;
  • Marketeers: filling streams with mainly content designed to sell services / products. Social is just a route to market;
  • Researchers: scraping content / actions into spreadsheets to quantify / dissect. Hunters of numbers / case studies;
  • Lurkers: visiting during lunch or bus rides, rarely contribute and when they do it’s an afterthought.

Which are you (you can be more than one)? What others am I missing?

Images from graphicsfuel.com

Curation As An Emerging Skillset | A 5 Step Guide

5 step curation skillset plan

How to become a curation king / queen.

Traditionally, a curator researches and puts together a collection which speaks to a narrative and / or serves a larger idea in art galleries and / or museums.

In the current digital habitat, all can participate in this activity, so the challenge is honing the skills and leveraging the tools. Why?

Because for you and the organisation / company you serve, curation will be at the forefront of:

  • developing new ideas;
  • broadening discussions;
  • navigating and sifting through information to concentrate it into action;
  • celebrating those in specific industries; plus
  • uncovering / creating / deepening relationships to those that matter.

How?

Here we go:

1. Find : Track other digital curators to emulate / learn from.

Follow / learn from Tina or Jason or Maria or Shaun or the Open Culture peeps etc—rather just serving individual tastes, these guys are also aiming to inspire, educate, challenge, explode wonder, intrigue, curiosity, in their audience.

2. Find : Deliberately forage content from many sources.

Online is a noisy place and it’s not simple to find the signal. For many of us with the tools such as advanced search techniques plus RSS it’s a simple case of making the web work for you. RSS allows for a filtering on a delicious scale which when mashed up with things like IFTTT and Yahoo Pipes can become the perfect recipe for making yourself look double awesome.

3. Follow : Click those inspirational digital breadcrumbs.

Be careful not to get stuck in the filter bubble—sites like Tumblr and Pinterest exemplify curating platforms plus once you start clicking you will discover how deep the rabbit hole goes. Don’t worry too much and just click away, flow around areas of interest, follow those links and see where those web-roads take you. You’ll be astonished with the gems you’ll find.

4. Focus : Sharpen the sights and cull the chaff to find the good stuff.

Now you’ve been using the above tools / techniques for a while it’s time to sort and strain. It might be you’ll decide to stop following certain feeds and replace them with ones who serve more specific content. It should always be a trial and error process in pursuit of revelatory inspiration.

5. Frame : Context is king so reposition & tell stories with the new found ideas.

The best curators (some listed above) contextualise the treasures found by weaving a narrative around. This adds the much needed context for the audience and yourself when you return years later plus demonstrates your ability to join ideas into salient points. It’s time to shape the reason and link the work to creative action (whether that be an infographic, white space in an established industry, applying divergent technologies into traditional approaches, learning from obscure voices from other sectors to influence innovative strategies etc). Wrap those finds up in beautiful potential.


So examples of where this can be applied:

  • students can be taught the above as a research methodology for their studies;
  • product designers can utilise these steps to gain a deeper picture of the problem / industry their serving;
  • teachers can employ these techniques as a way to collate content related to their subject focus;
  • start-ups can use these tools to aggregate ideas around the market they are entering;
  • leaders can illustrate brand stories in which they would like to emulate.

…you get the idea!

Follow the plan and basically suck the juicy wisdom out of the web then humanise it for good.

How relevant is curation in your role / organisation? And who else is talking about this as a skillset (am keen to learn / connect)? Riff in the comments!

Related / inspired / remixed from original post 2013 | Create / Curate plus all images from Graphics Fuel

Puncture The Equilibrium | The Social Perimeter

Illustrated-Guide-PhD-Matt-Might-Remix

Keep pushing!

Discussions about the space I’ve been operating in for eight years is stilted at ‘social media’ (and usually the false assumption that most folks think it just means social media marketing).

For me, the semantic and focus has shifted to just “social”, which includes:

  • social media
  • social technologies
  • social platforms
  • social workflows
  • social currencies
  • social literacies
  • social interactions
  • social expectations
  • social sharing
  • social business
  • social metrics
  • social culture (to name but a few)

These new associations seem peripheral to the main social media discourse, and if you think that way, good, because there’s not much space on the edge.

The courageous, audacious, curious margins with their better questions.

The fringes where development occurs as a gradual push outwards, extending the status quo.

A punctuated equilibrium.

Whether it be a university asking for applications for one of it’s courses via 200 characters; Lego making it’s executives to take courses in social; crowdfunded films winning oscars etc

The edges are far more fun, confusing, impactful and wondrous than the center.

Join me if you dare.

Image remixed from The Illustrated Guide to a Ph.D.
Hat-tip Brian Sweeney for ‘punctuated equilibrium’ term.