Please change your subscription to http://feeds.feedburner.com/chrissaad

I have also moved my blog to a new home at http://blog.areyoupayingattention.com

Thanks!

A friend and I just had a wonderful 1:1 chat, and I wanted to share it here (with her permission). She asked me to remove her name because she thinks she was off her game – I think she’s crazy – but I will respect her request none-the-less.

Please excuse the raw nature – this is a straight copy+paste chat log from Adium.

Also, for clarity, my timeframe for this world peace is not days, weeks or even decades. There are also all sorts of things that can screw my assumptions up. But this is an interesting thought exercise none the less.


9:11 – My Friend:

Chris, about your idea that our connectedness will bring world peace… someday?

9:11 – Chris Saad:

yes – most people think i’m crazy
… i think it’s already happening

9:12 – My Friend:

Do you think that it’s making us more moral?

9:13 – Chris Saad

no… i think it’s broadening the set of people we apply our morality to

because we are coming to the obvious revelation that everyone is human, everyone has the same fundamental desires (safety, love, hope) and deserves a fundamental level of respect and dignity

9:14 – My Friend:

do you think it’s changing our ideas of what morality is?

9:14 – Chris Saad

… i think humans are always fundamentally selfish – but they prioritize themselves first, and people like them second

… all i’m saying is that people will increasingly realize that there are a lot more people like them than they originally thought – i.e. everyone

9:15 – My Friend:

I think yes we are redefining our standards of morality b/c of the connectedness

9:16 – Chris Saad

I think it looks like that at the surface
… but it’s only because we are applying our same morality in different ways

9:16 – My Friend:

interesting

9:16 – Chris Saad

which sort of creates a new morality or at least a different looking morality
… but its probably the same morality more broadly applied
… e.g. we’d never bomb a state of the US
… that’s morality
… so why would be bomb a state of the world
… that’s ‘otherness’ which is dissipating
… but its the same morality
… man i speak a lot of shit like i know what i’m talking about
… i should get a bullshit award
… i do believe it though

9:21 – My Friend:

maybe it was the wrong question.
do you think moral codes are changing
morals w/i established groups

9:22 – Chris Saad

can u give me an example of a moral code and how it might have changed?

9:23 – My Friend:

Churches granting priesthood to homosexuals, for example

9:24 – Chris Saad

see i still think that’s a broadening of application of an existing morality

… the original moral code was to grant priesthoods to those who worked for it and were pihas  (sp?)

9:24 – My Friend:

maybe it’s just a swinging back of the pendulum

9:24 – Chris Saad

… i could be wrong – this is just my opinion hah

9:29 – My Friend:

… but to everyone

you posit then that it’s a broadening of moral code – a shedding of the sense of “other” for a set of fundamentally understood values

9:29 – Chris Saad

a broadening of the application of moral codes
… but yes

… we’re not broadening the scope of the moral code, we’re broadening the group of people who fit inside the original scope.

All they are doing now is applying it to a broader set of people – people once considered ‘other’
… We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
… this is our fundamental morality
… its only just being applied more broadly
… to more people – not just americans, or males, or straights

9:30 – My Friend:

and this is one of the contributions to a more peaceful world?

9:30 – Chris Saad

its sort of like the big bang, planets and solar systems are not moving – the space itself is moving heh
… like dots on an inflating balloon
… the dots aren’t moving – the balloon is

9:31 – My Friend:

we’re on the whale. I just wanted to better understand your view.

9:32 – Chris Saad

presumably it does lead to more peaceful world yes – just like *most* people would not rape their daughter, they would also not rape their neighbor or their countrymen or a foreigner

… we would not embargo our family, or our neighbors or our states or our foreign neighbors – even the word foreign becomes obsolete

9:35 – My Friend:

what about the big brother aspect of all this connectedness?

9:35 – Chris Saad

I’m not sure it’s strictly related

… although if most things are public, then ‘big brother’ becomes more like ‘social consciousness’ – taboos break down and privacy based on fear (taboos like health conditions, weird sexual interests etc etc) begin to lose meaning

9:36 – My Friend:

Interesting.  Why not?

9:38 – Chris Saad

well privacy is still a right – social media is not about giving up privacy but it does somewhat diminish the need for and the value on privacy because as I said above taboos begin to evaporate

When I heard about Gary Vee’s talk at #140conf was titled ‘Scaling Caring’ I though “Seriously? That’s stupid”.

I just watched the video. I was wrong. Maybe in the wrong hands that could have been a stupid talk, but in Gary’s hands it, like everything else he does, was a fun, insightful and earnest attempt to open people’s eyes to what’s in front of them.

Scalable Caring

The talk actually touches on what Jeremiah and I were blogging about recently. Jeremiah had asked the question ‘Can people scale along with Social Media’. In other words, can you really keep up with all these incoming messages while remaining authentic and doing a real level of caring.

My response was no, you can’t. And you shouldn’t try. Social Media is actually Personal Media and it’s not about talking to everyone who sends you a message – it’s about being authentic and staying in touch with friends and things that interest you.

Gary has highlighted another type of Scale though – one that Jeremiah and I missed. One that is obvious to some but all too often missed by many.

Gary’s point was that brands (personal or corporate) should pay attention to the once private and now very public,  searchable and archive-able word of mouth that is happening at breakneck pace across the web today. You should care about every single mention and react, respond and resolve every single mention of your brand.

I wasn’t going to write a post on this – it was just a passing thought – and then I got a PayPal customer satisfaction survey in my inbox. Really? Do you really need to run a survey to know what I’m thinking? Why don’t you just tune into my Twitter feed?

Does PayPal listen to Twitter? I don’t know. Do they respond? Doesn’t seem so. Their @PayPal account seems to be just re-posting news highlights. Maybe they are – I don’t have time to do any thorough research on this specific case, but it did tip me over the edge to post.

Gary Vee is making a fundamental point that we’ve all made in the short history of this new media ecosystem – but as usual his delivery style makes all the difference.

This theme especially resonates with me with my recent work at JS-Kit. We (the strategy team) often talk about support as a killer feature. We try to respond to every blog post and twitter message about our service to let customers know we care. But more than that, we actually care. We don’t just respond, we factor it into our decision making. I’m sure this isn’t unique, but it is far from pervasive – especially outside the web industry – and it should be.

We also spend a lot of time thinking about how a tool like JS-Kit Comments might facilitate more scalable caring. How can a site owner or a participant/user keep track of their audience or their friends in all the social media noise?

The answers are still being formulated – but rest assured I will keep an ear out for the clear and resounding feedback – not with a survey, but by tuning into the ongoing, searchable and archivable conversation.

Social Media is Dead

June 13, 2009

It isn’t SOCIAL media, it’s never been SOCIAL media. It’s always been PERSONAL media.

My friend Jeremiah just wrote a post about Social Media scale. He posses the question, how is it possible for those with growing audiences (or indeed celebrities) to really scale up their social media interactions?

He highlights the fact that most of our social media idols are actually using ghost writers to write books, tweets, emails and more.

I would argue that this these idols outsourcing their social media are missing the point. They are trying to scale up one-to-one interactions to a point where they are no longer authentic.

The media phenomena that is occurring all around is us not about being social, it is about being authentic and personal.

The point is not that u have to contact everyone 1:1 – only that what you DO say is real – your own voice from your own keyboard.

It also means that the news you get is not necessarily from or for the mainstream, but more from your personal connections and more closely linked to your personal interests.

It’s only social because each person has a social aspect to their ‘being’. It’s a symptom not a cause.

As I’ve said before, the reality is that this isn’t a new practice. Stories have always been personal. We have always shared our own experiences in our own voices with one another since man first started drawing on cave walls (women did it too!). The industrial age broke our ancient tradition with Mass Publishing leading to Mainstream Media. These new tools are just allowing us to take back our stories to get personal, authentic and intimate again.

The only difference this time is that we are not limited by geographies of landscape, but rather connected through geographies of ideas.

Facebook has announced that they are about to release vanity URLs.

What most people don’t realize is that this move, while interesting, is not really about vanity URLs at all – it’s actually about addressable identity.

One of Twitter’s key advantages in the race for dominance over internet identity is their growing namespace of what I call Addressable Identities.

What are they I hear you ask? An example of an Addressable Identity is being able to write ‘@chrissaad‘ and have the system and users understand that it is a direct and concrete reference to me. This form of addressing is particularly interesting because it is easy to write in a sentence or micro-blog.

With Vanity URLs, Facebook will encourage users to specify a tidy/tiny/compact identity identifier by which friends/followers/others can reference/point to each other. This is a big step towards keeping up with Twitter as one of the web’s only providers of modern addressable identities (email is an old, less compact version of this).

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds and how we consolidate these namespaces when using 3rd party services.

It might ultimately have to end up like good old email:

chrissaad@twitter.com, chrissaad@facebook.com etc.

Ideally though, we should be able to use our own/personal email address and have it resolve to an OpenID for true, federated and open addressable identity.

That, however, is still some way away.

Please note: I’m going to be re-posting some of my posts from the old Particls blog here. These posts were far ahead of their time and were written at a time before streams, flow and filtering were popular concepts. I am re-publishing them here so that they might find a new audience. After each post I may write an  update based on the latest developments and my latest thoughts.

The Attention Economy Vs. Flow – Continued

Originally Published June 13th, 2007

Steve Rubel posts about his information saturation.

He writes:

We are reaching a point where the number of inputs we have as individuals is beginning to exceed what we are capable as humans of managing. The demands for our attention are becoming so great, and the problem so widespread, that it will cause people to crash and curtail these drains. Human attention does not obey Moore’s Law.

My attention has reached a limit so I have re-calibrated it to make it more effective. I think this issue is an epidemic. We have too many demands on our attention and the rapid success of Tim’s book indicates that people will start to cut back on the information they are gorging. If this happens en masse, will it cause a financial pullback? Possibly if ad revenues sag as a result.

Stowe Boyd writes in response:

No, I think we need to develop new behaviors and new ethics to operate in the new context.

Most people operate on the assumption that the response to increased flow is to intensify what was working formerly: read more email, read more blogs, write more IMs, and so on. And at the same time motor on with the established notions of what a job is, how to accomplish work and meet deadlines, and so on.

In a time of increased flow, yes, if you want to hold everything else as is — your definition of success, of social relationships, of what it means to be polite or rude — Steve is right: you will have to cut back.

Who is right? Who is wrong? Maybe Steve is just old and Stowe is divining the new social consciousness.

Maybe Stowe is just being an extreme purist (Stowe? Never!) and just needs to recognize that there is middle ground.

Maybe the middle ground – Flow based tools that help to refine the stream.

Our eyes can handle the sun – but sunglasses are nice too.


Update

Steve and Stowe’s posts were written pre Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook Newsfeed days. These observations were mainly based on blogs posts, Digg, Flickr, del.icio.us etc.

At the time these services were consumed using a traditional feed reader using an email Inbox metaphor – items in channels, marking items as read.

At the time of the post, we were building a product that would essentially stream items much the same way Twhirl or FriendFeed do today. One after the other in reverse chronological order. No folders, no marking as read.

Two years later, in a Twitter world, the notion of the stream has now become omnipresent. It is beginning to even replace the Inbox metaphor for email itself (refer to Google Wave). Allowing information to flow over you, as Stowe described, is now more important than ever.

So too, however, is the notion of filtering – sunglasses for staring at the sun.

So far the only filtering that has really made it into commercial products is filtering by friends. These days I don’t get raw feeds from new sources (at least not as many), instead I subscribe to friends and they help filter and surface content for me.

The filter I was describing in this old post, however, and the filter that has yet to be built and commercialized, is a personal and algorithmic one. One based on my interests. Based on APML. This is true because as your friends (think of them as level 1 filtering) begin to publish and re-publish more and more content, a personal filter will again become necessary (level 2 filtering).

In any case, streams are finally here to stay. Mining that stream for value is now the next great frontier.

google_wave_logo-760260

I was just debating with a friend about the value and usefulness of Google’s Wave in the enterprise.

His argument is that Wave has 10 years of adoption curve ahead of it and would not quickly replace email or wikis for enterprise staff.

I tweeted my response:

20% of enterprise users will be using wave in the first 12 months for more than 50% of their comms (replacing email and wiki)

Edit: To be clear, my 12 month time frame begins when Wave is publicly available.

That’s a big call to make on enterprises adopting a radically new technology. Enterprises move very, very slowly. So why am I so bullish on the adoption of Google Wave in the enterprise?

Here’s why…

Email is king

Everyone uses email right? Why would people swap? Because with Wave, they don’t have to.

First, with Wave’s API there will quickly and instantly (I mean in weeks, long before public launch) be integration between Wave and Email. Wave messages and events will  be funneled to email and back again as if the two were built from the same protocol.

Second, Wave will be viral. Users will quickly realize that their email inbox is only giving them a pale imitation of the Wave collaboration experience. It will be like working with shadow puppets while your friends are over having an acid trip of light, sound, fun and productivity.

If someone had told me that they were setting out to kill/replace email, I would have laughed in their face. Now that I see the Wave product and roll out strategy – I think it might actually happen.

Enterprise IT Departments

IT departments are slow to adopt and roll out new technologies right?

People forget that enterprises are just a collection of human beings. Social beings. Like IM, Facebook, LinkedIn, Gmail, Wikis and countless other applications, Wave will soak into an enterprise long before the IT department knows what the hell is going on.

The enterprise adoption curve of Wave, however, will make those other technologies look glacial. Everyone who ever picked up a Wiki, IM client, Facebook or Twitter (I think that covers 99.9% of the developed, working world) will latch onto Wave for dear life.

Everyone else will be forced to open a Wave client to find out what the hell is going on.

Too many tools

Enterprises indeed have many, many tools that already ‘own’ a large part of a given knowledge worker’s/enterprise user’s day.

None of them matter anymore. Again, with Wave’s amazing API and extensibility model, each of these apps, custom or not, will have a Wave bridge.

Official Wiki Pages, Sales Reports, Bug Tickets, New Blog Posts, Emails, Customer Records will all be available and accessibly from the Wave interface.

Who’s going to write all those bridges? Hacker employees, smart IT department engineers, new start-ups and the companies that own those other products hoping desperately to remain relevant and competitive.

Half Lives

Geocities, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter. What do these things show us? That technology adoption has a half-life. Geocities lasted as king of the heap twice as long as MySpace, MySpace twice as long as Facebook and so on. We are approaching a kind of singularity – although just like with the mathematical function, one can never achieve 0 of course.

Sure, enterprises move much more slowly, but when was the last time a really new enterprise productivity application hit the market? Do we even know what the current half-life is? My bet is that it’s pretty damn short – and Wave has the potential to be ahead of the curve.

Related link: Business Opportunities around Google Wave

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.