As I posted earlier, I am going to be posting my book outline in parts to my blog to get feedback and Ideas – please feel free to chime in!

Except from “Revolution of Me” – A book outline by Chris Saad

OPPORTUNITIES FOR INDIVIDUALS

DEVELOP YOUR OWN BRAND

With individuals in a company becoming increasingly visible, the container we once thought of as “the corporations” – an entity with a single, homogenized voice – is now disintegrating into a chorus of loosely coupled individuals.

As a result, individuals are starting to (either deliberately or not) create an identity for themselves that goes far beyond that of their employer or their resume. Their own personal brand.

Try it. Do a Google search for your name and you will begin to see an emerging digital identity – a living resume of your online legacy. This is especially true in the IT world where early adopters have rushed to try new Web 2.0 tools. It will become increasingly true in most industries everywhere.

You’re resume is now just a starting place. Not only will employers vet you with Google, but they will increasingly expect to have heard of you through their social networks and online interactions. They will check your LinkedIn profile and see how many friends you have on Facebook or Twitter.

Those who have made a lasting and visible online impact with unique and relevant things to contribute to their niche have created a personal brand and have a real and significant advantage in the job market.

Similarly, corporations who look for and recruit these personal brands will be able to make better hiring decisions, and put themselves in a position to positively influence their partners and customers.

SURFACING NETWORK VALUE

One of the inherent results of individuals communicating outside the boundaries of their corporate containers more regularly, especially on the Internet, is that their network of influence becomes visible.

Your LinkedIn contacts, your blog comments, your Skype list and other recorded forms of connection and collaboration can now be measured and valued.

Consider that while your resume details your level experience and qualifications, your online interactions demonstrate your value as an influencer – and individual brand.

This, then, has implications for salaries, hiring strategies, bonus packages and more.

Increasingly (and appropriately) corporations will have to factor in this reality as a significant part of an individual’s potential contribution and value to the corporation. And pay them accordingly.

JOB SATISFACTION

The trend for increased individual visibility in the marketplace has both positive and negative effects on lifestyles and job satisfaction.

Where once corporations and PR departments shielded staff from the burden of after-hours support, spin and general customer hand-holding – now staff are increasingly tasked with taking a personal interest in the success of their products, services and customers.

This will, of course, result in longer work hours, added stress and a general change to the way most people approach their work and home life – and the boundaries between.

On the flip side, however, by extending their reach of influence and creating their own personal brand, employees have the opportunity to become more than just commodities. To set their own terms and find employers that respect their capacity for community engagement.

This careful ballancing act changes the relationship between employer and employee to one of master and subordinate to more one of partnership and mutual respect. In the end, though, corporations themselves may give way to loosely coupled groupings of specialized individuals who are determined to get something done.

Read more on the wiki

Comments, ideas and contributions welcome!

As I posted earlier, I am going to be posting my book outline in parts to my blog to get feedback and Ideas – please feel free to chime in!

Except from “Revolution of Me” – A book outline by Chris Saad

THE CHANGING WORKPLACE

JOB DESCRIPTIONS CHANGES

Remember when the PR, Sales and Support departments handled most of the external communication with customers? They always knew the right thing to say.

The problem now, however, is, the right thing, is not what customers and users want to hear. They want to hear the real thing.

If you write the code for your software company, then your users want to hear why you made the architecture decisions you made. They want to know why that bug occurred. They want to know what you think of the latest software innovation.

If you sing in a band, they want to know what inspires you. They want to know what it’s like living on the road – meeting other celebrities. They want to know about the emotional journey you’re on and how it informs your music.

If you’re an accountant they want to know what you think about new legislation proposals, new accounting practices, the latest accounting scandals and your ideas for corporate governance and account keeping.

And on it goes. For almost any job or industry you can think of, people want to have a personal connection with their service providers and they want honest, ongoing conversation.

You are no longer just the programmer, celebrity, accountant or knowledge worker. You are also the best person to speak with authority about your niche in the world. You are your own PR department. Except we don’t want to hear PR speak – we want you to listen, and we want you to hear our reply. We want a dialogue.

Blogs are the most obvious way these sorts of interactions are occurring; however there are also social networks, wikis, forums, newsgroups and more.

Add it to your Job Description. Clear it with the PR department. Make sure your boss knows. Read books about corporate blogging and the social media revolution. A good place to start is with the “Cluetrain Manifesto”, and then move onto “Naked Conversations”.

Read more on the wiki

Comments, ideas and contributions welcome!

As I posted earlier, I am going to be posting my book outline in parts to my blog to get feedback and Ideas – please feel free to chime in!

Except from “Revolution of Me” – A book outline by Chris Saad

BUSINESS 2.0

Introduction

Further Reading: The themes of this section are explored in more details at these locations: The Starfish and the Spider


Customers, employees, markets and corporations are increasingly speaking in casual voices.

This phenomenon was thoroughly predicted and discussed in the book “The Cluetrain Manifesto”.

To summarize, The Cluetrain Manifesto predicted the blogging and social media revolution whereby the blank, benign committee vetted language of “The Corporation” would give way to increasing customer/market demand to hear real answers in a normal, casual and conversational dialogue with individuals inside a corporation.

The book encourages corporations to enable their staff to engage with markets on a one-to-one basis to provide authentic engagement.

Now that blogging and other social tools have emerged and are becoming increasingly common place, the Clutrain’s predictions have become an accepted reality. As a result, a number of other trends are emerging that continue the theme of the disintegration from containers.

Read more on the wiki

Comments, ideas and contributions welcome!

As I posted earlier, I am going to be posting my book outline in parts to my blog to get feedback and Ideas – please feel free to chime in!

Except from “Revolution of Me” – A book outline by Chris Saad

BLOGGING VS. JOURNALISM

Comparing Blogging and Journalism is like comparing Text (print) and Video (TV). Where there is a change in medium there is always a change in message – or at least the way the message is composed, shaped, delivered and consumed. Blogging has had the same effect on the journalism world. Neither is particularly worse or better and neither will kill the other.

Before digging much deeper, it must clarified that there are a broad spectrum of bloggers; even broader than the spectrum of journalists. The definition of blogging includes kids keeping journals about their lives on MySpace right through to serious professionals who investigate and report on news much like traditional journalists.

The reality, however, is that irrespective of the kind of blogger or their intentions (personal gratification, personal brand building or even making money by building an audience), the result is often the same. An individual telling a passionate audience a very personal story. A story filled with bias, timeliness and opinion. A story that is published in near-real time and is open to participation by the audience.

Often a blogger will connect with a very small audience. In the case of a young girl on Myspace, she is only reaching her friends and family. In the case of a tech blogger he or she is probably only reaching the small community of readers they have managed to pull together. The fact is, though, that the writer has connected with his audience on a very personal level. Their style, substance and ‘news’ often resonates in ways that mainstream, mass-market news never can.

Because the salience of news is not determined by its impact on the world, but rather the impact on you – personally. Your daughter doing well at a school play is probably the most important news of your day.

The result is that blogging often has a total lack of objectivity and is often done by ‘amature’ reporters.

Why is the absence of objectivity and saturation of amature reporting such a desirable thing to so many people? Because the growing social media population implicitly understands that bias has always existed, that we have always told stories to each other (without the need for intermediaries) and that people are in the best position to tell their own story. Story telling is a basic human need.

An employee working in a company can blog about their strike better than a reporter can. A CEO involved in a controversy can tell his side of the story with more passionate and verve than an impartial reporter. So can his shareholders.

The characters in these stories now have a voice.

There will always be a place for high level reporting however. There will always be individuals who specialize in packaging the bigger stories for a broader audience. Even still, the existence of personal reporting and storytelling can and must play an increasing part in the process of composing these overviews.

In this new storytelling ecosystem, mainstream media companies have an opportunity to play the role of human-powered aggregators. To encourage their communities of interest to submit their perspectives for aggregation into a broader story.

Read more on the wiki

Comments, ideas and contributions welcome!

As I posted earlier, I am going to be posting my book outline in parts to my blog to get feedback and Ideas – please feel free to chime in!

Except from “Revolution of Me” – A book outline by Chris Saad

MAKING COMPARISONS

In this section I will write in the voice of Media 2.0 participant. Why? Because we are all Media 2.0 Participants.  I will compare and contrast the practices of old media against the expectations and demands of the participant.

OBSERVERS VS. PARTICIPANTS

Observers sit on their couch and surf channels. Participants surf the web. Observers are sampled by Neilson boxes. Participants can be carefully monitored – each and every one. They click to watch and click away just as quickly as soon as they lose interest. The act of clicking, while seemingly small, is profound. It reveals what Neilson boxes only hint at. It’s a gesture of Attention – or of being ignored.

Professional content producers think about media production in terms of creating and distributing content – usually at great cost and with high production values. We need to broaden our definition of production. Production and participation can now take the form amateur journalism (blogging), amateur radio (podcasting) and amateur video (video podcasting).

Uncomfortable? It doesn’t stop there. The definition of production is broader still. Commenting on a piece of content is an act of content creation. So is voting. So is clicking. So is browsing the web.

By an act of clicking, or linking, or sharing, participants are co-creating their media experiences. They are changing the face of their own personal front pages.

PASSIVE VS. ACTIVE

In more traditional media, broadcasters told us when to watch, and what to watch. They selected the programming and scheduled it on their own timetable. Online, we decide the schedule. We decide the format and the presentation.

We don’t want to watch it on your website; we want to watch it on ours. We don’t want to navigate your menu, we want to link to it directly. We don’t want to check back for updates, we want the content to come to us. We don’t want to use your rating system; we want to invent our own. We don’t want to listen to what we’re told; we want to tell you what we thought.

MONOLOGUE VS. DIALOGUE

Advertising was fun, for you, for a while. You made us sit there for 5 minutes at a time watching people jam messages down our throat. Most of them didn’t even apply to us. We don’t care about that sale or those shoes. We care about our own personal and individual interests. Interests that are both specific and diverse.

If you have a message to tell us, make it compelling. If you have something to say, make it worth listening to. If you have something to sell, make it worth buying. If you have something worth knowing, we will hear about it without you yelling about it. We have friends, social networks, personal profiles and search engines which will tell us what we need to know when we need to know it – our schedule – not yours.

If you want to reach us, come and find us. Talk to us, have a conversation with us. Ask us questions. Listen to our answers. Act on our answers. Empower us to share your message. Because the only person who can share your message, is us.

MAINSTREAM VS. THE LONG TAIL

Are you an editor? Do you have final say on what appears on your broadcast, on your site, in your magazine? Does your publication deal with broad categories of things? Is it for the mainstream – the masses, the lowest common denominator? You lose.

We are sick of hearing a little about everything and not really knowing anything. You constantly miss-represent or gloss over the real facts. We don’t trust you anymore. We are not the mainstream, we are individuals. We want to know things – real things – not just the things you think are worth sharing.

They call us ‘The Long Tail’. Don’t know what that is? Read the book by the same name. In short, The Long Tail is the opposite of everything the mainstream is. Amazon, eBay, Google, YouTube and many others have made a fortune by understanding how the tail works.

If you want to tell us about cars, we want to know about engines. If you want to tell us about engines, we want to know about pistons. If you want to tell us about pistons, we want to know about rivets.

Get specific or get out. Get intimate or go away.

YOUTUBE GENERATION

The YouTube generation is all this and more. YouTube caught lightening in a bottle because it allowed the audience to become the publishers. It allowed the viewers to become the editors of the front page. It allowed us to watch what we wanted when we wanted. A click was the most powerful thing around.

But YouTube is still only part of the way there. They still trap our personal profiles and content in their own data warehouses – their silos. Next up – even more user control. Control of our identities, our own profiles, our own content and our own value.

Read more on the wiki

Comments, ideas and contributions welcome!

As I posted earlier, I am going to be posting my book outline in parts to my blog to get feedback and Ideas – please feel free to chime in!

Except from “Revolution of Me” – A book outline by Chris Saad

THE AUDIENCE HAS LEFT THE BUILDING

There is no more audience. There are no more users. There are only participants. Participants in a human scale network.

Participants do not passively consume what an author, creator, director, developer, editor, critic or media outlet has to publish. They do not accept the authority. They do not sit silently ready to have their eyeballs converted into cash.

Participants participate. They create their own original information, entertainment and art. They remix their own version of mainstream pop culture – copyrighted or not. They post their thoughts, publish their fears and fact check every announcement faster than any newsroom. They share with their friends to discover the quirky and interesting, making it an instant blockbuster – at least for 15 minutes.

Participants have ideas to be declared. Individually they are a market of one. Collectively they are a trend, a publishing powerhouse and a voice to be heard. A voice that has something to say.

Participants have changed the way media is published and interactions are monetized. But more broadly and importantly than that, they have changed the flow of global information from top down to bottom up. They are changing the tone and tempo of the conversation.

Elvis? Who is he? The audience who has left the building. The only people left are fellow participants. We are all authors, creators, directors, developers, editors, critics and media outlets. We are a million voices saying one thing – listen to me.

Read more on the wiki

Comments, ideas and contributions welcome!

As I posted earlier, I am going to be posting my book outline in parts to my blog to get feedback and Ideas – please feel free to chime in!

Except from “Revolution of Me” – A book outline by Chris Saad

OVERVIEW

In recent years The revolution of Me has increased in tone and tempo as new technologies help us to better visualize and broaden our human scale network. Technology is actually a key driver of disintegration.

Technology allows us to find and communicate with more people at once. It helps us to reduce the cost of distribution to, in some cases, zero. It helps us bypass mediators and magnify the once insignificant to make it (seem?) profound. It helps us to visualize broad patterns and it can also cause us to lose ourselves in the noise.

In effect, technology has changed our perception of things while also giving us the power to far exceed our grasp. With this new found power, we find new economies of scale that diminish the need for our containers and enable greater personalization.

Continuing with the examples of Marriage and Music; We now have access to more potential mates, more potential temptations, more potential opportunities for travel, more work pressures and more distractions than ever before. Our exposure to more content and greater voyeuristic insight into other people’s lives has demystified our social structures to the point where people feel overwhelmed with choices for a partner, more distracted by travel, work and entertainment and more aware of how taboos and social conventions don’t always apply.

In addition to these the social changes, technology simply allows us to be in close contact from greater distances. The idea that people had to live in the same home in order to nurture and connect to each other is losing value for many. The result is an almost global selection pool.

Music has been affected by technology in other ways. It is now economically feasible to distribute music at almost no cost. The cost of a single download pales in comparison to shelf space in a record store, packaging, shipping and materials. Music production has also decreased in cost dramatically to the point where anyone with a computer can make a song. With the barrier to entry, production and distribution reduced to next to nothing record labels are being forced to compete in other ways.

Shipping individual songs electronically now costs the same as shipping the whole album. With access to more customers, artists and record companies are forced to cater more to individual tastes of audiences who now except to pay only for what they love. And there is no shortage of music to choose from.

So as we see in these two very different examples, technology has had a profound effect in creating a personalization revolution.

It is important to note that, in this text, I do not propose to pass judgment on the trends, only highlight them. For some, the breakdown of the family container of Marriage may be horrifying. There may be plenty of psychological, spiritual or economic reasons why this trend is not constructive for society. Or maybe not. This does not change the reality that the trend is indeed occurring.

What follows is a more detailed exploration of these two examples, as well as many others in the areas of Media, Business, Politics, Family and War.

Read more on the wiki

Comments, ideas and contributions welcome!