Thursday, August 6, 2009

Week 3: Microsegmentation and Social Media, part 1

I'm still working my way through this week's materials, but I wanted to post a couple of comments on the "Origins of Social Media" chapter of "The New Influencers."

I'm finding that it's useful to check the publishing date of text discussing new media, as the rapid rate of change on the topic ages them quickly. For example, it was quaint to read in "The New Influencers" about businesses that "choose to participate" in social media. As we learned in last week's course materials, the more recent prevailing winds have blown brand & message control further away from businesses. To be fair, the first half of "Origins of Social Media" is all about this loss of control, but I suspect that if the book were published more recently (it came out in 2007) the tone and content of this discussion would have been different.

Still, "Origins of Social Media" provides a useful background on the subject, and one prognostication that did resonate strongly with me relates to transparency. The comment that "...transparency may be the single greatest cultural shift that businesses will face as they engage with social media" rings true, and I would even take it a step further and propose that, when combined with the other forces driving a demand for transparency (globalization & outsourcing concerns, sustainability & social consciousness interests), the ability to deliver it will be a profound source of differentiation for the firms of the future.


  1. Your observation about the publication date of the readings is insightful and correct. We plan to offer this course again next summer and many of the readings will have to be changed. The rapid change is also one reason that I am collecting article and web site references and posting them to Angel.

  2. Crowdsourcing course material - very appropriate! I have to admit that when we first started the class I didn't see the value in utilizing the very social media we were studying, but it didn't take me long to come around - I think it has sped up & deepened my learning, actually.