Joi Ito’s Principles:


Joi Ito of MIT Media Lab:

Ito: There are nine or so principles to work in a world like this:

1. Resilience instead of strength, which means you want to yield and allow failure and you bounce back instead of trying to resist failure.

2. You pull instead of push. That means you pull the resources from the network as you need them, as opposed to centrally stocking them and controlling them.

3. You want to take risk instead of focusing on safety.

4. You want to focus on the system instead of objects.

5. You want to have good compasses not maps.

6. You want to work on practice instead of theory. Because sometimes you don’t why it works, but what is important is that it is working, not that you have some theory around it.

7. It disobedience instead of compliance. You don’t get a Nobel Prize for doing what you are told. Too much of school is about obedience, we should really be celebrating disobedience.

8. It’s the crowd instead of experts.

9. It’s a focus on learning instead of education.

We’re still working on it, but that is where our thinking is headed.

Business of Open APIs


(via 2012 Is Shaping Up As the Year of Open APIs – Dion Hinchcliffe’s Next-Generation Enterprises)

From 2012— but still very true for 2013 too

Not long ago, YouTube announced they would be launching associated website annotations. The program has only been in pilot mode for the last few weeks, but now it’s totally here. Partners in good standing who declare their YouTube channels the official representation of their brand can now put annotations on their videos that will link directly to their website. The opportunities presented by these annotations are huge, as your calls-to-action can lead viewers to your website, where you can sell your own stuff, offer exclusive content, and not be inhibited by the rules of YouTube.

Interview with John C. Havens

Had a great interview today with John C. Havens. on

John and Shel Holtz recently released their new book Tactical Transparency: How Leaders Can Leverage Social Media to Maximize Value and Build their Brand (where yours truly is quoted). Check it out.

>>> Editors Note: I am an idiot and got my “Shel”s mixed up, originally posting John’s co-author as Shel Israel, and not Shel Holtz, who IS the co-author of Tactical Transparency. My sincerest apologies to John and Shel, and thanks to Shel Israel who pointed out my error. I have corrected it above.

Do Experts Matter?

Great post from Phill Baumann on experts, the value they may bring and Social Media experts in general. My favorite:

For example, Social Media experts are everywhere. When they’re everywhere, they’re nowhere. In other words, they don’t matter.

So if you want to tout your expertise then you better possess a passion for making other people’s lives better, not yours. And you better do what you love in a way that sets you apart from the experts.

I have been pitched by “Social Media Experts” that don’t blog, that dont twitter, that dont videoblog, that don’t stay on top of the more social trends on the web (my least favorite excuse is the one about the shoemakers children).

When I work with clients on these types of projects my main goal is to get them to become the experts. They need to believe this is something different. They need to commit. They need to do the work, make the effort, reach out to the users in real authentic ways. If we are trying to be more real and more authentic, why would we let an agency do it for us?

The Social Media Expert should be a catalyst, an evangelist (sorry @DAHOWLETT !), someone who is looking at the landscape, helping their clients understand what this is about, work together to build the program and advising them over time to tune and tweak and enhance their program and how they communicate. I think there may be something inauthentic about hiring an agency to communicate in a real voice to your users/customers/fans. Part of this thing of ours is about becoming more transparent, removing the “press release barrier”, dropping the the corp speak and taking off some of the armor that companies build to “protect” themselves from their users.

Whats really important?

25 years from now…

25 years from now someone in my niece’s graduating class might be the VP pick for the highest office in the land (POTUS). What will that “vetting” process look like? Sure there will be the usual background check stuff, FBI calling their college roommates, PHD advisor, pastor, etc., but what happens in a world where we are declaring our intention and attention (status) all-day, every day. What happens when one of these digital natives, who have been facebooking and myspacing, and flickring and youtube-ing their daily thoughts, ideas, location, and media every day for the next 25 years runs for office?

Past Is Prologue
-William Shakespeare

Status anyone?

I had a conversation with my buddy Craig the other day and we discussed how these platforms and models were changing how users interact and part of the discussion touched specifically on:

Right now, every kid under the age of 18 in the US has grown up with potential access to the internet either at home, school, rec center, mom’s office, etc.

For the most part these kids are creating online identities in a ton of places, some are throwaway (to get access to a concert video), and others are permanent (tell my niece she has to quit MySpace and you will end up in a fight).

These kids are getting their own computers (cell phones), self-organizing digitally

They are making their own media (audio, photo, video, text) daily

They are connecting with their friends on these platforms and using them to stay in touch, bully each other, make new friends, etc.

Potentially, this generation will never lose touch with anyone they grew up with – EVER. They graduate from High School Facebook to College Facebook to Work/Life Facebook (or whatever the social platform/graph/grid/mesh evolves to). My niece will be able to keep in touch with, ignore and more importantly, have status on every single kid she is going to high school and college today. I can’t remember every single kid I went to grade school with, but I could probably find a bunch of them on Facebook if I looked hard enough.

Networking? Sure – having the world’s largest, distributed address book in history will make keeping and making connections more interesting.But what happens when you have persistent status of people you know, what they are doing, where they are /were/will be? What happens over time to this data, when it becomes the past tense (was doing, was at, was with)?

Doc Searls has said in a previous VRM meeting that he wants to see a day when the customer can have their own TOS (terms of service) that gives them the right to “nuke my info off your system if I want to quit your proprietary aspect of data”. Outside of the NUKE option (which I think we need), what about an expiration date on my status/intention/attention/media? 15 years from now, does Johnny really want his new girlfriend to see his “Growing Up Gotti” haircut from back in the day? Are those funnel photos from the Preakness really going to be appropriate when your kid decides to “see what mom was like when she was my age”?

Carrying off on this point is a really great and creepy PSA out about kids and the things they are posting to the web:

It changes the game because WE ARE ALL MAINTAINING THE STATUS over our attention/intention/action as well as that of others. There are no reporters, I dont have a secretary, no one is “going to the archives” to find out what I did last week – they just need to follow my twitter feed (which is hooked up to my friendfeed and facebook and wordpress blog) to see what I was doing. Its all in the cache/cloud/reverse chronological order. All someone needs to do is connect the dots (which is getting easier every day).

Your ideas, photos, comments, videos are out there, in the cloud/cache, forever. A persistent, ongoing record, distributed amongst different platforms and social graphs for the world to see. Add in face and voice recognition and that protest rally you went to in college, because that hippy chick you were dating at the time wanted you to go, might become a problem 20 years from now when you run for office, or a job, or meet a not-so-hippy chick. You didnt shoot the video, you didnt know you were on camera, yet it is part of your history. Lots of folks are getting gigs BECAUSE of their participation on these platforms. There are already stories in the “news” (and I do use the term loosely) about how kids are getting turned down for jobs because of things on their myspace page, beauty pageant contestants are losing their crowns because there are embarrassing photos of them on the web, kids are videotaping crimes to get on YouTube.

I hope you know this will go down on your permanent record
– The Violent Femmes
Kiss Off

Things to think about:

Will our past actions prevent us from trying for a job (even Vice President) because we know what closets our skeletons are in (“I told the candidate I could not accept the VP nod because I want to spend more time with my family, and because there are some raunchy pictures of me at my roommates’s bachelor party 17 years ago”)?

Will individuals guard their expressions more closely and be more conscious of their attention/intention/status?

What happens when we run into a “blank slate” who doesnt have a facebook history or is tagged in flickr sets? Will we give them the job/trust/reputation? Will they be a social media pariah?

Will I be able to find a “cleaner” to get rid of all traces of Spring Break 2012 in Cancun before my bride-to-be finds them?

Will there be a “Identity Bankruptcy Court” that will order these graphs and platforms to nuke all traces of someone?

Promiscuity / Diversity in Social Networks

I have been toying with the concepts of promiscuity and diversity when applied to Social Networks for a while now.
Promiscuity is the practice of making relatively unselective, casual and indiscriminate choices.
Diversity is the presence of a wide range of variation in the qualities or attributes under discussion.

We make choices in how we connect to these spaces and places. Some are light connections and without regard and some seriously focused. Our Facebook page is where we connect with our friends and “adds”, where we have fun, add widgets that are entertaining, and annoy friends with question and movie matching requests. We might add people we just met last night at a party or barely know because this space is casual, fun, the opposite of serious in our life (until a future employer finds the keg-stand and bong photos). Our LinkedIn page is where we take things seriously. We dont post goofy photos, we dont ask stupid questions – we respect the space AND show respect for ourselves and others. We pitch in, make referrals, connect and find connections. A Band’s My Space page is their home on the web – while fun and on a more “fun” social network, its their business – the franchise.

Not all of my friends are in all the same networks. I am not in all of their networks. We connect and get close and pull away and break up by increments over time. There is a lot of overlap in multiple networks – between my network of friends, network of business acquaintances, network of people I kinda-know. I have folks following my twitter feed I have only met once, but have tons of conversations over time, in multiple forms. I refuse to add people I don’t know to my Facebook page.

Promiscuity, or having lots of relationships on lots of networks isnt a bad thing. If you only hang out with LinkedIn kids, what is the true value of your social equity? Does it make sense to be in a clique? Does it make more sense to be in multiple networks, with lots of loose and tight connections? Does that diversity in friends, viewpoints, behavior translate into something more (more social equity)? Does Moore’s law really have an effect when we look at the value of each of our social networks individually and in the aggregate?

Chris Messina (FactoryJoe) once wrote “a monoculture is a monotonous culture”. I think this fits really well.

“I think we can guilt them out into doing the right thing.”

Marc Canter – one of the most consistent critics of walled gardens/closed systems and the ghost towns they become hits it again with a post about subscribing to people

Well one clear way is to just ’subscribe’ to someone and then find out what they’re doing – wherever they are. This can only be done across vendor’s offerings – so it’s a great use case for open standards.

For a while now I have been a snob of social networks. “I get it, I get it” – I would join, check out early features, and not really invest in the community while trying to get a quick read on the SN. Understanding the theory without being invested. Recently, thanks to having to do the research, friends (like HH) inviting me left and right and some really exciting things happening in the SN space (like Marc’s PeopleAggregator, Facebook opening up, researching SNs in different cultures) I have been getting more invested different worlds, seeing what they have to offer, learning and experiencing (badges to come).

The biggest frustration I have is having to make a new profile from scratch in each of these places. Because, really, my hobbies are the same if I am in facebook or myspace. I might not put my entire employment history in Facebook, but if I did, why would I want to key it or copy/paste it 2x from LinkedIn???? What happens when these data sources become out of synch (like my employment histories or hobbies between social networks)?

The truth Marc has been sharing is simple – open it up (platforms), be free, listen to the customer (radical idea), and anticipate what they want (’cause they dont know it – yet), let them share (on your network and others). I used to think my blog was this center of the social universe for me – and it could become that… we just arent there yet.

We dont have one circle of friends. We don’t have one interest. We dont have only one favorite food. We dont have one email address. We dont only like one musician or singer or group. We dont like only one kind of movie or tv show or magazine. People like choice. They like options. They don’t always make a choice – and that is a choice in itself. They want to engage on their terms in the places and spaces of their choice.

The more you hold them down, lock them out, and box them in the easier it will be for them to invest (time, effort, ideas, creativity) in someone elses platform that is open.

Dave says…

From Marc’s blog: