The Socializers
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Archive for the ‘ social media observations ’ Category

Many of us signed up for this social media experiment in order to know one another and ourselves more deeply. And many of us began to share the goal of working together on a massive scale to fix the world. The large organizations that understand this, and work with us, will win our favor and loyalty.

WHAT IS AN AVATAR: In Hinduism, an avatar is a deliberate descent of a deity to earth, or a descent of the Supreme Being, and is mostly translated into English as “incarnation”, but more accurately as “appearance” or “manifestation”. In computing, an avatar is the graphical representation of the user or the user’s alter ego or character. It may take either a three-dimensional form, as in games or virtual worlds, or a two-dimensional form as an icon in Internet forums and other online communities. It is an object representing the user. The term “avatar” can also refer to the personality connected with the screen name, or handle, of an Internet user.

EVERYONE HAS AN AVATAR & IT SUMMONS YOU DAILY: Whether you have a Facebook page or have developed multiple identities across many networks, you have conceived a presence online that lives while you sleep. Others interact with that presence 24/7 through comments, shares, re-tweets and likes. The more time you put into growing your network (context) and filling out your avatar(s) with text, posts, images and movies (content), the fuller this representation becomes. The pull you feel to post throughout the day is no different than a mother’s pull to nurse a child and make it grow. The gravity of your avatar is no different than a farmer tending crops to fruition. The magnetism you feel in returning to your social pages is no different than a person returning to make love with their beloved. You want to nurture this presence.

THE RESULT OF NURTURING AN AVATAR: When you spend a lot of time nurturing your avatar, it takes on a life of its own. And it can create a series of new possibilities for your fleshly body. In fact, it could be said that your digital avatar is your greatest ally in today’s world of social networks, drawing opportunities into your field of awareness via texts, emails and comment threads. The best action you can take to truly give full life to your avatar is to make it a gift to the world. Rather than using a network to get something, consider using the network to give a gift. The result will be a magnification of your best self in front of the world. And you’ll begin to receive requests to participate in activities, businesses and relationships that perfectly fit your avatar.

THE AMPLIFICATION OF YOUR BEST QUALITIES IS THE RIGHT CONTENT FOR YOUR AVATAR: Did you read that last sentence in the previous paragraph? I will write it again: By developing your avatar every day, you’ll begin to receive requests to participate in activities, businesses and relationships that perfectly fit your avatar. To take this further, when you imbue your avatar with your very best qualities, your unique gifting to the world, you will find yourself in conversation with others that have the same goals, the same thoughts, the same priorities, the same style. If you want to see who is in your core circle, take a look right now at who consistently likes and comments on your “best” posts in Facebook or retweets you on Twitter. These are people you might consider connecting more deeply with online and in person. Your “best” posts are the ones that truly represent the core of your essential self, the part of you that is a gift to others.

YOU CAN DEVELOP A BUSINESS AND A LIFE FROM THE REFLECTION OF YOUR AVATAR: Your avatar is showing you a path into a life that is yours to step into. You’ve created that life by posting what you posted, by sharing what you’ve shared, by photographing what you photographed. This is your identity and your destination. Your avatar is your location. There are literally thousands of people who “get this” every day in a heart-fluttering moment. And, for some, their lives change overnight. The change can be as simple as deciding to pursue a healthier lifestyle through exercise or a diet change. Or the change can be as huge as a physical move to a place that has been calling out to you for years. Entire businesses have blossomed in a short amount of time simply due to a path an avatar has charted.

HOW TO GAIN GUIDANCE VIA YOUR AVATAR: Today take some time to study what you’ve been posting during the last month or few weeks. Study who has liked, re-tweeted or commented on your posts. Study the photos you’ve been posting or sharing. Study the posts you’ve been liking or sharing from others. Now, take some time to write down your thoughts. What did you come away from this experience feeling and thinking? Who do you want to become as a result of this activity? Write down the identity of your avatar, what it is, who it is, what it does, where it wants to go, who it wants to meet. That’s you.

THE COURAGE TO STEP “INTO” THE SKIN OF YOUR AVATAR: Did you know you can step into your avatar? That identity you’ve been creating online is like clothing or a skin. And it is already living in the world you want to occupy. To experiment with what this is like, select just a few activities, relationships, songs, images and intentions that your avatar has expressed during the last few days or months. And try just a few of those. See how that feels to you. Do this just on one single day. The day you do this IS the day you stepped “into” your avatar. Will you dare to try that again tomorrow?

Peter Ecomomides of FelixBNI tells a story of his neighborhood market to illustrate how everything has changed & nothing has changed. Peter talks about conceiving creative & human ways to interact with customers. Applying common sense marketing to social tools (Social Monitoring Tools) & social networks (The World Wide Mind). The importance of adapting social technologies to ways humans have always spent time is vital. We gossip, watch movies, check out photos, listen to music, check the news. The most successful social networks, apps and tools are digital software that serve timeless human actions. This is the beauty of what Mr. Economides recognizes in his statement about “getting back to social”. He acknowledges that social objects – tweets, status updates, photos posted to Flickr, video posted to YouTube, ARE the medium. Mr. Economides writes, “Twitter is not a medium. Your tweets are the medium. Your blog, your Facebook page, etc.”

AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MR. PETER ECONOMIDES OF FELIXBNI

ON CHANGE: You’ve emphasized that “everything has changed and nothing has changed”. What are your thoughts on that today and why is this an important message for those getting into marketing via social networks?

Everyone in marketing was educated BDSM – Before the Development of Social Media. And the marketing we learned was focused on the Broadcast Economy. Mass media. Mass retailing. The consumer as a demographic number.

Social Media has given birth to the Conversation Economy. Massive media which do not broadcast. Messaging has become stream of micro conversations. The consumer now has a highly individual profile.

My point is that this is the way it has always been. Mass, if you think about it, is the aberration. It’s back to village, where conversation and word of mouth rule supreme. It’s just that this time the village is global. And the main road running through it is the internet and social media.

The irony is that the largest medium in the world has taken us back to a world filled with individuals, conversation and word of mouth. But as Gary Vaynerchuk says, it’s “word of mouth on steroids.”

Social media is influencing consumer behaviour way beyond the internet. And this is the most important thing for any marketer to bear in mind. Great marketing rests on powerful consumer insight. And if marketers don’t understand the 360º effect of social media on consumer behaviour, they’re in serious trouble.

I often illustrate this through my local butcher.
I believe that he has the best meat in Athens. Now, I am not an expert. I do not know this, but I believe it. Not because of what he says but because of how he behaves. He does not impress this on me. He expresses it in everything he says and everything he does.
He has not studied marketing. He knows nothing about social media. But he is an insightful human who understands what makes people tick. His reputation has been built entirely on word of mouth. He knows that. And he also knows that his reputation can be ruined by word of mouth. In a flash.

Smart people have always known this. And the best butcher in the village has always behaved like this. Ask your grandmother.

Everything has changed and nothing has changed.

ON TECHNOLOGY AND CONVERSATION: Danny Brown writes, “Every single one of us is connected, from the tech savvy to the Luddite to the in-between. And if we’re all connected, it becomes easier to help. And if we all help each other, maybe there’s just a chance the world might be a better place.” Do you see social technologies as accelerators of helping each other and making the world a better place? What can humans do in the context of social technologies that is different than via telephone, fax machines, and the Pony Express? Is it only about speed or is there something more tactile about social technologies now?

Conversation is the key.
Good conversation is a dialogue that consists of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. In other words, it is dynamic. It moves somewhere. Social media facilitates synthesis in a way that the telephone, fax machine and the Pony Express never could. It’s immediate. It’s massive. And it’s open. It’s like a perpetual town hall debate.

Television? Just thesis. No antithesis. Certainly no synthesis.

ON TWITTER: What is Twitter and why do you use it?

Twitter’s a cocktail party where you are free to drop into a conversation, plant a seed, pick a fruit, shape a thought, learn, share, contribute … and move on to the next conversation. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis.

Twitter is also the most immediate news source on the planet. I witnessed the Egyptian Revolution earlier this year by switching between Twitter and Al Jazeera on my iPad. I was in Tahrir Square through Twitter. Picking up news and personal drama. And I’d see the images a little later on Al Jazeera. No other medium could have done that for me.

The evening news? Forget about it!

ON FACEBOOK: Why have so many people flocked to Facebook?

A market is always built on a great product.
And I think Facebook is a great product.
Easy. Intuitive. Lots of ways to share. And, importantly, lots of reward through the Like button.

But there are a lot of great products out there which do not succeed ….
Facebook’s initial appeal was to the high school and college crowd. Important influencers of the older crowd. Facebook crossed the chasm into mainstream through kids. And once they had the critical mass, the network effect kicked in. One billion users by the end of 2011 … remarkable. But that;’s the network effect in action.

Facebook has played an important role as most people’s first step into social media. But it runs the risk of becoming the “low rent district” of the internet.

EXPLAINING SOCIAL TECHNOLOGY TO GRANDMA: How on earth do you explain social technologies and social networks to grandma? Or the crustiest of CEOs?

Back to the village! And back to my butcher story.

You’ve seen many approaches to marketing over the years. What are two of your favorite campaigns, in the past or now? What could social technology and social networks facilitate that maybe would have been tougher in the past?

I’d rather talk about great brands.
Because a campaign is just a stage in the life of a brand.

Every category has a protagonist brand.
And it should be the ambition of every brand to be the protagonist of its category.
Think of a soft drink. Coca-Cola?
The Coca-Cola of vodka?
The Absolut of computers?
The Apple of beer? The Heineken of sports shoes? The Nike of coffee shops?

Starbucks hardly advertises. But look at the quality of the conversation it has with its customers. In everything it says. And everything it does. Everything communicates.

Starbucks knows what its “Starbucksness” is all about. And so does every barista who works there. That’s the key to a great brand. Consistent behaviour throughout the organization. In everything it says and does.

Great brands have always understood the conversation. Great brands have always understood that they sell product to individuals and not to numbers. Great brands have always “got” what the social media experts are preaching. Nothing is new.

Naturally, social media open up new opportunities to connect with consumers through thesis, antithesis and synthesis. I wonder about the future of consumer research …..

ON GREECE: You have lived all over the world – in New York, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Johanessburg, Athens. You’ve marketed huge brands like Apple and Coca-Cola. You’ve been in leadership at major ad agencies like McCann and also done your own thing. Now you live in Athens, Greece. What is happening in Greece right now and how can OR are social networks play(ing) a part in this?

There’s a huge conversation going on on Twitter, revolving around current events in Greece. Also a number of great forums on Facebook. But I don’t see much traction. I am working on a public forum in the style of Quora which I hope to launch soon.

GREEK FAVORITES: Who is your favorite Greek musician? Film director? Playwright? Journalist?

Konstantinos Beta (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiuSbj-PrvA)
Costa-Gavras (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costa-Gavras)
Dimitris Papaioannou (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimitris_Papaioannou)
Alexis Papahelas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_Papahelas)

Find more on Peter Economides at FelixBNI (http://www.felixbni.com).

HEART AND SOUL ARE GREECE’S PRIMARY EXPORT: Greece has vast exports of the heart that world citizens desire. There’s nothing new about this AND there’s a whole new generation of Greeks who deserve to experience a return on their culture’s seemingly endless ability to tap soul and human-ness. There’s a tactile aspect to relationship here found nowhere else on the planet. People everywhere want this experience AND want to know how to get it.

THE TIME OF THE GREEK HAS COME ONCE AGAIN: Due to increasing weaving of heart and tech via social networks, the time has never been better for Greek “heart-exporters” to get busy. Walk into a night club in NYC or LA and watch what happens to the crowd when DJ Vassilis Tsillichristos takes control. There is an intuitive understanding within the Greek psyche of interior landscapes and this plays out in Greek music especially. The music effortlessly carries one swiftly to the center of physical sensations related to relationship, self-exploration and identity.

SOCIAL NETWORKS BORN FROM GREEK PHILOSOPHICAL TRADITION: PhD student Theresa Sauter, from the Queensland University of Technology, is examining how social-networking websites help people form their own identity.

“Social-networking sites, blogs, online discussion forums and online journals represent modern arenas for individuals to write themselves into being,” the Courier Mail quotes Sauter as saying.

“A lot of people see social networking as a new way for people to interact but I’m interested in examining it as a way to form an identity and understand ourselves,” she adds.

“The ancient Greek philosophers used a reflective notebook to write down what they had read and their thoughts on it,” she said.

EVIDENCE FOUND IN THE GREEK COFFEE RITUAL:We see in Sauter’s quotes the strength of the Greek identity. Living in Greece, one REALLY experiences that force in real-time. It is a passion for creativity that is shaped by the presence of a harsh critical eye. This typifies the internal Greek landscape, its psychic tension. One part of the Greek psyche acts like a chisel upon marble, carving towards essence. How could an export of Greek sensibility and passion play out?

Here’s just one way: There is an increasing movement via Augmented Reality, Transmedia and the externalizing of social network experience that needs Greek input. As we begin wearing computers, touching QR codes and interacting “in-the-flesh” with social networks, humanity has the potential to extract from imagination a deeper experience via relationship. And Greeks have mastered this. One only need sit at coffee in Greece to know what is meant by this. Every possibility is explored over coffee, every avenue of relationship, every business idea, every position on anything at all. And it is this, this precision of relationship, that Greeks bring to the global human community. If I were to ask someone to lead the branding of external social hardware, I would pick a Greek BECAUSE of the precise and complex social analysis he/she creates.

PRECISION OF RELATIONSHIP IN GREECE: What do I mean by “precision of relationship” in Greek culture? This is related to insight. I’ve learned a lot about insight since spending time in Greece, both in the professional sense and the personal sense. Devin Coldewey writes, “Insight is the result of recombination, hybridizing ideas, internal accidents, emergent properties of ideas we never even knew were related.” To return to Greek “coffee time”, here we experience a seemingly inexhaustible exploration and re-exploration of what was said, who said, when it was said, why it was said, what it could have meant, what should we do about it. And it is in this analysis that one finds laughter, depth, decision. When you look into the eye of a Greek, you really feel like some part inside your chest or brain has been touched by that eye. And whether this is true or not, whether the observer really does “feel” you immediately, is not the point. The point is what YOU feel in that moment. Because Greeks will reflect to you what you are very quickly, if only by staring back at you a few seconds longer than other nationalities.

HOLLOWED BY SORROW, FILLED BY JOY: If externalized social hardware is to lead humanity to some kind of evolutionary step, it will necessarily lead one into depth of experience of others and the world (as digital social networks have done). James Hillman writes, “Until the culture recognizes the legitimacy of growing down, each person in the culture struggles blindly to make sense of the darkness that the soul requires to deepen into life.” It is natural to desire transcendence, to want escape, to experience “another place”. And the pleasures of transcendence are multiplied when one has experienced depth and pain. A cup hollowed by sorrow can hold more joy. No nation has experienced such depth of heartache than Greece, not only because of the nature of its travesties but ALSO because Greeks truly do feel emotion in their bodies with an intensity one has to see to experience. A fight between Greek lovers is truly something to behold!

FROM CITY TO ISLAND: But what really draws one into the Greek experience (and why Greek sensibility ought to have a strong influence upon the externalizing of social networks through social hardware and wearable computers), is the bent towards simplicity. The journey from the endlessly complicated chaos of Athens to a Greek island captures what humans really long for deep down. Cosmologist Brian Swimme captures this journey when he writes, “The fundamental worldview of industrial society is that Earth is like a gravel pit or a lumberyard — just a resource for human use. We live disconnected from the evolving earth community, but our deepest allurement is a rich, intimate participation in the sacred powers of life, of nature, of soul, the ongoing adventure of the Universe and the ways that each one of us can reinvent ourselves.” Tens of thousands of Greeks experience the ritual of departing from an industrial mindset to pure physical and social immersion every August. Our future as a species should be characterized by this type of pilgrimage for it is the healing we need.

SOCIAL GRAPH = ATHENS, INTEREST GRAPH = THE ISLANDS: Externalized social tech at its best will follow Occam’s Razor. Leonardo da Vinci captured the Razor in his own elegant language: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” And few environments could be more simple than a Greek island in the summer. As one of Greece’s greatest writers, Nikos Kazanstakis writes, “How simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. . . . All that is required to feel that here and now is happiness is a simple, frugal heart.” He goes on to write, “You have your brush, you have your colors, you paint the paradise, then in you go.” Think of the social graphs (Facebook) as Athens, many types all melded together. Think of the interest graph (Twitter) as the islands: each island has its purpose. Santorini for lovers, Mykonos for parties, Tinos for Mother Mary, etc.

GREECE IS THE PHYSICAL MANIFESTATION OF AN IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE: The immersive quality of social networks matches the immersive experience of Greek culture. If you walk down the street in Athens, in any Greek city, you’ll see how over and over each person IS a kingdom unto themselves, ready at any moment to react or seduce, to envelop you in his/her ethos. A Greek may seem quiet on the surface but I will tell you that below this surface is a great molten center ready at any time to burst forth. And in this fire there exists the same Promethean tendency to distribute the magic of the gods to one’s parea, one’s tribe. The magic of the parea is the at the center of Greek culture. This subjective nature of the parea and its interests is captured in The Art of Immersion by Frank Rose:

“That was then. In the months and years ahead, professional storytellers of every persuasion—people in movies, in television, in video games, and in marketing—will need to function in a world in which distinctions that were clear throughout the past century are becoming increasingly blurred:

The blurring of author and audience: Whose story is it?
The blurring of story and game: How do you engage with it?
The blurring of entertainment and marketing: What function does it serve?
The blurring of fiction and reality: Where does one end and the other begin?”
(http://www.artofimmersion.com)

THE PAREA: In a country like Greece, influence and connection is of particular importance to success and career momentum. The Greek is a FANTASTIC mix of being a very social animal AND being very private about matters to do with money and ownership. And that ‘s a nice mixture! But the social side seems to always win in the end and that’s a very important factor in understanding Facebook’s acceleration in the Greek social eco-system. Through Facebook, one may discover the tribe, the lover, and the career best suited to one’s interests: in short, Facebook is the ultimate digital Parea-producing engine.

As I understand it, a Parea in Greek culture is a circle of friends who gather and share their stories about life, their philosophies, values and ideas. The Parea is a venue for the growth of the human spirit, the development of friendship and the exploration of philosophies to enrich one’s quality of life that is all too brief in time. In Greece, the Parea is a long-lasting circle and cycle of life nourished by its members. And that’s exactly what social networks are engendering in the human family: a finely woven fabric of connection and communication resulting in unlimited new possibility found first internally, in the psyche, and then actuated externally.

The blurring of author + audience: Whose story is it?

LIVING STORIES: Living stories are upon us. Imagine a cinema or films full of viewers/participants guiding a film’s course. Imagine a celebrity submitting to his/her fan’s socially communicated desires and vice versa. Imagine the fan-guided star, the film packed with alternate directions that viewers can guide via a mobile app. We are in the age of choose your own adventure sensibility and the tech to support it is here.

How is this trotted out in hard cold steps? How can I apply the possibility above NOW?

1. READ CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE: Go buy a choose your own adventure book: http://amzn.to/the_cave_of_time

2. WRITE: Write out a series of possibilities for your life. That’s with a pen and a piece of paper OR on your computer.

3. A NETWORK OF IDENTITIES: Create a network of identities in the social web, each based around one of these possibilities.

a. Name each possibility

b. Set up a Twitter account for each name

c. Aggregate key influencers related to that name, that concept. Use Listorious to do this. Follow ALL of these influencers and study who they follow. Use Research.ly to gain insight into what is trending and other useful information from your focused Interest Graph.

d. Create a FB account for this name. Populate the account with images, video, text and links derived from the focused Twitter account.

e. Schedule 60 days of tweets using SocialOomph.

f. Now go into Quora and ask questions that arise for you related to this identity. Source tweets, blog posts, image searches, video creation, music selection and other content from answers to these questions.

g. Now go into YouTube via a Gmail account set up for a specific identity and create a branded account. Create channels of content full of favorited videos. Create videos of your own where you narrate stories related to a series of images or a live journey you take (POV).

h. Now go to Flickr via Yahoo and create a series of Sets or Galleries full of images associated with this identity.

i. If you are wanting to really expand, go to KnowEm and populate hundreds of properties with various types of content.

4. CURATION: By this time, you have curated a body of resources and individuals/groups around these identities. And you have produced your own content based upon your observation and initial participation in those blended graphs of Interest and Social connection. The content is all source material for your choose your own adventure social media/socialTV project.
More on curation.

5. Fund it.

A NEW LIFE: A movie IS a community waiting live that story. In the past, one would go to a movie, watch it and walk out with something within. But now when we walk into a cinema, we have the potential to walk into a completely new life…into something that is done vs. watched. Movies can now be an active experience for the user and the community. And truly life-changing.

CASTING OFF FLESH: Consider what Ibn Sina Avicenna, a Persian philosopher-scientist who lived between 980 and 1037 A.D, wrote:

“These bodily members are, as it were, no more than garments; which, because they have been attached to us for a long time, we think are us, or parts of us [and] the cause of this is the long period of adherence: we are accustomed to remove clothes and to throw them down, which we are entirely unaccustomed to do with our bodily members.”

Consider that through social networks, apps, PCs and mobile devices, we are casting off our bodily limbs, and beginning to wear our spirits.

Social Media transfers invisible contents onto the “stages” provided in Social Networks. These contents may then be turned into all manner of relationship, content and business material. Humanity seems to have entered a zenith of probability and opportunity. Have we transcended our planet via this new medium?

Social technology has caused an acceleration in the evolution of human consciousness and spirituality. In realizing that more connections are available than one person can possibly take advantage of in a lifetime, the individual is presented with the choice of complexity or simplicity. Simplicity could be stated as essence, or realization, or self-actualization. Social technology precipitates simplicity. Why? Because good social tech takes away excessive boundaries and obstacles to connection. When I can connect to my bliss, to my passion, all else fades away. Good social tech facilitates swift connection to passion and methodologies for remaining in touch with and deepening that passion.

A great example of this is the work that our tech now does in showing us similar items to those we like – in music, film, photography, literature, travel and relationships. I can buy a song on iTunes and receive a focused list of other songs that those similar to myself also like. This results in swift creation of a tribe and an interest graph. Our interest graph is the passionate group surrounding similar interests. Those faces form a different kind of affinity, which grows in volume very easily due to social tech. And once one has tasted leadership within a tribe of passion, there really is no going back. Why? Because then one has found a path of discovery that attaches to the heart, the single most important physical and spiritual muscle!

Leonardo da Vinci has said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Good social tech creates sophisticated humans, who are in touch with both physical AND spiritual gratification.

(Adapted from How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie)

1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
• Follow them on Twitter and DM them on what they tweet.
• Become their friend on Facebook and comment positively on their wall posts.
• Subscribe to their YouTube or Vimeo channel. Like, Share and positively comment on their uploaded video content
• Follow their blog via RSS and positively comment, share their posts with your community via Twitter, FB and your blog.
• Follow their Slideshare account and share their presentations.
• Get connected on LinkedIn and connect them to individuals and LinkedIn groups that are helpful and specific to their industry.
• Share their photos from Flickr, Picasa and Photobucket, along with positive comments.

2. Smile.
• Like others content and be positive in your comments.
• Share uplifting content that brightens others days.
• Share a variety of uplifting content, including music, video, photos, blogposts, product reviews, events, good news, tweets and others’ FB posts.

3. Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in the English language.
• When you connect with others use their first name in the body of your messages!
• When you share another’s content, use their full name and share their weblink, YouTube channel, Twitter handle or FB link.

4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
• Send others private messages with questions that are not nosey but helpful.
• Let your comments show that you listened to what they said and in their post, Tweet, video, photo or music share.
• RSVP on events you are invited to.
• Share other’s posts on your wall or Re-Tweet them, furthering dialogue on their content.

5. Talk in terms of the other man’s interest.
• Identify what was important to the other in what they posted and orient your comment around that. This will foster friendship AND engender further conversation that is positive and helpful.
• Ask questions about the other’s posting in a way that is kind and identifies their post as an asset to you and others.

6. Make people feel important, and do it sincerely.
• Comment when it comes form your heart and gut. That’s usually a good sign that you are being sincere.
• Elevate the person by speaking about them in your content.
• If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t comment!

The pressing need in customer intelligence is a solution related to a real-time eco-system. One deeper philosophical issue in this space relates to variable velocity, to quote Lee Bryant. Tools like PeerIndex and Recorded Future do a good job of segmenting and defining the truly staggering flow of data AND audiences interacting with that data. Datasift (http://datasift.net/) is a leader in architecting methodologies for analyzing the complex fabric of the social Internet.

For an important new study on Customer Intelligence Trends 2011, see the following Forrester Report: ‎”At the same time, the demand for insight — not just data — in real time creates a challenge but also a huge opportunity to extend the value of Customer Intelligence throughout the enterprise. Leading CI professionals who evolve and adapt to these trends will quickly find themselves at the nexus of the business.” ~from Customer Intelligence Trends To Watch In 2011 (http://bit.ly/customer_intelligence_trends_2011)

WHAT IS BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE: DEFINITIONS
(Some basic info below)

Business intelligence (BI) refers to computer-based techniques used in spotting, digging-out, and analyzing business data, such as sales revenue by products and/or departments or associated costs and incomes.

BI technologies provide historical, current, and predictive views of business operations. Common functions of Business Intelligence technologies are reporting, online analytical processing, analytics, data mining, business performance management, benchmarking, text mining, and predictive analytics.

Business Intelligence often aims to support better business decision-making. Thus a BI system can be called a decision support system (DSS). Though the term business intelligence is often used as a synonym for competitive intelligence, because they both support decision making, BI uses technologies, processes, and applications to analyze mostly internal, structured data and business processes while competitive intelligence is done by gathering, analyzing and disseminating information with or without support from technology and applications, and focuses on all-source information and data (unstructured or structured), mostly external, but also internal to a company, to support decision making. (SOURCE)

The global business intelligence (BI) software market is projected to reach $12.4 billion by the year 2015, driven by the growing need to empower all stakeholders of businesses with right information at the appropriate time.

Uncertain economic conditions, intense competition and increasing volumes of organizational information are forcing enterprises to seek efficient means of deriving value from information for improving the overall efficiency of business processes. In this regard, BI technology is emerging as an essential tool for identifying new revenue-generation opportunities as well as to control unproductive expenditures. BI offers tools, processes and applications for facilitating organizations to analyze and consolidate data gathered from various sources for optimizing operational performance and for improving business decision-making. BI and analytics software helps organizations to analyze the information built up over the years, which resides in the enterprise systems. (Source)

Transparency yields evolution to the good ol’ boys network for the simple fact that Gen Y seeks meaning where Babyboomers emphasized Opacity to protect Tradition. The value of Transparency IN SOCIAL NETWORKS to the Babyboomer is a fresh audience for ageless products/services. The value for all is deeper intimacy.

EVERY parea wishing to be hospitable to its audience should study this graphic and ask itself HOW will we transition from the blue arrow type TO the white arrow type of business: http://bit.ly/hospitality_behaviorgraphics.

PR could be the MOST appropriate division of the business realm in guiding social media projects due to its focus on harmony and reputation.

A lot is at stake in the eco-system of corporate business, both internally/organizationally AND externally/customer-facing. Social business shows us HOW intimately related our internal culture is to our external messaging.

“The explosive success of “new kid on the block” Google could not be explained by the scale-free model until a measure of a node’s ability to stay in front of the competition produced a “fitness model.” Examining the fitness model data, Ginestra Bianconi was startled to find that the calculations used were very similar to those found in the formation of a Bose-Einstein condensate. The math describing the behavior of “Bose gases” (a unique creature of sub-atomic quantum mechanics) turned out to be identical to those in the network fitness model. This similarity means, according to Barabasi, that in certain circumstances, particularly fit nodes in a network did not merely get richer … the winner could take all.

In an ordinary “fit-get-rich” network, the fittest node gets biggest, but other fit nodes are close behind, so that “the power laws and the fight for links are not antagonistic but can coexist peacefully.” Id. 102. In a “winner-takes-all” system, the fittest node grabs all the links, shaping the network into a “star” or “hub and spoke” topology which is not scale free … there is a single hub and many tiny nodes. These findings have obvious relevancy to those studying antitrust law and policy and the ongoing case of Microsoft.” (Source)

People are moved by stories and drama and hints and clues and discovery. ~Seth Godin

YOUR SOURCE IS A GUIDE: There is a thread of vitality in everyone’s life worth tapping into. It is a stream that has run downhill to you from a great river teeming with YOUR KIND. Do what you can to follow that stream to the river and then devote your life to discovering the river’s source. It is this SOURCE that the human soul seeks MORE than anything else for it holds answers to ALL of our most personal questions (most of which DO NOT even have words).

I would argue that one’s passion IS a powerful resource in facing the world’s winds and waves. ACTION STEP: Discover the tribe around YOUR SOURCE through simple keywords used in the Facebook search window. You will find friends, discussions and groups oriented around YOUR passion immediately upon pushing SUBMIT. Here’s more on how to do this.

BIG BRANDS WILL PAY YOU FOR YOUR STORY: We live in a renaissance period of self-discovery through story. Robert McKee, the author of Story (one of THE best books for screenwriters on the planet!), writes, “Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact.” I would submit to the reader that over the course of the last year YOU have written a fantastic STORY through your Facebook status field, Twitter field and YouTube Channel (if you don’t have one, get one!) And I would suggest to you that there is TREMENDOUS value in this story for you and your tribes!

The next big revolution is YOU making money on advertising for BIG BRANDS who spot your channel and want to advertise to your 100′s of millions of subscribers!!!) ACTION STEP: The arrival of big money to invisible, yet super-creative, storytellers revolutionizes the publishing and media industry big time! Watch how YouTube and GoogleTV effectively pull this off over the next 12-48 months. Set up your YouTube channel today and research GoogleTV.

SEE YOUR BIGGEST CRITICS AS YOUR GREATEST ALLIES: Behind the scenes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, there are bean-counters who are interested in the big numbers BUT do they understand or want to understand the dynamics of story and how to weave a tale that wraps even the most pessimistic person into a tale of romance.

Discovering the power of story and the formulas that work on the heart and emotion has been an activity for years in the entertainment industry and in the marketing world. On a human level, stories save lives every day and the advent of social networks/ platforms for telling collective stories allows humanity to transform curmudgeons, pessimists and naysayers into enthusiastic communicators of their passion. I would add that the greatest Critics are my favorite allies for their ability to see through a story to its heart. It has been said that the Optimist created the airplane and Pessimist created the parachute. ACTION STEP: Write down who your greatest critics are and what they say about your creative actions in the world. Then write down how these critiques help you refine your offering.

THE ARABIAN NIGHTS METAPHOR: Perhaps one of the greatest examples in literature of a story wherein the storyteller transformed her audience is that of Scheherazade in The Arabian Nights.

The main frame story concerns a Persian king and his new bride. He is shocked to discover that his brother’s wife is unfaithful; discovering his own wife’s infidelity has been even more flagrant, he has her executed: but in his bitterness and grief decides that all women are the same. The king, Shahryar, begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonour him. Eventually the vizier, whose duty it is to provide them, cannot find any more virgins. Scheherazade, the vizier’s daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees. On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it. The king is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins (and only begins) a new one, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion, postpones her execution once again.

So it goes on for 1,001 nights.

The tales vary widely: they include historical tales, love stories, tragedies, comedies, poems, burlesques and various forms of erotica. Numerous stories depict djinn, magicians, and legendary places, which are often intermingled with real people and geography, not always rationally; common protagonists include the historical caliph Harun al-Rashid, his vizier, Ja’far al-Barmaki, and his alleged court poet Abu Nuwas, despite the fact that these figures lived some 200 years after the fall of the Sassanid Empire in which the frame tale of Scheherazade is set. Sometimes a character in Scheherazade’s tale will begin telling other characters a story of his own, and that story may have another one told within it, resulting in a richly layered narrative texture. (SOURCE)

YOUR 1,001 NIGHTS: The complexity of the Arabian Nights is a fantastic image of the complexity in social networks. Our stories have stories within stories and nowhere is this more evident as one travels the thread of comments on a Facebook image, a blogpost or a YouTube video. Every comment has the potential through a link to carry one into an entirely new story and so on.

Communities like StumbleUpon are another fantastic example of the “babushka effect” of the Internet. At StumbleUpon, one may enter a variety of keywords and then get link suggestions that lead to further suggestions and so on. Creating a tale from your discoveries on the internet, from mashing up the various universes you visit and personalities you meet on this journey creates value for you and your tribe. I would submit that your Facebook wall itself IS just one place to read your story of the past 1,001 nights. I would also suggest that it contains valuable medicine for transforming whatever you feels threatens you.ACTION:Write down what one year of Facebook statuses or Tweets tell you about yourself. What is the MOST consistent message you are telling yourself OVER AND OVER AGAIN through these fields?

FUNDING YOUR STORY: There are so many options now for finding funding from YOUR donors, Venture Capital that loves YOUR content and from YOUR tribe. Start with the fantastic tool Kickstarter! Check out the ultimate Crowdsourcing wiki here.

“Transmedia is a fancy word for a simple concept: telling stories across multiple platforms.” ~”Heroes” Creator Tim Kring

A criticism of Transmedia really has a psychological/cultural issue at its core that involves fear AND requires a balance of compassion and harsh evolutionary movement/instruction. It is an issue that requires, as the motto of The Economist (a world champion of globalization) states, humanity “…to take part in a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.” Monotheistic cultures often experience fear upon encountering polytheistic, trans-cultural, pluralistic perspectives and eco-systems. The fear of multiplicity within the psyches of monos is normal – like a child entering a large city alone. Again, the analogy is of a person from a small WASPy town in the MidWest entering New York, London, Paris, or San Francisco for the first time…or the Burning Man Festival. Or the complex and beautiful tapestry of a nation like India. A “Roman Fever” of sorts sets in for the mono.


THE GLOBAL UNIVERSITY

Writers like Pico Iyer (Nowhere Man) and thinkers like the transmodernist Ziauddin Sardar (Mad World) understand very well the juxtaposition of mono and trans cultures. The fundamental principle of Sardar’s thought is that ‘there is more than one way to be human’. He goes on to emphasize the importance of “keep(ing) the future open to all potentials, alternatives and dissenting possibilities,” stating that, “…it is necessary to envisage alternative futures from different civilizational and cultural perspectives. Pico Iyer writes, “We don’t have a home, we have a hundred homes. And we can mix and match as the situation demands.”


The NOW of TV

How does all of this relate to media, to the marketing world, to entertainment, to the socialization of business and the enterprise?
In the February 2010 “Red Papers” document entitled Socialize the Business (handed out to Ogilvy staff), John Bell writes, “Word of mouth trumps most other forms of communication in its influence on purchase decisions and opinions.” Simon Clift, former CMO of Unilever is quoted in the document saying, “We may be ahead of our competitors, but we’re most definitely behind consumers.” Transmedia gives humanity truly fantastic, multiple channels for a blossoming of expression, interaction and monetization – all! We live in the age of the Polymath – all humanity is involved in rapid education of mind and spirit through the internet.

Much has been said about the transition the internet has taken from web and browser-based interaction with content to apps, gigantic communities like Facebook and MySpace, and alternative communication modalities like Skype and Facebooking vs. emailing. The evolution of the internet from the open web accessed via the browser INTO complex hanging gardens, walled sanctuaries and massive gated labyrinths reflects humanity’s boundless imagination and is an image of our collective psyche that cannot help but produce and re-produce.

Transmedia works horizontally through ALL of these environments. Tools like Avaaz, The Rosetta Project and The Conversation Prism all reflect the truth of a world that is truly transcultural, “trans-app-tual” and therefore in need of MORE transmedia content, apps and communities. The days of the rainbow are HERE NOW. Accordingly, the message to critics of transmedia, transculture and transmodernism is BE HERE NOW!

A SIMPLE DEFINITION OF TRANSMEDIA: “Transmedia,” “Heroes” Creator Tim Kring says, is a “fancy word for a simple concept: telling stories across multiple platforms.” (Source)

IMAGES OF TRANSMEDIA: SAMSUNGTV and THE GEO-SOCIAL UNIVERSE.

HIGH LEVEL EXAMPLES: EXAMPLE 1 and EXAMPLE 2 and EXAMPLE 3

FURTHER THOUGHTS ON TRANSMEDIA HERE: THOUGHT 1 ON TRANSMEDIA and THOUGHT 2

A LEADING TRANSMEDIA GROUP: ACCOMPLICE MEDIA and ANOTHER: STORYLABS

To listen well, is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well, and is as essential to all true conversation. ~ Chinese Proverb

Keywords are the words that are used to reveal the internal structure of an author’s reasoning. Keywords can be identified as words which appear with statistically unusual frequency in a text or a corpus of texts. An adventure into the significance of a single keyword includes etymological, mythological, cultural and personal discovery of meaning. Understanding the eco-system of key influencers, major conversations, largest web communities and highest examples of ROI around any given keyword signifies a successful foray into the heart of that keyword.

We now have truly fantastic ways to discover all of these deeper meanings of keywords using the following tools.

ETYMOLOGICAL SEARCH: Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time. As marketers, we want to know about this history because it informs our intelligence gathering about the communities that have surrounded, do surround and will surround any given word.

Example of the power of etymological search: When doing recent research for a film that targets the Cultural Creative community and specifically the Karma Queen consumer within that community, I found that “family” is THE single most popular keyword by global search volume for that tribe. Knowing more about the etymology of the word family gives me further insight and inspiration on which key influencers, largest groups in social networks and web communities. What insight does the word etymology of the word family give me into the Karma Queens?

c.1400, “servants of a household,” from L. familia “household,” including relatives and servants, from famulus “servant,” of unknown origin. The classical Latin sense recorded in English from 1540s; the main modern sense of “those connected by blood” (whether living together or not) is first attested 1660s. Replaced O.E. hiwscipe. Buzzword family values first recorded 1966. Phrase in a family way “pregnant” is from 1796. Family circle is 1809; family man, one devoted to wife and children, is 1856 (earlier it meant “thief,” 1788, from family in slang sense of “the fraternity of thieves”).

From this etymology, we can derive some of the deepest HEART SIGNIFICANCE of this word. A FAMILY (ideally) is a group of people who would do anything for each other, including lying, cheating and stealing to help each other survive. They are pregnant, not only with children, but also with the ideas, the hopes and the dreams of the individuals carrying the same blood. And out of these ideals, they develop values that signify devotion to the children, giving them as much hope and thrust INTO the future as they possibly can.

To perform an etymological search, go here: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=tool

MYTHOLOGICAL SEARCH: Mythology is defined by Joseph Campbell, the world’s foremost mythologist, as “a field that teaches humans what is behind the literature and the arts.” He goes on to say that “metaphor is the native tongue of myth… myths are public dreams and dreams are private myths.” It has been said that at the root of EVERY word there lives a deity. A mythological search reveals the deity, the sacred and the divinity at the root of a word — its magic.

One location to perform a mythological search related to a keyword is here: http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/index.php?_search

CULTURAL SEARCH: When one works with keywords and SEO, it is wise to take into consideration ALL of the factors present for OTHER cultures related to keywords. For an excellent article on this go here.

KEY INFLUENCER SEARCH: Knowing who is recognized by the world as a TRUE expert in any given field is pretty valuable information for a researcher. There are many tools for discovering key influencers. Radian6 will reveal key influencers in real time and PeerIndex has produced an elegant and effective measurement tool for the Key Influencers in many areas.

NEWS SEARCH: Searching news is a powerful way to discover what is happening. Recorded Future has created a truly incredible tool for discovering news from the future. With its major investment coming from In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA and Google, one can be sure there is some excellent information coming through this window into global activity.

One of the world’s foremost social community and strategy architects, Brian Solis, writes, “Gathering intelligence to inspire meaningful and actionable social programs is priceless.” Every KEYWORD contains etymological, mythological, cultural and personal significance AND understanding this truth gives significant power to anyone wishing to influence anyone on anything.

To create “meaningful and actionable social programs” a social marketer should consider delving into each of these disciplines AS A MEANS OF UNPACKING THE SECRET OF EACH KEYWORD AND KEYPHRASE. For a social strategy to find its seed in a set of potent keywords is the equivalent of walking down the rainbow into the pot of gold. Use keyphrases, their meanings and their histories to inform your understanding of the living quality of the WORD, the COMMUNITY, and the OVER-ARCHING CAMPAIGN PHILOSOPHY.

At the root of every word, there is a god or deity, a revolution waiting to happen, a cure for an ill, a ticket to a desired destination…a living and breathing presence and experience. Understanding words AS living and breathing presences transforms keywords from plain data into VIBRANT DATA, DATA WITH VITALITY!

“If you had time, you succeeded in working the human mud internally and turning it into spirit.”— Nikos Kazantzakis

“You have your brush, you have your colors, you paint the paradise, then in you go. ”
— Nikos Kazantzakis

INDIVIDUALS ARE DROPPING INTO SOCIAL NETWORKS LIKE DEWDROPS INTO THE SEA: Social networks are a dynamic eco-system of individual minds, isolated communities and seemingly opposed ideologies melding into an increasingly ripened spiritual entity.

The whole of humanity is in a process of realizing the fantastic truth of Oneness, of what it means to be separate AND one, of that famous Buddhist saying about dropping like dew drops into the sea. Producing intelligence reports for major brands and media projects using listening AND social monitoring tools, I have regular experiences of seeing this phenomenon occurring over and over within multiple online communities.

AN EXTREMELY VALUABLE ONLINE COMMUNITY – THE CULTURAL CREATIVES: I am currently working on projects for a major film, e-commerce platform, several media-conglomerates, global dance collective and several luminaries who all market to/live within the Cultural Creative tribe. A defining characteristic of Cultural Creatives is the ability to see oneself as part of something bigger. CC’s see that everything relates as an interwoven piece of nature. The movement is a healing movement. A core desire amongst CC’s is for things to be made whole and for mankind to wake up to their true desires. The core values of Cultural Creatives include:

▪ Authenticity, actions must be consistent with words and beliefs
▪ Engaged action and whole process learning; seeing the world as interwoven and connected
▪ Idealism and activism
▪ Globalism and ecology
▪ The importance of women

THE COMMUNITY WITH GREATEST POTENTIAL IN THE SOCIAL FABRIC OF THE WEB:It is my firm belief that no community has more potential to activate the social web spiritually than the Cultural Creatives. I will say it again: leaders of the various sub-cultures within the Cultural Creative movement ARE the movers and shakers when it comes to being Innerpreneurs, those who capitalize on the soul of humanity.

THE GOLDEN KEYS TO THE CULTURAL CREATIVES: One of the most amazing words in internet marketing is “keyword” or “keyphrase.” As I have worked this week to produce a list of the top keywords or keyphrases for the Cultural Creatives and their various sub-cultures AND thought about their potential to potentiate global spiritual revolution and activism, I am realizing that these words are golden keys…keys to open vaults of spiritual material within this swiftly forming global Homo Universalis or Collective Polymath.

In keeping with this, some of the TOP “GOLDEN KEYS” to the Cultural Creative wealth (ACCORDING TO global monthly search volume) include:

Family (37,200,000)
Secret (16,600,000)
Crystal (11,100,000)
Therapy (7,480,000)
Yoga (7,480,000)
environment (5,000,000)
psychology (5,000,000)
stress (5,000,000)
relationship (4,090,000)
success (3,350,000)
motivation (2,740,000)
counseling (2,740,000)
wealth (1,500,000)
the secret (1,500,000)
meditation (1,500,000)
spiritual (1,220,000)
inspiration (823,000)
home health (673,000
)

HOW TO USE THE GOLDEN KEYS (KEYWORDS) TO ACCESS THE HEART OF A COMMUNITY: One of the world’s foremost social community and strategy architects, Brian Solis, writes, “Gathering intelligence to inspire meaningful and actionable social programs is priceless.” Every golden key above contains etymological, mythological, cultural and personal significance.

To create “meaningful and actionable social programs” a social marketer should consider delving into each of these disciplines AS A MEANS OF UNPACKING THE SECRET OF EACH KEYWORD AND KEYPHRASE. For a social strategy to find its seed in a set of keywords with HUGE POTENCY is the equivalent of possessing Jack’s magic beans that led to the giant’s castle in the clouds. Use keyphrases, their meanings and their histories to inform your understanding of the living quality of the WORD, the COMMUNITY, and the OVER-ARCHING CAMPAIGN PHILOSOPHY. At the root of every word, there is a god or deity…a living and breathing presence. Understanding words AS living and breathing presences transforms keywords from plain data into VIBRANT DATA, DATA WITH VITALITY!

AN EXAMPLE: THE OVER-ARCHING CAMPAIGN PHILOSOPHY FOR THE CULTURAL CREATIVE UNIVERSE AND ITS VARIOUS SUB-CULTURES

To find an overarching philosophy for guiding an online social campaign, I suggest discovering THROUGH the keyphrases KEY INFLUENCERS and studying their root philosophies. Since the MOST COMMON theme for Cultural Creatives IS weaving community together and holistic practices in all disciplines, I submit that a person who captures the essence of WEAVING THE HEARTS OF THE WORLD TOGETHER could be a perfect informer of a CULTURAL CREATIVE strategy.

A LEADER FROM THE FUTURE IN OUR MIDST: Ziauddin Sardar, perhaps one of the world’s greatest living Polymaths (Renaissance Person), has said ‘there is more than one way to be human’. He writes ‘I do not regard “the human” either as “the” or as a priori given’. ‘The western way of being human is one amongst many. Similarly, the Islamic way of being human is also one amongst many. The Australian aboriginal way of being human is also another way of being human. I see each culture as a complete universe with its own way of knowing, being and doing – and hence, its own way of being human’. The corollary is that there are also different ways of knowing. The question that Sardar has always asked is: ‘how do you know? The answer depends a great deal on who ‘you’ are: ‘how you look at the world, how you shape your inquiry, the period and culture that shapes your outlook and the values that frame how you think’. (Source)

Sadar is from a tribe of people known as the Transmodernists. As the social web enters a season of vigorous competition in the Transmedia space, bringing multiple technologies, software platforms and “walled gardens” (large AND separate communties like Facebook, MySpace, AOL and Yahoo) together, philosophers who speak like Sardar speaks will be increasingly relevant. The programmers and software developers who can weave Transmodernist philosophy into their conceptual process WILL win in today’s pluralistic world.

HOW DOES ONE WEAVE TRANSMODERNIST PHILOSOPHY INTO AN EFFECTIVE SOCIAL CAMPAIGN:

Paul H. Ray’s summary of Transmodern culture informs a process, as follows:

1. LISTEN and DISCOVER THE LEADERS IN THESE FOLLOWING AREAS:

KEYWORD is ENVIRONMENT: Ecological sustainability, beyond environmentalism: If you can name an aspect of ecology and sustainability, they are emphatically for it, and are leading the way. Cultural Creatives demonstrate awareness of a large range of issues, including wanting to rebuild neighborhoods and communities, ecological sustainability and limits to growth, seeing nature as sacred, wanting to stop corporate polluters, being anti-big-business, wanting voluntary simplicity, being willing to pay to clean up the environment and to stop global warming.

KEYWORD is RELATIONSHIP: Globalism: Two of the top values for Cultural Creatives are xenophilism (love of travel to foreign places, of foreigners and the exotic) and ecological sustainability, which strongly includes concern for the planetary ecology and stewardship, and population problems.

KEYWORDS are WOMEN and FAMILY: Feminism, women’s issues, relationships, family: The fact that Cultural Creatives are 60 percent women is a major key to understanding this subculture. Much of the focus on women’s issues in politics comes from them-including concerns about violence and abuse of women and children, desire to rebuild neighborhoods and community, desire to improve caring relationships, and concerns about family (though they are no more family-oriented than most North Americans, it is near the top in their list of values).

KEYWORDS include SPIRITUAL, PSYCHOLOGY, HOME HEALTH: Altruism, self-actualization, alternative health care, spirituality and spiritual psychology: This is a complex of highly interrelated beliefs and values centered on the inner life. In reality, this is a new sense of the sacred that incorporates personal growth psychology and the spiritual and service to others as all one orientation. It also includes a stronger trend toward holistic health and alternative health care as part of this complex.

KEYWORDS include INSPIRATION, SUCCESS and MOTIVATION. Well-developed social conscience and social optimism: Contrary to some social critics, an emphasis on the personal does not exclude the political or social conscience, though individuals may focus on them in sequence. Cultural Creatives are engaged in the world just as much as in personal and spiritual issues. Rebuilding and healing society is related to healing ourselves, physically and spiritually. With that goes a guarded social optimism.

2. EACH OF THESE ASPECTS OF THE CULTURAL CREATIVE IMAGINATION IS A COMMUNITY WITH REVOLUTIONARY POTENTIAL. FIRE THIS IMAGINATION WITH AGGREGATED, CONTEST-DRIVEN, COMMUNITY-SOURCED ACTIVITIES USING EXISTING SOCIAL TECHNOLOGY.

Discover media, products, in-the-flesh activities/meet-ups/events, and delivery platforms currently used by these communties and AGGREGATE this content/software THUS harnessing ALL that this community is. THEN conceive and run contests and reward-based programs that DRIVE or ATTRACT this community toward the fulfillment of it’s “ULTIMATE GOALS”. Show through these contests how quick goals are being scored GLOBALLY and LOCALLY to achieve these bigger goals.

3. KEEP THE VIRTUOUS CYCLE GOING!

Announce the victories won and capitalize on these wins through positive PR and by raising up new leaders to foment successive, community-sourced campaigns. Community-sourced EVERYTHING is a HUGE aspect of the social web and knowing what your community’s NEED is the MARK of good leadership.

4. AND IF YOU NEED HELP FUNDRAISING FOR YOUR CAUSE, CHECK OUT THESE FANTASTIC WORLD-SOURCING TOOLS FOR DOING SO!

           a. KickStarter
           b. Giveo
           c. Kiva
           d. 8 Funding Contests for Jumpstarting your Big Idea!

THE FRIENDLY PEOPLE of the world are weaving humanity together through social networks towards an end(s) none of us can see as yet.

It’s one of the MOST fantastic revolutions the planet has EVER seen. Within the social fabric of the internet humans have a distinct opportunity to turn the earth into a place of peace and unity. In fact, even the naysayers have united with the lovers in this by participation in social networks.

BRAND HUMANIZATION IS EVIDENCE OF THE REVOLUTION OF LOVE! In an attempt to humanize, brands are getting very creative in reaching the hearts of their followers.

See the following two ads for an example!

THE PEACEFUL BEAR AD: (click here to watch)

THE WEAVING OF LIKES INTO REAL LIFE (click here to watch)

Typically in times of crisis the masculine goes into a fight or flight action. BUT NOW, the individual is FIGHTING FOR and FLYING TO the tribe(s) and circles oriented around his/her HEART! Go to your tribe today and fight with them to weave this world together with your contribution. Do it! Do that REVOLUTION OF THE HEART!Remember those great ads where everyone sang together while drinking their favorite cola?

FURNISH IT WITH LOVE! (click here to watch)

YOUR SOCIAL GRAPH IS FURNISHED WITH LOVE AND YOU DID THAT! In your social network, you now have all the characters you need to achieve what you are looking for AND there is no time better than the present to begin and FINISH!

For aid in how to hurdle typical obtacles I highly recommend ShipIt by Seth Godin!

As one of my dearest friends says, “Bushido! Do it now because the time is right!” It is a revolution of the heart that is afoot!

“…symbolical rites are the external expressions of man’s inward desire to unite with Divinity.” – Roberta H. Lamerson, F.R.C.

One of the most sacred spiritual rites throughout history is the walking of the labyrinth.

Kimberly Lowelle, the President of The Labyrinth Society – a network of labyrinth scholars and enthusiasts – writes, “The labyrinth is an archetype of transformation. Its transcendant nature knows no boundaries, crossing time and cultures with ease. The labyrinth serves as a bridge from the mundane to the divine…” I suggest to the reader that the Labyrinth is an image AND an experience worth looking deeper into as a model for yielding what one wants from the social fabric of the internet, which is really the fabric of our communal heart.

At their labyrinth website, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco writes about about the deeper meanings of the labyrinth, “The Labyrinth is an archetype, a divine imprint, found in all religious traditions in various forms around the world. By walking a replica of the Chartres labyrinth, laid in the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France around 1220, we are rediscovering a long-forgotten mystical tradition that is insisting to be reborn.”

The labyrinth is a shared esoteric tradition, “In Native American culture it is called the Medicine Wheel and Man in the Maze. The Celts described it as the Never Ending Circle. It is also called the Kabbala in mystical Judaism. One feature they all share is that they have one path which winds in a circuitous way to the center.”

Having spent nearly a year walking solely in the labyrinth of social networks AND around the world meeting real people from those networks, I must say that the spiritual opportunity for humanity in social networks is profound.

What do I mean by this? If the ultimate goal of any relationship is the union of two hearts, then I would submit to the reader that social networks reveal paths for multiple re-unions. I have lived such re-unions over and over during the last 12 months in particular, from the re-kindling of high school romance to finding new friends within tribes of a shared heart-sense. Such re-unions are a symbolic experience within human experience of a deeper truth, a deeper goal that all peoples, all tribes, all nations share: to reach the spiritual goals defined by their forefathers and wise-women in whatever spiritual/aesthetic/communal traditions they were raised in. AGAIN, whatever spiritual tradition or method of reaching the sacred you choose, I suggest to you that social networks offer a path of BRINGING YOUR HEART TO YOUR PEOPLE. They want it and need it!

ON A DEEPER LEVEL, SOCIAL NETWORKS ARE EVEN NOW BEING WOVEN TOGETHER FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF SAVING WHAT NEEDS TO BE SAVED IN THE ECO-SYSTEM, THE HUMAN COMMUNITY AND IN OUR INDIVIDUAL HEARTS — ON A GLOBAL LEVEL.

The labyrinth is a living, breathing metaphor for those who walk the social networks and the paths of this planet FOR THE EXPRESS GOAL OF WEAVING HUMANITY TOGETHER.

Grace Cathedral literature shows how the exercise of the labyrinth may be seen in three parts. I have quoted their EXCELLENT material here AND added thoughts on personal and corporate findings one may take from the exercise of the labyrinth.

1. PURGATION (RELEASING) ~ “A releasing, a letting go of the details of your life. This is the act of shedding thoughts and distractions. A time to open the heart and quiet the mind.” (source)

Releasing on a Personal Level: To really enter social networks takes a lot of faith and courage. What I thought was important transforms as I transcend those early details from my Info section and discover truly amazing versions of my own personal gifts and ideals. Moving deeper into TRANSPARENT social graphs is a kind of shedding, the flower opens up, and the center of vitality is revealed. YOUR VITALITY can come from the goals you assign yourself AND THAT your graph assigns you on a daily basis.

Releasing for Businesses: What this means is a releasing of the “expert-ness” in the mind of the Marketing Manager, the Brand Manager and the SVP of Product IN PREPARATION for the LISTENING to the voice of the consumer. Your genius NEEDS to be in taking what your customer wants and elevating that to a level of product or service that exceeds his/her need/desire.

2. ILLUMINATION (RECEIVING) ~ “When you reach the center, stay there as long as you like. It is a place of meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive.” (source)

Receiving on a Personal Level: It seems that everyday, a quote or an image or a movie clip, reveals an answer and truth that I needed. Listening to the social fabric of the internet and to oneself PRIOR to interaction with friends gives you the chance to make good decisions about where you want your heart to go that moment, that day, and for your lifetime!

Receiving for Businesses: The important concept here for business is LISTENING. When we listen AT THE CENTER(s) of our customer base (key demographic), answers arrive for future product offerings and brand direction. AND customer service issues are solved very quickly.

3. UNION (RETURNING) ~ “As you leave, following the same path out of the center as you came in, you enter the third stage, which is joining God, your Higher Power, or the healing forces at work in the world. Each time you walk the labyrinth you become more empowered to find and do the work you feel your soul reaching for.” (source)

Union on a Personal Level: Chatting with a friend or video-Skype expands the vision found when listening. Meeting physically takes this EVEN FURTHER. That transparent shedding we do as an action of entering the social fabric of the internet and revealing ourselves REQUIRES friendliness and generosity. Secure allies within your social graph to support you in this (HINT: the best way to do this is by being that same person to him/her/them).

Union for Businesses: Again, as said above, the genius that comes from the center of the social graph is knowing what your customer wants and elevating that to a level of product or service that exceeds his/her need/desire. That’s what the Lovemarks from Saatchi + Saatchi are all about! This also is the golden road to building lasting Customer Lifetime Value and Customer Equity.

I suggest to the reader that building and entering your social graph IS akin to the building AND walking of a labyrinth. This passage is a sacred act AND also has regular CENTERS (POINTS OF ILLUMINATION) that you reach. If our genes carry an imprint, it seems logical to state that the social graph you have started building is a VISUALIZATION OF YOUR GENETIC HERITIAGE AND YOUR SPIRITUAL TRIBE.

Entering your personalized social graph, if viewed as a sacred experience, could very well result in your finding the answers and solutions needed by YOU.

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls. ~Joseph Campbell

The future of human interaction with the invisible has fully arrived. We are now firmly in an era where Predictive and Temporal Analytics (THINK: Analytics-Driven Policy) MATCHED WITH abundant Storytelling/Transmedia genius HAS yielded full-blown portals into the realm of RELATIONSHIP TO THE MYTHIC. One need only look at the largest portals to VIRTUALPHYSICAL and ROMANTIC relationship creation for evidence of these doorways.

WHAT IS “RELATIONSHIP TO THE MYTHIC”? (And why is this important?)

Joseph Campbell, the mythologist, writes, “The role of the artist I now understood as that of revealing through the world-surfaces the implicit forms of the soul, and the great agent to assist the artist was the myth.” Wolfgang Pauli writes of “an invisible, potential form of reality that is only indirectly inferable through its effects.”

I submit to the reader that through a combination of Listening to Oneself AND Investigation using Social Monitoring Tools, humans can now discover “worm-holes” that lead directly to their most cherished and inner-desired locations. I would also suggest that these most cherished INNER LOCATIONS are spiritual destinations characterized by terms like nostalgia and “the best times of my life”. Such INNER and REMEMBERED locations MAY be the most desirable locations known to mankind AND MAY also be THE wellspring of creativity for the individual, a society and the whole of humanity. We all seek the bright field, which IS the MYTHIC REALM.

The process for accessing these locations COULD trace the following path:

1. LISTEN TO YOUR OWN HEART by taking one single day out of your life and spending that 24 hour period alone. Simply listening. Karl Menninger writes, ”Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us , makes us unfold and expand.” Places like Spirit Rock, Esalen, Omega Institute, forests, deserts, islands and parks within cities can facilitate a window TO THE dreamed-of location.

2. WRITE! During your time of listening to yourself, write. And underline the words that mean the most to you. Those are your search terms, the keywords that you will use in the social fabric of the internet to find others like you, destinations of your tribe and eco-systems sympathetic to YOUR nature. Joseph Campbell writes, “One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that.” What a fabulous reality we have in that the social fabric of the internet offers abundant paths to the flowering of our humanity!

3. IDENTIFY YOUR KEYS. Take your keywords, your KEYS, to the social monitoring tools, visual maps, AND keyword tools and follow your findings to the location of your tribe in the social networks!

4. BOARD YOUR PLANE, TRAIN OR AUTOMOBILE, whether this be a metaphor for mental passage, spiritual exploration, relationship deepening/adjustment/discovery AND/OR actual physical movement.

5. WRITE YOUR LOVE LETTERS TO THE WORLD as you travel to the land of your tribe (Hint: That’s what blogging, tweeting, FBing, Flickr-ing, YouTubing, SlideShare-ing, etc. really are…these are your forums to express your GIFT to the world). The joy and beauty of your journey will infiltrate and instruct the fabric of the communities around you and inspire others to do their own exploration and SHIFT!

What each must seek in his life never was on land or sea. It is something out of his own unique potentiality for experience, something that never has been and never could have been experienced by anyone else. ~Joseph Campbell

A few days ago,  a friend sent me a link to a YouTube video of teenage boys freaking out on Chatroulette. The video shows various teen boys watching a teen girl tease them. Suddenly she turns into a demon-possessed being. The resulting looks on these boys’ faces is truly priceless.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNSaurw6E_Q

What is interesting from a marketing standpoint is that just a few days ago on YouTube, this video had 1100 videos. Now it has over 1 million views. For internet marketers, I suggest that the study of internet memes is crucial. To quote Lorrie Thomas, M.A., “It is an art AND a science.” One must have a creative AND an analytical mind, OR at least a team with both/and present.

WHAT IS A MEME?
A meme is a unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. (The etymology of the term relates to the Greek word μιμητισμός (/mɪmetɪsmos/) for “something imitated”.) Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes, in that they self-replicate and respond to selective pressures.

Francis Heylighen, of Free University of Brussels, writes that successful memes follow three characterstics, which include:

1) copying-fidelity: the more faithful the copy, the more will remain of the initial pattern after several rounds of copying. If a painting is reproduced by making photocopies from photocopies, the underlying pattern will quickly become unrecognizable. 2) fecundity: the faster the rate of copying, the more the replicator will spread. An industrial printing press can churn out many more copies of a text than an office copying machine. 3) longevity: the longer any instance of the replicating pattern survives, the more copies can be made of it. A drawing made by etching lines in the sand is likely to be erased before anybody could have photographed or otherwise reproduced it.

SUCCESSFUL INTERNET MEMES INCLUDE:
Successful internet memes have been seen by anyone who has email or spends even a little time on the internet. Some of the most famous include: (1) Double Rainbow (2) Nigahiga’s YouTube channel (3) David After Dentist (4) Diet Coke and Mentos (5) the phenomenon of Rickrolling (where user is tricked into clicking a link to a music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song “Never Gonna Give You Up”. (6) Lady GaGa’s Bad Romance (7) Justin Bieber’s Baby.

A Comprehensive List of Internet Phenomena may be found here.

MEMETICS RESEARCH and ACTION:

1. GEEKY RESEARCH: Read about Cluster Analysis (just to see how deep and complicated the science really gets). Study Meme-Tracking. Check out Group Formation in Large Social Networks.

2. KNOW YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC: Pay attention to the MAJOR archetypes within your chosen demographic AND their needs. Lots of market research has been done already by major research groups like Forrester, Nielsen, JD Power, and MRI into the buying habits, content preferences and behaviors of your audience.

3. USE LISTENING TOOLS TO SPOT SENTIMENT TRENDS: Listen to trends in the social fabric of the internet AND press-releases using Recorded Future, Radian6, Monitter and some of the new Facebook listening tools like Booshaka, Facepinch, OpenBook, It’s Trending and Kurrently. These tools could jumpstart your creative process. Any social campaign worth its salt has included some degree of listening to the customer PRIOR to launch.

4. BRAINSTORM using BIG pieces of paper and LOTS of flexibility WITH ALL IDEAS that emerge. Get INSPIRED in the Behance community, a fabulous place for meeting peers in the creative space AND to learn fabulous CREATIVE PROCESS TECHNIQUES.

5. A, B, C test your top ideas using landing pages, images, tweets, FB status updates, and blogposts. Notice AND measure response to these communications using Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and Alexa.

Great content contains effective memes, or word-creatures, the weavers of this living tissue that we call the social fabric of the internet. Viral videos like the one above, inspirational quotes, one-liners and personal news in the form of tweets and status updates are examples of word-creatures that move through individual and communal minds/hearts to what end none of us may ever know. These thought-animals consume the attention of a community, grow larger, and move deeper into the texture of the community.

Social networks and media are templates for humanity to develop multi-dimensional/spiritual abilities. Greek myth is just one “instruction manual” for application of this metaphor. One could identify the JOURNEY of BOTH the individual AND the community in social networks WITH Psyche’s journey toward Eros in the Greek myth of Psyche and Eros. For the Greeks, the essence of Eros is the unfoldment of human thought, and in Greek philosophy, he is described as a liberating agent who releases and activates the creative process of the mind. Eros inspires and opens the channel of intuition to the higher and abstract understanding and communion with beauty and truth. The myth of Eros and Psyche describes in detail the inner process of transformation.

One could identify the JOURNEY of BOTH the individual AND the community in social networks WITH Psyche’s journey toward Eros in the Greek myth of Psyche and Eros. For the Greeks, the essence of Eros is the unfoldment of human thought, and in Greek philosophy, he is described as a liberating agent who releases and activates the creative process of the mind. Eros inspires and opens the channel of intuition to the higher and abstract understanding and communion with beauty and truth. The myth of Eros and Psyche describes in detail the inner process of transformation.

To begin, here is a shortened version of the tale:

ONCE UPON A TIME there was a king with three daughters. They were all beautiful, but by far the most beautiful was the youngest, Psyche. She was so beautiful that people began to neglect the worship of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. Venus was very jealous, and asked her son Cupid (the boy with the arrows) to make Psyche fall in love with a horrible monster. When he saw how beautiful she was, Cupid dropped the arrow meant for her and pricked himself, and fell in love with her.

Despite her great beauty no-one wanted to marry Psyche. Her parents consulted an oracle, and were told that she was destined to marry a monster, and they were to take her to the top of a mountain and leave her there. The west wind took her and wafted her away to a palace, where she was waited on by invisible servants. When night came her new husband visited her, and told her that he would always visit her by night and she must never try to see him.

Although her invisible husband was kind and gentle with her, and the invisible servants attended to her every desire, Psyche grew homesick. She persuaded her husband to allow her sisters to visit her. When they saw how she lived they became very jealous and talked Psyche into peeking at her husband, saying that he was a monster who was fattening her up to be eaten and that her only chance of safety was to kill him. Psyche took a lamp and a knife, but when she saw her beautiful husband, Cupid, she was so surprised she dripped some hot wax onto his shoulder, waking him. He took in the situation at a glance and immediately left Psyche and the magnificent palace she had been living in disappeared in a puff of smoke.

Psyche roamed about looking for her husband, and eventually in desperation approached his mother, Venus. Still angry, the goddess set various tasks for Psyche, all of which she passed, with a bit of help from ants and river gods. At last Cupid found out what was going on, and he persuaded Jupiter to order Venus to stop her persecution of Psyche. Then they were married and lived happily ever after – and it really was ever after since Psyche was made a goddess.

According to JEAN SHINODA-BOLEN“In the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche, Psyche’s story is about the growth of the soul that began with her decision to face the truth, and led her to being on her own, challenged to complete tasks that were initially beyond her ability to perform. In the myth, her unseen bridegroom would come to her in the dark of the night and be gone by morning. Metaphorically, she was in an unconscious relationship. Fearing that he could be a monster, Psyche followed her sister’s advice, hid a lamp and a knife, and waited until he had fallen asleep. She needed the lamp to see him, and the knife to cut off his head if indeed her were a monster.”

“These two symbols, the lamp and the knife, are both necessary for a psyche–for a soul–to act decisively when we know the truth. The ‘lamp’ is a symbol of illumination, of consciousness, the means of seeing a situation clearly. The knife, like the sword, is a symbol of decisive action, of the capacity to cut through confusion. The lamp without the knife is not adequate; it is insight into the situation with the capacity to act upon this perception.”

“Myths and symbols are in the language of the soul. A myth helps us to take a situation to heart and know what we must do: if it is to see the truth and act upon it, then the image of Psyche with her sword provides a magic perspective. A symbolic object can then be a talisman that helps us to do what we need to do. Like passing a literal torch, these are rituals that empower us by infusing an act with a deeper meaning. To think and act this way is magical, metaphoric thinking that can call forth the qualities we need from within ourselves and may also tap into sources of help that lie beyond us.”

I submit that the social fabric of the internet IS the fabric of humanity’s collective soul. I also suggest that the tale of Psyche and Eros is a template for one’s journey into the complex eco-systems of social networks. In keeping with this metaphor, one has a real working metaphor that may act as a template, NOT ONLY for the INDIVIDUAL but also for the BRAND andCORPORATIONBrian Solis’ Behaviorgraphics images the action of one who gets how to access the heart of this collective digital environment. Pair Behaviorgraphics WITH his Conversation Prism and you have a philosophy of engaging not only a customer, a competitor and a market BUT also one’s own unique gift and contribution to the world at large.

I submit that Psyche’s journey and the tasks she undertook to reach Eros IS a model for successful engagement by a BRAND of its target audience.

What were her tasks and HOW does this look from a marketing standpoint?

a)  SORTING OF THE SEEDS: Intelligence gathering and listening. Psyche’s first task is to sort all the seeds that are heaped up in a room. This is a wonderful metaphor for all of the possibilities before a brand. Sorting the seed is really taking stock. What are all of the seeds of possibility in the psyche of your brand? What belongs where? WhichFacebook Groups, Key Influencers in blogs, Twitter, YouTube channels and in forums are worth engaging with? (read more on the importance of listening to the social fabric of the internet)

b)  THE GOLDEN FLEECE: Timing and correct audience for an offering. The second task of Psyche is to get some golden fleece from the violent rams of the sun, gather a small amount of it, and bring it to Aphrodite. This takes strategy. Some of the best examples of effective strategists come from the extremely competitive environments of sports and warfare. Military strategy in particular provides a template for marketers as they move out into the social fabric of the internet and command a particular market space. Here is a simple outline of HOW to move into the social space of the internet for enterprise-level businesses. And here is THE template for SCENARIO PLANNING straight from center of military strategy 101.

c)  CRYSTAL GOBLET OF WATER: Developing content that has depth and purchase with an audience. In the myth, Psyche has to deliver something of great value that is actually from the shadow realm – water from the River Styx: an image of being quenched by “hidden” wisdom and all the value such a quenching entails. This is the basis effective and engaging content theory: original, living/breathing messaging that comes from a place of depth.

Great content contains effective memes, or word-creatures, the weavers of this living tissue that we call the social fabric of the internet. Quotes, one-liners and personal news in the form of tweets and status updates are examples of word-creatures that move through individual and communal minds/hearts to what end none of us may ever know. These thought-animals consume the attention of a community, grow larger, and move deeper into the texture of the community.

Eros IS a powerful archetypal force in the action of these thought-animals. Civilization is a process in the service of Eros, whose purpose is to combine single human individuals, and after that families, then races, peoples and nations, into one great unity, the unity of mankind. Why this has to happen, we do not know; the work of Eros is precisely this. Great content is informed by the greek god Eros. It is lyrical and attracts.

d)  PERSEPHONE’S BEAUTY: In her fourth task, Psyche descends into Hades to retrieve some of Persephone’s beauty for Aphrodite. Psyche is given a box to carry the beauty in. To do this task requires incredible focus and compliance with a list of complicated instructions – things to do and NOT to do.

Again, with this task, we return to the psyche’s connection with what is real for an audience: image vs. reality, the cover of a book vs. the full text, and an engagement + lifetime relationship with the customer developed. In the fourth task, it could be said that Psyche undergoes a kind of ego-death in order to serve love. This love of the demographic we are marketing to really captures the identity of today’s most effective marketers. Immersion in the “underworld”, in the shadows AND beauty of the target customer within that demographic gives a marketer insight and a kind of hypnotic power over the audience. To know a demographics shadow, both in negative and positive potential, yields a FULL knowing of the OTHER. The value of understanding what is “hidden” within a demographic’s collective psyche is priceless. A fabulous example of such an exploration may found in books like Karma Queens, Geek Gods and Innerpreneurs: Meet the 9 Consumer Types Shaping Today’s Marketplace. In this book, the author has delved deeply into the internal complexity of his market’s psychic complexion and the result is a fantastic study of that demographic. Read it!

To continue, Psyche goes all the way with this fourth task and is brought back to life through Eros’ kiss in the end. The image here is of giving oneself IN SERVICE and doing EVERY single action required to reach the center of the customer’s heart.

A fabulous condensation of HOW social business pros REACH THE CENTER OF THE CUSTOMER’S HEART, with REAL case studies, has been assembled by ANN MACK (Director of Trendspotting at JWT Intelligence) in her June 2010 Social Media Checklist. Ann has identified 18 global experts in social business integration and outlined the  powerful process of ENGAGEMENT, the heart of social business practice! Another recommended read!

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