Can you imagine being able to make fewer but smarter choices with less interruptions?
There is a very real limit to the number of choices we can enjoy. And when you cross that line, choice goes from good to bad awfully fast.
As we witness markets, and individuals, chasing the social web we can see confusion. There are so many different ways to networking, so much media and so many opinions on the right things to do and how to do them right.
What ends up happening is we go out looking for the "right" way to do things often finding ourselves going down a rabbit trail of confusion which naturally leads to inaction or inappropriate actions. And experts tell us they see this all the time - the more choices we have the greater our belief that there is a perfect solution for us somewhere buried deep within the choices..
A consistent problem we all have is the conviction that more is always better than less. But the truth is most people don't really know themselves that well (of course we all think we do). That's why most people don't know what's good for themselves.
So we join more networks, get more feeds from more blogs, learning and using more technology with the mistaken belief that all of this activity will pay off in the end. But the truth is the polar opposite. Because as the number of technological and information tactics you know climbs, mastery in any of them plummets. And online this is even more costly than offline. Since the social web is exploding we are being swamped with information and with invitations to join numerous networks and most of the time it is from people we're already connected with in another network, go figure.
What Will Make It Efficient & Effective?
The Department of Defense is using what has commonly come to be known as "Autonomous Agents". Agents are technological programs or entities that operate with little or no human supervision. They initiate actions, construct plans, migrate to different locations, and communicate with other agents. Most importantly they can independently respond to events and adjust their behavior accordingly to accomplish goals.
Well designed agents will have personality (and like a good waiter will intrude only when necessary) and remember training and tasks even if the user's computer crashes or is turned off.
There are different classes of agents depending on the agent's abilities: they may be static or mobile; react to events or not; work alone or with other agents; learn or be hardwired; autonomous or not.
Intelligent agents can solve several classes of problems. They simplify distributed computing, information retrieval, sorting and classification of data, and handle repetitious tasks for users. Agents can take over many tasks people do not wish to do themselves, like scheduling appointments, answering email, sorting news group information, and getting the current news stories that match a person's interest. As the agent learns more about its user it will become more useful.
Agents' behavior and ability to solve problems may be either in the individual agent or the agent may serve as a dumb part of a group that can solve a problem. Agents that work as a part of a group form a more stable system and may be able to handle tasks not easily done by computers. Without a central intelligence the group may actually become stronger and smarter. This type of agent setup may scale up better than individual systems. Java and Python are the preferred languages for agents.
Now lets cross over to today's social web. Imagine having a set of "social agent tools" on your personal social networking portal. Said tools work for you when your on line and when your off line. You set the criteria for which said tools perform work on your behalf.
Unlike common "search engines" these "social agents" work based on a specific set of criteria you set that relates to your individual or corporate objectives and aims at finding the right information or the right relations needed to accomplish a specific objective. An objective could be finding the right resource who has the right solution for your specific problem or the most relevant information you need for anything and everything.
Today you drop notices into forums or questions on Linkedin or Facebook etc. and wait for users to respond. Today you research topics, read news feeds and other blogs then publish your own opinion. Tomorrow, using autonomous agents. you would simply state a problem using a set of criteria and instantaneously you get specific answers and connect to people who are the experts to solving specific problems. Social media will advance to become Smart Social Media with tools that assures us of the validity and relevance of content to whatever knowledge we seek. Subsequently we will then be empowered to "smarter sharing".
Now add the implications of an open web with reduced barriers and seamless connectivity (online and mobile) that empowers you and saves time (Doc Searls VRM Project) with social agent technology and imagine the potential implications. All this will take is for market leaders, from different market segments, to learn how to be social and subsequently share technological developments that each can use for mutual benefit.
The benefits are in creating new markets rather than trying to control existing ones.
What say you?