Rather than let this interesting discussion sink to the cavernous depths of my inbox, I thought I'd share it with you here.
1. You're known as a visionary of future media as well as a trendspotter... what drew you to this position?
Not sure that they're as much professions as they represent a labor of love.
In the 90s and early 2000s, I focused all of my research and work on technology, understanding its impact on culture and consumer behavior and also how to build new channels for corporations between individuals - mostly brands and businesses to customers as well as their peers and influenced who affected their decisions. At the end of Web 1.0 and at the first site of Web 2.0, it was clear that questions were omnipresent, but insight and analysis were scarce. I decided that it was the right moment to share my experiences, observations and predictions and therefore started blogging regularly, writing books and research papers, and also toured the world to help everyone learn and eventually answer their own questions. It was essentially a necessary step. I was vested in a particular vision based on my work and therefore, if I didn't take a proactive role in the evolution of socialized media, I would not have a say in its direction.
2. What trends do you see occurring right now in social media?
Social Media is merely a chapter in the progression of new media. Trends and permeations are two very different things and both have my attention at the moment. Education and literacy are momentous. As consumers we're empowered with new found recognition and reach. We're given these powerful platforms and channels to build audiences and communities around our interests and passions at will. Their state and stature are determined by us as well as how others react and participate. Our roles in community are either cultivating, expanding, or regressing their state. At the same time, as human beings taking to social media, our privacy and the privacy of our loved ones is affected by what we share, consume and with whom we connect.
We are already judged by what's online whether its a result of our direct or indirect actions. And as services such as Klout demonstrate, we are already earning a "credit score" based on our social capital. I believe education is critical to help individuals use this social currency in a way that benefits their capital online for work, school, and also in ways that shape their personal brand and persona favorably. We are by default becoming a more open society and as a result, we are in control of creating our own destiny. As George Bernard Shaw once said, "life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself." It has never been truer than now.
On the horizon, we'll see more contextual based social networking or what I refer to nicheworks. We connect not only with friends, families, and peers, but also individuals we know and would like to know and in turn those who know us and who would like to know us. At the root of those connections is context...commonalities that unite us. But as we're complex individuals, so are our relationships. No social network as it exists today, leverages those ties in how we communicate and share. that will change.
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