The Rise of Digital Feudalism; Chances are, You’re a Serf.

This was originally posted on Hugh McCloud’s Gaping Void newsletter. Technology has fulfilled many promises from connecting the world, enabling transparency to increase the speed of otherwise slow processes. While we can and should celebrate the benefits of the tech industry, we also need to recognize that the promise of “power to the people” was a false promise. Just a few decades after the birth of the internet, we can see that power is centralized to the very few, harkening back on prior eras – the era of feudalism. What’s feudalism? Dusting off our history books, it was a class-based system that was led by kings who granted land and resources to lords, who in turn ran the castles, who … Continue readingThe Rise of Digital Feudalism; Chances are, You’re a Serf.

Is Technology making us Calm — or causing us Anxiety?

Is the technology in your life making you Calm? Or increasing your Anxiety? When you look around at all the beeping and blinking apps and devices, most of the technology in our lives is trying to get and hold our attention. Even media websites and social networks are trying to get your eyeballs for ad-based monetization, even at the detriment of emotionally hooking us as we fight over politics or coo over kitty videos. To best illustrate the dichotomy, here’s a slide from a research project on “Modern Wellness” I’m working on with colleague Jessica Groopman for a client who’s building out new technology and wants to be on the right side of history. It’s based off key points that … Continue readingIs Technology making us Calm — or causing us Anxiety?

A Running List of Sponsored Conversations

Sponsored conversations are happening, yet we insist on it being done right and ethically, that means disclosure and being authentic. This post, which I’m updating frequently, will serve to show there is a long history of sponsorship, the many forms of sponsorship, and an ongoing list of these transactions. I make lists to track what’s happening in my industry, in fact, you can see many of these famous lists on the ‘industry index‘ category. While some are taken aback by companies sponsoring conversations, I’m going to list out many brands and bloggers that are involved, this is clearly not going away. Some of these examples get very gray, it’s hard to tell where the editorial line starts and stops, or … Continue readingA Running List of Sponsored Conversations

How To Make Sponsored Conversations Work

Although Controversial, Sponsored Conversations are Here to Stay Sponsored conversations, although controversial, aren’t going away. In fact during recession, they will likely increase. Update: See this growing list of bloggers and brands that have participated in sponsored conversations. Despite the demand that brands desire to reach communities, and bloggers desire to monetize and help their community, it’s important this transaction is done ethically and is sustainable for the long run. People get very emotional about this topic, so before you comment, twitter, or blog about these changes, first read my entire post, then Sean Corcoran’s to get the whole story. How controversial is this topic? very. In fact, I previously highlighted both the opportunities and risks when I twittered and … Continue readingHow To Make Sponsored Conversations Work

The Variance of Corporate Social Media Policies

Our research indicates that 2/3rds of US online Youth (ages 12-17) use social networks at least monthly, and 20% of teens use them daily. (Q4, 2007) There’s no indication that I’ve seen that the adoption will decrease as they enter the workforce. David Churbuck (whose name I finally got right) is a web strategist at Lenonvo computers, and writes a compelling piece Does Your Company Have a Blogging Policy? This is a question I hear to often from the Fortune 5000 who are toe dipping, or just down right scared of employee blogs. I often defer the conversation a step higher, to discuss how they’ve (hopefully) hired smart people that they trust, and that they are willing and to empower … Continue readingThe Variance of Corporate Social Media Policies

Respect and Accountability (Updated this post)

In my recent post, I write about how our industry is starting to solidify and come together. This conference, blog world expo in Vegas is more like a trade show, and we’re seeing constituents from many parties, we’re growing. It’s really important that we hold ourselves accountable, especially our leaders. I’m hearing from people that there’s a lot of buzz that two A-list CEOs were not able to attend, one was feeling ill and the other “forgot”. (Update: Rick, the organizer comes in and explains it was his fault, yes, it’s all very confusing) (Update: We hope Om, who hurt his back feels better). (Update 2: Mike has responded and states he never agreed to speak, despite him being heavily … Continue readingRespect and Accountability (Updated this post)

Companies, Employees, and Social Media requires Trust

I’ve worked for a few companies now in my career, and each culture exemplifies it’s trust for it’s employees in different ways. For many companies, there’s a long list of do’s and don’t that are issued to them while they’re being hired. The more “donts” the less trust the company and employee may have. In this new world, where Social Media is going to be part of many of our communication fabrics, we need to establish trust, as the lines are never going to be fully black and white. Those who embrace these tools will often be ‘pushing the membrane’ of the corporate culture and as a result, be in the gray zone. Keep in mind, those who push are … Continue readingCompanies, Employees, and Social Media requires Trust

A Salute to Harry McCraken

I had the privilege to be a moderator for a panel where Harry was sharing his honest insights about the future of the web. He’s an extremely bright individual and has years (decades?) of experience in the technology industry. Today, it’s sad to hear that he’s decided to leave his post at PC World, likely due to frustration from a story that he was writing that was cut, looks quite political. I’m sure we’ve all wanted to walk off a job at one point in time, it takes a lot of guts to really make someone do do this. Here’s to Harry who will certainly land somewhere better, where his authoritative voice will be heard. Harry, if you see this, … Continue readingA Salute to Harry McCraken

Feeling good about recycling my old PCs

I’m not a tree hugger or earth hippie by any means, but I do want our tech industry to remain a thriving long term helpful addition to this planet for a long time to come. Yesterday, I dropped off 3 of my old tower PCs (some even had windows 97 on them) to Green Citizen in Palo Alto (there’s other locations too). The recycling fee was 10 bucks each, which I’ll write off my taxes. Also, they won’t be reusing the computer, and the data will be properly disposed of as they crush it at a facility and then the parts are resold to be recycled into other manufactures. Click on some of the pictures below, to read about how … Continue readingFeeling good about recycling my old PCs

Understanding Cyberbullying, a primer for Parents

I’m not a parent, but Cyberbullying has been talked about very heavily this week. Wendall Davis of Symantec (one of PodTech’s customers) has a very informative podcast on what is Cyberbullying including some important facts on what consumers, parents and event companies should do to prepare for this. They suggest you check out their family resource website.