SCVA Visual Presentation is Much Needed

It is something that I have known from the start.  I really need a Lawrence Lessig/CommonCraft kind of presentation to bring across the main ideas and arguments in Social Capital Value Add in a short and simple format.

I just got off of the phone with Jay Deragon who is eager to take all this “social stuff” beyond marketing circles and this need was again surfaced.  (Side Note: Jay, I keep hearing the Web 2.0 Swan Song too.) It has been echoed in conversations with Rochelle Grayson at Donat Group and Joe Thornley.

No sooner was I off the phone than I saw this good start by Michael Lewkowitz.  Anyone, anyone?

I Digg Valdis Krebs, please follow me

I just dugg a post on the Wired Blog Network about Valdis Krebs.  I think you should too.

Here is what The WOMMA Word had to say about the Wired piece yesterday:

Finding the Common Ground Between Steroids and Online Social Networks

Valdis Krebs, a social networks researcher who will be presenting at the annual PopTech conference in Camden, ME this week will be presenting a perhaps, non-intuitive similarity: steroid usage and Facebook. Krebs finds commonalities between the two resulting from the ability to quantify everything as a social network. His view is steroid usage in baseball disseminated quickly because of a closed network of higher performance seekers, players who insulated themselves from outside influence and opinions because they sought company only of those similar individuals. Facebook, MySpace, et al, are all platforms which foster the same insulated contact. We seek those like us, with similar interests, and the result is social networks are created in the same way Major League Baseball’s steroid network was formed.

More from Wired (10/23) | Permalink

Social Capital Value Add is all about linking the work of leaders like Valdis to value based management, so that their value proposition is more easily articulated in global boardrooms.  I think it can help do the same thing for the work of PR and social media practitioners.

Here is what my e-book Introducing Social Capital Value Add has to say about Valdis and a few of the others who are pioneering methods to add value through networks:

“There are many inspiring examples of companies taking a structural approach to strategy, including the work of Wendi Backler at Boston Consulting Group (a fellow alum of mine, and someone I admire) and the clients of Valdis Krebs and John Maloney.  The International Network for Social Network Analysis, founded in 1978 by Barry Wellman, brings together about 1000 members, primarily academics, many of whom consult with corporations.

Popular book and blog author Seth Godin has observed a class of a few million “Digerati” who are dedicated to “using the learning tools built into the Net to get smarter, faster” (Godin, 2005) and he himself evangelizes marketing methods aligned with SCVA. However Godin also notes the minority status of these examples. He describes a new digital divide separating such early adopters from the rest of business’ investors and managers.

SCVA is an attempt to appeal to the sensibilities of the early majority, shift attention away from brand in business circles and bring attention and investment to radically new methods of value creation. There is not much here that will impress the Digerati. Thomas Friedman has attempted to drive bottom-up adoption with a gigantic metaphor and educational effort targeted at individuals in The World is Flat. Malcolm Gladwell picks up on associated tactical marketing communications dynamics in The Tipping Point and Duncan Watts is provocative at the level of product/idea positioning and design.

SCVA would like to facilitate this crossing of the chasm by placing the typically unseen structural sources of corporate control in the networked age directly on the boardroom table using the carrot of increases in corporate value and the stick of performance metrics (along with a Wizard of Oz metaphor to keep the marketing folks awake!).”

Thank you! Reviews of Social Capital Value Add & Memetic Brand

Ideas need people to tell their story.

Thanks to everyone, including the many twitterers, who are helping to improve and spread Social Capital Value Add and Memetic Brand.  I flipped when I saw this tweet.

I would love to add your review to these examples, please send me a link …

Word of Mouth Marketing Association of America based in Chicago:

http://www.womma.org/blog/2008/10/seth-godin-works-in-mysterious-ways

Canadian Marketing Association based in Toronto:

http://www.canadianmarketingblog.com/archives/2008/09/social_capital_value_add_chang_1.html

ValueNetworks.com based in San Francisco:

http://valuenetworks.com/public/item/213118

Kim Kobza, CEO, Neighborhood America, based in Florida:

http://web.mac.com/kpkobza/Inflection_Blocks:_3_minute_podcasts/Inflection_Blocks/Inflection_Blocks.html

Rochelle Grayson, COO, Donat Group, based in Vancouver:

http://rochelle.ca/2008/10/13/beyond-brand-valuation-social-capital-valuation

Jay Deragon, Social Media Strategist & Author of The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

http://twitter.com/JDeragon/statuses/973894442

Geoff Whitlock, President, Life Capture Interactive, based in Toronto

http://www.lifecaptureinc.com/blog/social/2008/09/using-social-media-to-better-your-business

Tim Kitchin, Co-Founder, Glasshouse Partnership based in London, England:

http://www.glasshousepartnership.com/blog/social-capital-value-add

Jordan Willms, Sumolabs blogger, based in Vancouver:

http://www.sumolabs.com/blog/buzz-social-capital-value-add-and-your-company039s-social-capital-opportunity

Canada Blog Friends based in Toronto:

http://www.canadablogfriends.ca/2008/09/social-capital-value-add

The Daily Grind, based in Toronto:

http://dailygrind.brandinfiltration.com/?p=235

John Dumbrille, based on Bowin Island, B.C.:

http://jdumbrille.blogspot.com/2008/09/social-capital-value-add.html

SoCap08: Is there a thread missing?

As I sort through the after math of SoCap08, I think that you might want to check out this post entitled, The Silver Lining in the Market Collapse: Social Capital.  It seems that the theme that Jonathan Salem Baskin & I were trying to highlight last week with our co-authored, co-posted piece entitled Looking for Leadership? Invest in your Networks? was resonating at the conference.

In short, this time of crisis in confidence is a time when business leaders are looking for answers.  It is a time of opportunity for advancing social capital thinking that so many of us are dedicated to.

I am picking up that most felt that the conference captured a gritty optimism, as signaled by the attendance of more than 600 to a first time event that was planning for 300.  While it is clear that Katherine Fulton’s presentation on the state of social capital markets was well received, I am wondering if the observation that social capital markets are at a very early stage of uncoordinated innovation was out of step with the enthusiasm of the conference?

In particular, I am wondering if there was sub-context at the conference about the forces driving a revolutionary rise in social capital that is breaking down the silos between value based management (i.e. the quest to manage sources of stable future earnings, over and above the cost of capital), social capital and social network analysis.

While there were discussions about breaking down silos, I am not picking up any thread extending Nan Lin’s network theory of social capital, that is so useful in connecting social capital to market thinking IMHO.  The money quote from Nan Lin … “social capital, as a concept, is rooted in social networks and social relations, and must be measured relative to its root . Therefore, social capital can be defined as resources embedded in a social structure which are accessed and/or mobilized in purposive actions .”  A merger between individuals, social networks and media has taken place.

In short, since broadband internet connections became more prevalent than dial up in 2004, the dominant media paradigm is shifting away from broadcast towards the Individual as Medium.  Increasingly perception and therefore stable future earnings emanate from IAM instead of broadcast or offline word of mouth networks.  Whereas time on broadcast networks can be easily rented with financial capital (i.e. the 30 second television or radio spot), access to social media networks will only be granted through social capital.

This means that managing these scaled up forms of social capital is at the heart of every enterprise right now.  Not two or three stages of maturity in social capital markets from now.

Were you at SoCap08?

Am I picking up on a missing thread to the conference?  Can you help me elaborate this?  This blog post is unfinished without the input of the organizers and attendees ….

UPDATE: Here is a great overview of the SoCap08 conference from SocialFinance.ca.

Here is the blog round up from Social Capital Markets Blog that I referred to:

Six Degrees

Hat tip to Stanley Wasserman for this link.  As Stanley pointed out, the science isn’t new.  It has been around for almost a century.

What is new is the layer of social media networks that have emerged on top of social networks since about 2004.

This is an ad for a conference, but interesting none the less:

Looking for Leadership? Invest in Your Networks

by Michael Cayley & Jonathan Salem Baskin

Lincoln and Roosevelt are heralded as great American leaders in times of crisis, and their vision and fortitude are recognized as drivers of their historic accomplishments. However, we think their greatness had far more to do with their abilities to be catalysts for network effects.

UPDATE@Nov.20: More on Lincoln as master network weaver.

If we’re right, it reveals a very different interpretation of the calls we’re hearing for “leadership” to restore confidence in our economic system. In fact, there’s a good chance that no government policy gesture or announcement will mollify the worries of businesses and consumers, let alone stabilize the markets.

Confidence must emerge from the networks in which we all participate. We need to lead ourselves.

This raises intriguing issues and opportunities for corporate marketers looking to craft a way forward.

“In times of uncertainty consumers rely more on trusted relationships when making purchasing decisions,” says Dr. Brent Simpson, an expert at the University of South Carolina who specializes in understanding how social order is formed.

Stanford University’s Matt Jackson, a leading social network theorist, adds: “People’s friends and trusted social relationships are important in influencing their behavior, and people learn from and emulate their friends. Attitude certainly can play into that, especially in turbulent times.”

So what does this mean for businesses directly impacted by the financial crisis, like banks, brokerages, and insurance companies, as well as any consumer business facing the prospect of declining (or less profitable) sales?

First and foremost, you can’t brand your way out of it. You can’t rely spin doctors to declare your path through the crisis; your customers must see and verify it. While your hired guns are hatching ads and press releases to statically “position” the situation, your networks are trading information and defining it in real-time.

And that information, whether accurate or not, has absolutely nothing to do with how the brand has been envisioned, promised, or promoted. Every network is founded upon the tangible realities of action and reaction, just as the mechanism of their function is cause and effect.

How do you empower these networks to step up and lead?

* Know your networks. Invest in software to map connections between people and content.

* Move your enterprise closer to customers, employees, partners and investors. In the past we talked about flattening hierarchies; now it is time to integrate internal & external sources of value.

* Trust opportunities that emerge from the exchange (don’t just talk, and certainly don’t lecture).

* Make information a utility as ubiquitous as electrical light. If what you share isn’t affirmed and forwarded, don’t repeat it…instead, recast or reimagine it, and find new ways to prove it to your networks.

* Demand feedback and ideas.

* Stop looking for ‘home runs’ and play ‘singles and doubles’ by finding small wins, frequent trials. Make constant adjustments. Allocate resources towinners and abandon losers without blame.

The larger revelation of today’s various crises is that the era of symbolic branding is waning, if not over. The woes of the financial institutions have graphically illustrated to us why.

It was always untenable for lenders to ignore the details of weak/bad relationships and to expect instead that homes or property (i.e. commodities) would appreciate in value with no accord to the strength of home owners (i.e. the source of value that differentiated the commodity). Instead of accessing and fostering the relationship to make the loan a better product, the banker chooses to focus on the derivatives.

All businesses face similar risks. From toothpaste to software services, consumer brands invite significant downside threats when they focus on manufactured identify and perception, and not on the drivers of true business strength: connection, interaction, involvement, collaboration, consumption and the other aspects of human behavior.

There are no brands, or businesses, without the networks of people who make them real. It is in, and through, the behaviors of these networks that the Lincolns and Roosevelts for our business and social communities will ultimately arise.

Jonathan Salem Baskin and Michael Cayley met through the concurrent release of their manifestos in the 50th issue of ChangeThis.

Jonathan Salem Baskin recently released the book Branding Only Works on Cattle. This post also appears on Jonathan’s blog at http://dimbulb.typepad.com.

Examples of Social Media

Peter Kim is curating a great list of corporate examples of social media.  Please pass your examples on to him at his blog.

If you are responsible for or are adding a great example to the list and you and/or your client would like me to include fuller case studies of the example in some of my future publications, please get in touch.

Here is a replica of the list at October 14, 2008:

>> Last update: 8 October 2008
>> Total brands: 239

Examples of companies using and being used by social media marketing:

Please list bright spots below …

Hat tip to Andy Lark for this Meltdown overview from Sequoia Capital.  Restoring trust and confidence seem key to me.  Trust and confidence are at the core of credit. Trust and confidence are social.

Consumers want social

“Americans are eager to deepen their brand relationships through social media,” said Mike Hollywood, director of new media at Cone, in a statement. “It isn’t an intrusion into their lives, but rather a welcome channel for discussion.”

Extent that Companies Should Have a Presence in Social Media* According to US Adult Social Media Users, by Gender, September 2008 (% of respondents in each group)

Giddy up.

More from eMarketer.com …

SoCap08