Archives for posts with tag: revolution


There’s a lot of talk about Social Media revolutions. The Twitter revolution. The Facebook revolution. While most of it is simplifying hype, Social Networks allow people to synchronize much more efficiently than ever before. And there’s lot of talk how Social Media can be used for good causes. Donations to help Japan, the environment – you name it. Brands run initiatives under the authenticity and transparency mantle, one of the keys to Obama’s success was the Social Media savvy of his staff.

This is good and legitimate.

What happens when evil regimes/people start to understand Social Media?

Brands have tried to game the social web. They posted fake blogs, fake videos, continue to buy endorsements from bloggers. I don’t think it’s ethical or beneficial for the brand in the long run. But brands are not evil. Sometimes they act pretty bad but it’s not rooted in an evil core or an evil mission/vision.

But once the military and/or government gets involved to game the social web, I’m getting really concerned. It’s happening already. According to this Guardian article, the “US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.”

The article continues:

“The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as “sock puppets” – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations “without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries”.

While I agree with Jeff Jarvis’ overall assessment (“It’s appallingly stupid, for there’s little doubt that the fakes will be unmasked. The net result of that will be the diminution, not the enhancement, of American credibility.”), I still wonder: What happens if a government starts to really comprehend the power of Social Media and doesn’t stoop to the tactics of the Nigerians spammers? What if they find ways to connect with people in the early stages of an uprising, get them to congregate and kill the revolution in its early stages?

Hitler was an early adopter of mass communication

He used radio to spread his propaganda. He owned the newspapers. Jewish men and women were depicted as greedy, hook-nosed bastards wholly responsible for the desecration of society. And he used the power of mass media to share this sickening message: comic-strips, cartoons, editorials, movies. Over time, we developed a decent nose to detect manipulation fairly quickly. Have we developed that nose for manipulation in the social space yet? Or, do we need to be more cautious?

This post appeared first on Jack Myers’ MediaBizBloggers site.

Social Networks were not created to add another channel to the marketing mix.

Social Networks were not created to spark revolutions.

Social Networks were not created for influential’s to share their message. Or nonsense.

Social Networks are for all the people that participate in them.

We are social beings. We spend our whole existence in Social Networks. Being part of Social Networks allows us to share common goals, resources and learn from each other. The people in Tunisia and Egypt didn’t get a message from someone to start a revolution and followed like sheep. They pulled down information and learnings from others. And formed a picture, saw that others felt the same way and decided to act.

Messengers, carrier pigeons, Gutenberg, telegraph, radio, TV, Facebook and Twitter never started a revolution. People did. And they always will.


Beware: We will change the focus from profit to value.

Beware: We will focus less on GDP and more on GNH (Gross National Happiness)

Beware: We will abolish the need of education to train future drones. Instead, we encourage human flourishing.

Beware: We will stop commoditizing experiences and delight. And start spreading real joy, love and happiness.

Beware: We don’t care about short-term impact. We care about meaningful significance.

Beware: We don’t care about an economical recovery. We care about a holistic transformation.

Beware: This is not an evolution. This a revolution.

“Every generation needs a new revolution” – Thomas Jefferson

Join us. Or you’ll be left behind.


This column appeared first on Jack Myers’ MediaBizBloggers

You don’t know you’re part of a revolution unless it’s over

I was born in West-Germany. The Wall was around since I was born. It was a fact just like air, taxes and great German soccer. Nothing would ever change that fact. Throughout 1988 and 1989, it became apparent to some that the era of Cold War Communism was approaching the end. The majority of people, pundits, experts and politicians still believed the Wall would stand for another 1,000 years. A few days later, people were dancing on the Wall.

Human beings are incremental creatures. We don’t recognize revolutions, even if we’re part of it. We just recognize them when they’re over. We didn’t see the demise of newspapers coming. We didn’t see the amazing advent of Facebook and Twitter coming. We had no clue about the iPhone, iPad, mobile evolution, the emergence of blogs as a supplement/replacement of mass media news sources. Most importantly, we had no idea how these new tools, toys and platforms would affect our daily behavior. It happened incrementally.

Incremental doesn’t mean it’s not a revolution.

We’re definitely in a Gutenberg moment: I can publish my opinion through all these new, shiny tools in seconds. I can comment on opinions of other in seconds. All of us have become producers: pictures, words, videos. Too many in the advertising world continue trying to grab on to the old world, trying to bury their head in the sand while the world continues to change. Dramatically. Each and every day. These dramatic changes don’t just affect Marketing and Advertising. It’s a business revolution, an entertainment revolution, an education revolution, a behavioral revolution – it encompasses everything we do.

The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing. – Douglas Engelbart

We don’t know what the future will bring. Mass Media will be around for a while, while Social Media is developing. We don’t know yet how we will work and live when all of us have close friends that we’ve never met, apply for jobs that don’t exist yet, how new forms of expressions will transform our way to communicate. Our physical bodies might be equal with our networked brains, we might not distinguish between the “real” and a “virtual” world. Human Beings have been around for hundreds of thousand years, but the changes we’ll experience in the next 10 years will be more dramatic than the transformation from Neanderthaler to U.S. suburbanite in 2010.

All of us are responsible for the future.

Each one working in the advertising and marketing is responsible not to waste this opportunity. We are too transfixed on get-rich-quick stories, talk too much about little features a platform adds every other month, and we’re too busy proclaiming the death of (TV, Radio, Newspaper, Magazines, Web, Social Media – you name it).

We’re just at the beginning. This new world is changing fast and our mind has problems understanding the dimension of this transformation. This is our opportunity of a lifetime. Don’t miss out on it. Or worse, don’t screw it up because all of us determine the outcome of this revolution.


Marketing continues to be a one-sided affair. Brands have massive budgets, highly-trained professionals, numerous support services and agencies, mountains of data and insight, arsenals of technologies to target and communicate with people.

What do people have? Ad blockers, DVR’s, unsubscribe buttons and, most importantly, indifference. As Soren Kierkegaard said: “At the bottom of enmity between strangers lies indifference.” While Social Media shows some signs of turning this one-sided relationship into more of a partnership, the fact is: All the resources are still with brands. And it’s hard for anyone of us to imagine a future where these roles we all are used to playing, will change. When the seller-centric paradigm transforms into a buyer-centric reality.

Until today.

Mydex launched today the personal data store service. It’s a first step in the marketing revolution that will turn people into owners and managers of their own data. It is a very small test but it’s an important piece of the puzzle to change the way marketing information flows. Personal Data Stores empower individuals to become owner and managers of their data, allowing for a real partnership between buyers and sellers. They will help restoring the balance between two parties.

Marketers might find that scary since it threatens their power of influence. I would argue this will transform passive consumers into more active producers, both helping the individual to achieve his goals. And help brands become more efficient in their product development, branding, marketing, advertising – you name it. And that’s just a small part of the transformation. Once individuals will take ownership of their data, major industries will be reinvented: Health Care, Education, Politics.

Please read Mydex’ White Paper for a more detailed look at Personal Data Stores: “The case for personal information empowerment – The rise of the personal data store”

Congrats to the folks at Mydex.


In case you haven’t heard yet: We’re in a deep recession. We’re in the middle of a structural transformation of our economic system. Ok, I won’t bore you: We have major problems. Bailouts, global debt crisis, nature pillaged – our future is at stake.

Many influential people have told us technology will be the savior: It will pull the economy out of its misery, improve our lives, the way we connect with each other – you heard all this before.

Which brings me to TechCrunch Disrupt.

I watched the majority of Battlefield presentations where startups pitched their products/applications. And I was utterly disappointed.

A lot of clones, bandwagon riders and way too many companies relying on advertising revenue. (99.9% of companies basing their business model on advertising revenue shouldn’t be funded and close the doors now. The last thing we need is more advertising impressions. We have plenty of those. We need innovation in advertising, not new platforms using the current digital advertising model.)

And, I’m not alone. Even Scobleizer, the biggest fanboy of digital innovation, communicated his disappointment with the chosen companies:

“Silicon Valley needs to be sent a message that we need real innovation and interesting new ideas.”

Mahatma Ghandi said famously: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Looking at the innovators at TechCrunch Disrupt, our future will be filled with badges, more advertising, more clutter and more applications we need to download. I didn’t see anything revolutionary that questions the Status Quo. Nothing that improves our broken educational system. Nothing that improves our broken political system. Nothing that helps improve communities or our daily lives.

At one point, Silicon Valley used to have a feel for developing stuff that helps change the world. Nowadays, Silicon Valley is more concerned with flipping.

Instead, we need to question our priorities. Questioning the current society constructs and finding new ways to evolve our world into a livable, sustainable and fair community. How can we care more about others and less about material products? How can we develop communities that are less centered around “me” and more centered around a common purpose? How can we make this beautiful world a better place?

We need visionary ideas. Revolutionary products. Companies with missions focused on changing the world, not valuations. I saw a lot of small steps at TechCrunch Disrupt. The big dreams didn’t show up.