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Book Review/The Big Switch: Rewiring the World from Edison to Google

Curmudgeonly Looking into the Past to Divine the Future—That Nagging Privacy Issue—Debunking the Elephant

bigswitch_sm_bordrThe Big Switch is a valuable book that reflects what has become Nick Carr’s trademark role, heckling IT and Web enthusiasts, albeit from good seats. Carr seems to relish his role as “the fly in the ointment” of the idealistic IT-enabled world that Web missionaries espouse. Although this book has shortcomings, I recommend it for two reasons. First, Carr makes a convincing and useful argument that the “electrification” of business and society (the Edison part) has valuable lessons for the “computerization” transformation of business and society (the Google part) that is currently unfolding. This parallel provides context to think about some of the disruptions around your business, society and career. Second, Carr raises serious questions about possible privacy implications of computerization. He palpably weighs in on the dark side and seems to want the world to change course from the “googlization of life.” If you haven’t read The Long Tail, I would read these books in proximity because they are very complementary and both quick, important reads.

As usual, […]

Media Review/Wall Street Journal Claims Facebook Can't Give You Relationships

Debunking ignorant media coverage of Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks.. and how online and offline social networking is becoming best practice […]

Media Review/Debunking Uninformed Media Coverage of Social Networks

Criticism of uninformed media coverage of the value of social networks, case study of the New York Times’ uninformed opinion piece on Facebook, Facebook Exodus… examples of how many people on social networks don’t know how to use the networks to find fulfillment […]

Web 2.0 Case Study: Barack Obama's Use of Social Media

Conventional Wisdom Scuttled—Disruption Preview—Business in the Batter’s Box

election2008_eecBarack Obama’s presidential campaign was more than a major social media milestone because it ushered in a new relationship model among leaders and their supporters. Due to social media, an unprecedented number of individuals had a new kind of active, direct role in Obama’s campaign; moreover, I predict that the Obama campaign and imminent administration will change citizens’ and consumers’ expectations of “leader” and “follower” roles in government and business. Amazon.com changed consumers’ expectations about retail in general—information on demand, reviews, unbelievable variety at low prices—and a significant portion of Obama supporters will want to continue their support to “make the change happen.” These supporters will bring their changed expectations of action and collaboration to their vendors. That means your company.

The Obama campaign is very instructive to business leaders because business customers are changing expectations of their leaders, as we’ll discuss in more detail below. As the Global Human Capital Journal is not primarily focused on politics, I am less interested in the fact that Obama was elected than how he was elected. Moreover, I’ll […]