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Converging Trends and Technologies Enabling the Police State

Technologies Enabling the Police StateTechnologies Enabling the Police State describes the inevitability of pervasive surveillance, how it’s developing, and how we can act now to maintain the maximum degree of freedom. This is Part1 of a series on autonomy in the digital age. Personal and Collective Actions to Maintain Autonomy (Part2) is a how-to post, while Police State Scenarios (Part3) discusses ways that collective loss of autonomy may unfold.

Despite their grim titles, these posts are not intended as doomsday writings, and I don’t intend to say that I think a police state is being developed intentionally. My conclusion is rather that the technologies of mass control are developing rapidly, and the risk is significant that some group will seize control of them in the foreseeable future. I think you’ll find some of their points surprising, perhaps even breakthrough. Please let me know in comments!

I did not want to write this post, and I doubt that you want to read it; however, as I explain here, we’re at a pivotal point of human history. We are rapidly losing our individual and […]

[Updated] CSRA 11th Year Celebration

11 Celebration: Ten years of Experiential social media & social business hightlights, mission & vision11 Celebration summarizes my reflections on CSRA’s first decade in business, and my vision for our next decade. We’ve been pioneering in experiential social media and social business transformation since I founded the firm in February 2006.

It’s difficult to encapsulate ten years of learnings, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying! This page will reprise some of my favorite posts, and it will feature a series of videos I’ve made in which I explain where we’ve been and where we’re going. This post will change frequently, so please consider it a work in progress.

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Short Guide to Blog Infrastructure

Short Guide to Blog InfrastructureThis short guide to blog infrastructure outlines some of the basics for how to choose a platform and make best use of basic blog features, so your blog will encourage interactions with your high-priority readers. Most brands and people use blogs for content marketing, but it competes for pocket change and leaves the bills on the table. Here you’ll learn how to organize your blog, so it engages readers more deeply by relating to them in distinctive ways. Before delving into some bits and bytes of blog software and features, I’ll outline a new way to approach engagement that changes the rules, which are themselves a kind of infrastructure.

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Noodle XII: Why Machines Won't Displace Human Workers in the Knowledge Economy

Noodle 12: Why Machines Won't Displace Human Workers in the Knowledge EconomyWhy Machines Won’t Displace Human Workers in the Knowledge Economy is a short thought experiment, in the spirit of all Noodles, which was in response to a post in Wired. In Here’s How to Keep the Robots From Stealing Our Jobs, John Hagel posited that a major rationale for the Knowledge Economy firm would be its role as a “knowledge platform” that enabled people to accelerate their learning and productivity. I highly recommend the post, which sparked many intelligent comments.

It’s obvious that many people are having difficulties imagining the world toward which we are hurtling, a world in which machines are getting “smarter” and able to “compete” for work roles that humans now do. In writing The Social Channel App, I thought long and hard about the Knowledge Economy and people’s roles in it, and its main thesis is that everything, from states and enterprises to people and products, will be differentiated in the Social Channel and that “humanness” will assume a much more visible importance in the economy.

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Omni-Channel From Brand and Agency Viewpoints: DAA Chicago Symposium

Omni Channel From Brand and Agency Viewpoints: DAA Chicago SymposiumOmni Channel From Brand and Agency Viewpoints takes you behind the curtain of the digital provider world. The audience of the Digital Analytics Association’s Chicago Symposium was focused on omni-channel from the point of view of how its moving parts functioned because members buy and sell media and marketing content. Brand and agency digital professionals are caught in the tidal wave of data, which is straining legacy processes and relationships to the limit.

However, “Attribution” stole the show from omni-channel—and, for a fascinating reason. The same capabilities that enable big data give ecommerce vendors the ability field solutions that “attribute” the value of each media asset to the customer purchase. Hence, attribution is a massive accounting exercise, but it is disruptive to the digital media ecosystem because it enables, in theory, far more inclusive and granular counting of digital content’s impact on ecommerce or mcommerce or even in-store purchase. This is bringing accountability to digital and advertising firms. Just think of all the media that customers see before they purchase something. Agencies and vendors are […]

Big Data in Healthcare and Education: Two Examples

Big Data in Healthcare and EducationBig Data in Healthcare and Education shares how U.S. and UK government agencies used big data & analytics to help evolve national policy and outcomes. These examples are useful because they show the range of big data projects; the U.S. example is simple, yet it has profound impact on the health of the citizenry and therefore on the economy. The UK example is more involved and shows in depth how organizations can use big data to address expensive programs that are full of unknowns—like national education.

This post shares my notes from a recent Deloitte Dbriefs webcast, Analytics in Action, which you may watch and download its slides. The webcast was moderated by Steve Dahl, and David Weir and Haris Irshad presented the examples.

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Omni-Channel, Retail Mobile and Big Data

Omni-Channel Retail Mobile and Big DataOmni-Channel Retail, Mobile and Big Data offers tantalizing glimpses into current and future omni-channel retail trends and technologies. I “sat down” with three thought leaders and a crowd of smart people on AllAnalytics’ real-time webcast, which featured real-time Q&A with the panelists afterward. You can watch it here.

Panelists Dr. Erik Brynjolfsson, Dr. Yu Jeffrey Hu and Dr. Mohammad Saifur Rahman collaborate on numerous projects, and they are intensely interested in retail transformation. They also referenced one of their recent papers, Competing in the Age of Omnichannel Retailing, and I have added some of its points here as well. The webcast was well moderated by AllAnaytics’ Noreen Seebacher and Beth Schultz.

Although it wasn’t discussed in depth, I observe that big data is especially poignant to retailers for two reasons: they have extremely rich internal, proprietary transaction data on customers (loyalty cards, credit cards, returns information, call center information, service information) and retail customers are the most free-wheeling online. Retail customers discuss their experiences in situations in which they use most types of products. This gives retailers priceless information: […]

Big Data Practical Primer: Junk Charts' Kaiser Fung

Big Data Practical Primer: the book

[UPDATED] Big Data Practical Primer is my notes from Kaiser Fung’s presentation at Big Frontier in which he highlighted his new book, Numbers Rule Your World. Big data is a simple word, but its nuances are critical and require a new way of thinking. This presentation did a good job of covering many high-level definitions and issues of big data & analytics and combined those with some practical how-tos that may surprise you. It can be fairly easy to make serious impact, but, as I suggest in Insights, the biggest barrier to big data is one of imagination and the requirement to think creatively about using data correctly to make business decisions that pay off.

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Chicago-Style Innovation 2013 [Lightbank Innovation Day]

Lightbank logoChicago-Style Innovation is my notes from Lightbank Innovation Day, which took place on 9 May 2013 at the City Winery (presentations) and Lightbank’s offices (networking). Throughout the day, it was obvious that the Knowledge Economy’s Social Channel was unfolding; entrepreneurs’ startups are stripping off an increasing breadth of enterprise processes and using digital social software to improve them. For example, Needle’s platform creates experts in user (customer) use cases and outcomes that outperform anyone at retail; Fieldglass, HighGround, Fooda, oDesk and TalentBin take aim at various parts of human capital while Aon Hewitt showed how to practice enterprise innovation on the inside; DoubleDutch aims to [at long last] digitize trade shows and conferences through its platform’s geosocial functions. Sprout Social and Contently offered social tools.

Presenters Gian Fulgoni, J Schwan and Ramon De Leon shared valuable advice for entrepreneurs, investors and enterprise executives. Fulgoni provided statistics that showed how mobile was eclipsing ecommerce and analog commerce; Schwan opened the audience’s eyes to Ubiquitous Computing and the Internet of Things, and De Leon showed the power of (pervasively ;^) being yourself.

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Ron May: Digital Social Pioneer

Ron May Digital Social Pioneer

Ron May, 1956-2013

Ron May Digital Social Pioneer, and the notorious Chicago hightech commentator and analyst, died on 23 June 2013. Since I knew Ron longer and better than many people, I’ll reflect on what I knew of his life and considerable gifts and contributions. Above all, I’ll try to convey what Ron taught me about the digital world, where he was a pioneer among pioneers.

I met Ron in late 1996 in Dick Reck’s office at KPMG, when The May Report was fledging. It was obvious that he was unusually smart and passionate and motivated, and I learned that these traits were the foundation of Ron May the person. Ron May cared, and he had strong opinions. He had a brilliant inquisitive mind and indefatigable energy. I had a few conversations with Ron about his health over the years, and I suspect that it had a large impact on how he felt and interacted in public.

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