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Social NETWORKS are much more than Social MEDIA


You know eyeballs marketing or Olde Worlde economy – business to business (B2B) and business to consumer(B2C)? Attention Economy online – where is our attention?

Well Doc Searls talks about The Intention Economy (consumer to business or C2B) . Where the consumer says what he wants and the business vies for attention/intention. That was back in 2006 and the world has changed. Oh how it has changed. The New Economy is not Attention, Intention, Communication or Creation (media) but Action Economy. Consumers meeting Consumers needs. C2C. Don’t listen to PR slash Marketing slash Advertising folk – they focus on their needs, and blogs do very well thank you as a one-to-many marketing channel. Social networks are NOT social media. They are bigger than that, and a hell of lot more disruptive. We don’t just watch, we create. And it’s not just stupid videos on YouTube. We create banks and telecommunications networks and food for the homeless on mass scale. None of that is media but it is world-changing.

While reading the rest of this blog post (if you are kind enough to stay with me) please bear these in mind?:
Finance: Fed up with your bank? Try Prosper or Zopa or Facebook (The Lending Club) … social lending, micro finance, peer2peer loans. The banks will hardly notice. *waves bye* (MY BLOG POST)
Telecommunications: Fed up with your broadband/telco? Try Meraki or Foneros or … social telecomms, mesh aggregation. Want to contribute? Take out a Telstra BigPond broadband service and then onsell/donate to your village. For no additional cost. (MY BLOG POST)
NotForProfits: Wanna help at a grassroots level? The Burritos Project or any social network. Bureaucratic Not for Profits watch out. Mesh aggregation for food.
Travel: Wanna book travel? Buy your tickets from social network hosts at, oh, sportsite TheFanatics (go to the cricket in the Caribbean with several thousand screaming Aussies. Bliss). Organise an event through Upcoming or Meetup or Eventfull and wholesale the tickets directly. The travel agency will miss you though 🙁
Entertainment Tickets: ticket ‘scalping’ is out because the mob will set the price and the market will bear what the market will bear, with ticket holders buying and selling to each other (old post on here) (social events)
Recruitment: yeah you guys know this one – LinkedIn? Elance? Rentacoder (or rentasecretary or rentapainter or whatever the future ones will be) Gosh, I should start up a RentaSocialNetworkStrategist. (We work for chocolate, the chocolate economy). Heh. (Open OutSourcing)

Doc Searls over at LinuxJournal has a discussion a topic you may have heard me present at conferences before – we are no longer eyeballs:

Is “The Attention Economy” just another way for advertisers to skewer eyeballs? And why build an economy around Attention, when Intention is where the money comes from?…

In the hallway yesterday I was talking with r0ml Lefkowitz, who now works with Seth Goldstein at Root.net. r0ml was talking about how his brother, not a techie, didn’t understand what r0ml meant by working with “attention”. After r0ml explained, his brother said, “Oh, isn’t that what they used to call ‘eyeballs‘?”….

In The Intention Economy, a car rental customer should be able to say to the car rental market, “I’ll be skiing in Park City from March 20-25. I want to rent a 4-wheel drive SUV. I belong to Avis Wizard, Budget FastBreak and Hertz 1 Club. I don’t want to pay up front for gas or get any insurance. What can any of you companies do for me?” — and have the sellers compete for the buyer’s business. (2006)

The problem with this Intention economy is that it is described as still being very much host to consumer. Or reverse that, Consumer to Business. (C2B)

Web 2.0 might be communication but is it c2c activity?

Yes we deal direct but we are still dealing upwards in an intention economy. Whereas I believe the new economy, the Consumer Action Economy, is consumer to consumer. C2C. Not a new concept. Also called peer2peer activity. But it’s really coming together now.

Again, none of this is media. And all of it blurs the line between consumer and business. On eBay, are you buying from a “shop” or a garage sale online? Is there a difference? On Rentacoder are you buying your website from an agency or a teenager getting extra pocket money? If reputation and trust standing in the community is high, does it matter if the transaction is B2C or C2C?

I thought when I did it, I should use hands. But it looked even spookier.

What industries need a consumer overhaul? Try this exercise: think about how consumers disrupted second hand stores (and local classifieds) by dealing directly with each other on eBay. Think about open source development. Find a way that a social network host could facilitate these ACTIONs and activities and transactions, directly from consumer to consumer. A clip of the ticket to the consumer, and one to the social network host. (Sharing the Revenue) You will work and it will be for your social networks. Now everyone is monetised, happy and wikinomix’ed to the max. Except maybe the Tax Man.

We’re bigger and more powerful than our Facebook page, our YouTube videos, our tweets on Twitter. We’re even more powerful than our grumpy reviews of bad restaurant experiences and traumatic breakups with Don’tDateHim ex-boyfriends. Yes, we’ve disrupted The Media. No, we’re not finished…

(Thanks to Jeremiah Owyang (jowyang) for the Doc Searls link via Twitter)

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

11 thoughts on “Social NETWORKS are much more than Social MEDIA

  1. hi laurel ! i just launched this:
    http://www.metanotes.com (use firefox)

    we’re trying to figure out how best to lay a social network on top of it, i wonder if you had any ideas ? 🙂

    -srini

  2. In some ways the whole world is media- or content. Even sniffing a bbq or watching a sunset is content. But it’s remarkably unhelpful to consider everything as content/media and not differentiate.

    We used to understand that some sites were not media – they were transactional or ecommerce sites. I’m trying to point out that banks online (social or otherwise), fundraising online, and so on are not media sites.

    Incidentally there is zero social media in social telecommunications. It’s a dongle that you add to your router to share bandwidth with the social network. Zero videos, comments, ratings.

    BTW I think it makes us look incredibly naive when we talk to media organisations when we confuse social media with social economies. No newspaper confuses an ad for a bank with the actual banking. Nor should we.

    A bank that thinks web 2.0 is all about social media and not social banking runs the risk of limiting their strategies to marketing, and not considering that the whole banking structure may change in the future. We don’t need more widgets and viral seeded ads, we need an understanding of the power of peer to peer finance.

    Thats why I differentiate between video/photo/multimedia media sites and transactional social economy communities.

  3. Anirudhya, some basic questions what is the difference if Ritwik Ghatak or Satyajit Ray or Anil made films about poverty OR if Danny Bolye made it? Why and what has Indianess to do anything with a story which attempts to capture the spirit and hope of human beings, inspite of their supposedly bad living conditions. Whether the movie was set in Mumbai or London or Newyork, what difference does it make to the fact that there are similar poor children waiting to make something of their lives instead of ending up dying on the streets, all over the world! I really dont know when we Indians come out of our self reference and Narrow mindedness and appreciated that poverty and human stories embedded in poverty are global and that sentiment is what explains the euphoria that Slumdog has created. I hope you would have thought and discussed your opinions with people across the world before wasting your energies and the webspace of PFC

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