• This workspace has been inactive for over 11 months, and is scheduled to be reclaimed. Make an edit or click here to mark it as active.
  • If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Buried in cloud files? We can help with Spring cleaning!

    Whether you use Dropbox, Drive, G-Suite, OneDrive, Gmail, Slack, Notion, or all of the above, Dokkio will organize your files for you. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free today.

  • Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) was #2 on Product Hunt! Check out what people are saying by clicking here.



Page history last edited by Chris Saad 13 years, 11 months ago

Chris Saad



Note: If this is your first time, please read 'What is this' first.







Our lives have many containers. Containers group things together so that they can be managed, distributed or understood more easily. Some of these containers are very old. Marriage for example, is a container of individuals who have a common goal for creating a life together. Some containers were created more recently. Albums, for example, are a container for individual songs compiled together for easy marketing and distribution.


These containers, however, are starting to disintegrate into their constituent parts. Marriages, for example, are starting later in life and more frequently ending in divorce. They are very often turning into dynamic combinations of steps and halves. Album sales are giving way to songs sold one at a time on iTunes and played on iPods.


This disintegration takes many forms and touches many aspects of our lives. The effects can be both positive and negative. A common result, however, is an increased emphasis on empowering an individual to make more granular choices as a free agent.


In the case of Marriage, individuals are now less likely to tolerate unhappy circumstances or bad pairings for the good of the family unit. They are choosing themselves - their individual needs - over the container.


In the case of iTunes, individuals are now able to have more personalization when choosing the songs they buy. They don’t have to buy a whole album just to get the 4 songs they really like. In fact, they can fill their iPods with just the songs they love.


In these two examples, we see two ends of a broad spectrum of changes occurring all around us as containers disintegrate and life becomes more personal. I call this disintegration process and the resulting personalization “The Revolution of Me”.


In this text I propose to highlight some examples of disintegration occurring in our social, political and economic containers, and examine how it results in greater personalization. My personal interest is in Technology, so I will tend to focus on anecdotal evidence in my field of interest. It is my hope that others will contribute to the text to fill in the blanks, provide supporting evidence and expand the other sections.




In recent years The revolution of Me has increased in tone and tempo as new technologies help us to better visualize and broaden our human scale network. Technology is actually a key driver of disintegration. 


Technology allows us to find and communicate with more people at once. It helps us to reduce the cost of distribution to, in some cases, zero. It helps us bypass mediators and magnify the once insignificant to make it (seem?) profound. It helps us to visualize broad patterns and it can also cause us to lose ourselves in the noise.


In effect, technology has changed our perception of things while also giving us the power to far exceed our grasp. With this new found power, we find new economies of scale that diminish the need for our containers and enable greater personalization.


Continuing with the examples of Marriage and Music; We now have access to more potential mates, more potential temptations, more potential opportunities for travel, more work pressures and more distractions than ever before. Our exposure to more content and greater voyeuristic insight into other people’s lives has demystified our social structures to the point where people feel overwhelmed with choices for a partner, more distracted by travel, work and entertainment and more aware of how taboos and social conventions don’t always apply.


In addition to these the social changes, technology simply allows us to be in close contact from greater distances. The idea that people had to live in the same home in order to nurture and connect to each other is losing value for many. The result is an almost global selection pool.


Music has been affected by technology in other ways. It is now economically feasible to distribute music at almost no cost. The cost of a single download pales in comparison to shelf space in a record store, packaging, shipping and materials. Music production has also decreased in cost dramatically to the point where anyone with a computer can make a song. With the barrier to entry, production and distribution reduced to next to nothing record labels are being forced to compete in other ways.


Shipping individual songs electronically now costs the same as shipping the whole album. With access to more customers, artists and record companies are forced to cater more to individual tastes of audiences who now except to pay only for what they love. And there is no shortage of music to choose from.


So as we see in these two very different examples, technology has had a profound effect in creating a personlization revolution.


It is important to note that, in this text, I do not propose to pass judgment on the trends, only highlight them. For some, the breakdown of the family container of Marriage may be horrifying. There may be plenty of psychological, spiritual or economic reasons why this trend is not constructive for society. Or maybe not. This does not change the reality that the trend is indeed occurring.


What follows is a more detailed exploration of these two examples, as well as many others in the areas of Media, Business, Politics, Family and War.




Further Reading: The themes of this section are explored in more details at these locations: We The Media, ClueTrain MainifestoMedia 2.0 Workgroup 




There is no more audience. There are no more users. There are only participants. Participants in a human scale network.


Participants do not passively consume what an author, creator, director, developer, editor, critic or media outlet has to publish. They do not accept the authority. They do not sit silently ready to have their eyeballs converted into cash.


Participants participate. They create their own original information, entertainment and art. They remix their own version of mainstream pop culture - copyrighted or not. They post their thoughts, publish their fears and fact check every announcement faster than any newsroom. They share with their friends to discover the quirky and interesting, making it an instant blockbuster - at least for 15 minutes.


Participants have ideas to be declared. Individually they are a market of one. Collectively they are a trend, a publishing powerhouse and a voice to be heard. A voice that has something to say.


Participants have changed the way media is published and interactions are monetized. But more broadly and importantly than that, they have changed the flow of global information from top down to bottom up. They are changing the tone and tempo of the conversation.


Elvis? Who is he? The audience who has left the building. The only people left are fellow participants. We are all authors, creators, directors, developers, editors, critics and media outlets. We are a million voices saying one thing - listen to me.




In this section I will write in the voice of Media 2.0 participant. Why? Because we are all Media 2.0 Participants.  I will compare and contrast the practices of old media against the expectations and demands of the participant.




Observers sit on their couch and surf channels. Participants surf the web. Observers are sampled by Neilson boxes. Participants can be carefully monitored – each and every one. They click to watch and click away just as quickly as soon as they lose interest. The act of clicking, while seemingly small, is profound. It reveals what Neilson boxes only hint at. It’s a gesture of Attention - or of being ignored.


Professional content producers think about media production in terms of creating and distributing content – usually at great cost and with high production values. We need to broaden our definition of production. Production and participation can now take the form amateur journalism (blogging), amateur radio (podcasting) and amateur video (video podcasting).


Uncomfortable? It doesn’t stop there. The definition of production is broader still. Commenting on a piece of content is an act of content creation. So is voting. So is clicking. So is browsing the web.


By an act of clicking, or linking, or sharing, participants are co-creating their media experiences. They are changing the face of their own personal front pages.




In more traditional media, broadcasters told us when to watch, and what to watch. They selected the programming and scheduled it on their own timetable. Online, we decide the schedule. We decide the format and the presentation.


We don’t want to watch it on your website; we want to watch it on ours. We don’t want to navigate your menu, we want to link to it directly. We don’t want to check back for updates, we want the content to come to us. We don’t want to use your rating system; we want to invent our own. We don’t want to listen to what we’re told; we want to tell you what we thought.




Advertising was fun, for you, for a while. You made us sit there for 5 minutes at a time watching people jam messages down our throat. Most of them didn’t even apply to us. We don’t care about that sale or those shoes. We care about our own personal and individual interests. Interests that are both specific and diverse.


If you have a message to tell us, make it compelling. If you have something to say, make it worth listening to. If you have something to sell, make it worth buying. If you have something worth knowing, we will hear about it without you yelling about it. We have friends, social networks, personal profiles and search engines which will tell us what we need to know when we need to know it – our schedule – not yours.


If you want to reach us, come and find us. Talk to us, have a conversation with us. Ask us questions. Listen to our answers. Act on our answers. Empower us to share your message. Because the only person who can share your message, is us.




Are you an editor? Do you have final say on what appears on your broadcast, on your site, in your magazine? Does your publication deal with broad categories of things? Is it for the mainstream – the masses, the lowest common denominator? You lose.


We are sick of hearing a little about everything and not really knowing anything. You constantly miss-represent or gloss over the real facts. We don’t trust you anymore. We are not the mainstream, we are individuals. We want to know things – real things – not just the things you think are worth sharing.


They call us ‘The Long Tail’. Don’t know what that is? Read the book by the same name. In short, The Long Tail is the opposite of everything the mainstream is. Amazon, eBay, Google, YouTube and many others have made a fortune by understanding how the tail works.


If you want to tell us about cars, we want to know about engines. If you want to tell us about engines, we want to know about pistons. If you want to tell us about pistons, we want to know about rivets.


Get specific or get out. Get intimate or go away.




The YouTube generation is all this and more. YouTube caught lightening in a bottle because it allowed the audience to become the publishers. It allowed the viewers to become the editors of the front page. It allowed us to watch what we wanted when we wanted. A click was the most powerful thing around.


But YouTube is still only part of the way there. They still trap our personal profiles and content in their own data warehouses – their silos. Next up – even more user control. Control of our identities, our own profiles, our own content and our own value.




Comparing Blogging and Journalism is like comparing Text (print) and Video (TV). Where there is a change in medium there is always a change in message - or at least the way the message is composed, shaped, delivered and consumed. Blogging has had the same effect on the journalism world. Neither is particularly worse or better and neither will kill the other.


Before digging much deeper, it must clarified that there are a broad spectrum of bloggers; even broader than the spectrum of journalists. The definition of blogging includes kids keeping journals about their lives on MySpace right through to serious professionals who investigate and report on news much like traditional journalists.


The reality, however, is that irrespective of the kind of blogger or their intentions (personal gratification, personal brand building or even making money by building an audience), the result is often the same. An individual telling a passionate audience a very personal story. A story filled with bias, timeliness and opinion. A story that is published in near-real time and is open to participation by the audience.


Often a blogger will connect with a very small audience. In the case of a young girl on Myspace, she is only reaching her friends and family. In the case of a tech blogger he or she is probably only reaching the small community of readers they have managed to pull together. The fact is, though, that the writer has connected with his audience on a very personal level. Their style, substance and 'news' often resonates in ways that mainstream, mass-market news never can.


Because the salience of news is not determined by its impact on the world, but rather the impact on you - personally. Your daughter doing well at a school play is probably the most important news of your day.


The result is that blogging often has a total lack of objectivity and is often done by 'amature' reporters.


Why is the absence of objectivity and saturation of amature reporting such a desirable thing to so many people? Because the growing social media population implicitly understands that bias has always existed, that we have always told stories to each other (without the need for intermediaries) and that people are in the best position to tell their own story. Story telling is a basic human need.


An employee working in a company can blog about their strike better than a reporter can. A CEO involved in a controversy can tell his side of the story with more passionate and verve than an impartial reporter. So can his shareolders.


The characters in these stories now have a voice.


There will always be a place for high level reporting however. There will always be individuals who specialize in packaging the bigger stories for a broader audience. Even still, the existence of personal reporting and storytelling can and must play an increasing part in the process of composing these overiews.


In this new storytelling ecosystem, mainstream media companies have an opportunity to play the role of human-powered aggregators. To encourage their communities of interest to submit their perspectives for aggregation into a broader story.






Please expand




Please expand




Please Expand




Please Expand




Please Expand




Further Reading: The themes of this section are explored in more details at these locations: The Starfish and the Spider 


Customers, employees, markets and corporations are increasingly speaking in casual voices.


This phenomenon was thoroughly predicted and discussed in the book “The Cluetrain Manifesto”.


To summarize, The Cluetrain Manifesto predicted the blogging and social media revolution whereby the blank, benign committee vetted language of “The Corporation” would give way to increasing customer/market demand to hear real answers in a normal, casual and conversational dialogue with individuals inside a corporation.


The book encourages corporations to enable their staff to engage with markets on a one-to-one basis to provide authentic engagement.


Now that blogging and other social tools have emerged and are becoming increasingly common place, the Clutrain’s predictions have become an accepted reality. As a result, a number of other trends are emerging that continue the theme of the disintegration from containers.






Remember when the PR, Sales and Support departments handled most of the external communication with customers? They always knew the right thing to say.


The problem now, however, is, the right thing, is not what customers and users want to hear. They want to hear the real thing.


If you write the code for your software company, then your users want to hear why you made the architecture decisions you made. They want to know why that bug occurred. They want to know what you think of the latest software innovation.


If you sing in a band, they want to know what inspires you. They want to know what it’s like living on the road – meeting other celebrities. They want to know about the emotional journey you’re on and how it informs your music.


If you’re an accountant they want to know what you think about new legislation proposals, new accounting practices, the latest accounting scandals and your ideas for corporate governance and account keeping.


And on it goes. For almost any job or industry you can think of, people want to have a personal connection with their service providers and they want honest, ongoing conversation.


You are no longer just the programmer, celebrity, accountant or knowledge worker. You are also the best person to speak with authority about your niche in the world. You are your own PR department. Except we don’t want to hear PR speak – we want you to listen, and we want you to hear our reply. We want a dialogue.


Blogs are the most obvious way these sorts of interactions are occurring; however there are also social networks, wikis, forums, newsgroups and more.


Add it to your Job Description. Clear it with the PR department. Make sure your boss knows. Read books about corporate blogging and the social media revolution. A good place to start is with the “Cluetrain Manifesto”, and then move onto “Naked Conversations”.






With individuals in a company becoming increasingly visible, the container we once thought of as “the corporations” – an entity with a single, homogenized voice - is now disintegrating into a chorus of loosely coupled individuals.


As a result, individuals are starting to (either deliberately or not) create an identity for themselves that goes far beyond that of their employer or their resume. Their own personal brand.


Try it. Do a Google search for your name and you will begin to see an emerging digital identity – a living resume of your online legacy. This is especially true in the IT world where early adopters have rushed to try new Web 2.0 tools. It will become increasingly true in most industries everywhere.


You’re resume is now just a starting place. Not only will employers vet you with Google, but they will increasingly expect to have heard of you through their social networks and online interactions. They will check your LinkedIn profile and see how many friends you have on Facebook or Twitter.


Those who have made a lasting and visible online impact with unique and relevant things to contribute to their niche have created a personal brand and have a real and significant advantage in the job market.


Similarly, corporations who look for and recruit these personal brands will be able to make better hiring decisions, and put themselves in a position to positively influence their partners and customers.




One of the inherent results of individuals communicating outside the boundaries of their corporate containers more regularly, especially on the Internet, is that their network of influence becomes visible.


Your LinkedIn contacts, your blog comments, your Skype list and other recorded forms of connection and collaboration can now be measured and valued.


Consider that while your resume details your level experience and qualifications, your online interactions demonstrate your value as an influencer – and individual brand.


This, then, has implications for salaries, hiring strategies, bonus packages and more.


Increasingly (and appropriately) corporations will have to factor in this reality as a significant part of an individual’s potential contribution and value to the corporation. And pay them accordingly.




The trend for increased individual visibility in the marketplace has both positive and negative effects on lifestyles and job satisfaction.


Where once corporations and PR departments shielded staff from the burden of after-hours support, spin and general customer hand-holding – now staff are increasingly tasked with taking a personal interest in the success of their products, services and customers.


This will, of course, result in longer work hours, added stress and a general change to the way most people approach their work and home life – and the boundaries between.


On the flip side, however, by extending their reach of influence and creating their own personal brand, employees have the opportunity to become more than just commodities. To set their own terms and find employers that respect their capacity for community engagement.


This careful ballancing act changes the relationship between employer and employee to one of master and subordinate to more one of partnership and mutual respect. In the end, though, corporations themselves may give way to loosely coupled groupings of specialized individuals who are determined to get something done.






These changes highlight how the container known as ‘The Corporation’ is now disintegrating into individual, personal brands.


As a result, staff are increasingly working from home offices, and changing jobs more frequently. This is not necessarily a bad thing for employees who are able to find positions that keep them passionate and engaged.  It is indeed ‘The Revolution of Me’ because the individual ultimately benefits.


It can, however, become a burden on corporations as they continually try to compete not just for market share, but for the right people and talent to fulfill their HR needs.


The key, in fact, is to stop considering staff as ‘Human Resources’. They are no longer commodities. The corporation needs to redefine its role from one of an all encompassing entity to a loose affiliation of individual partners who are focused on common goal.


Corporations need to start considering staff as partners and service providers. Staff must provide quality services to the corporation, and the corporation must have clear, reciprocal value propositions for its partners.


Or partners will move on… or worse.




It’s not all bad news for Corporations though, because as partners move around, they take your message with them (as well as your corporate secrets – but that’s another story).


If you treat your partners well and they remain passionate about your message, they become evangelists.


Evangelists create more evangelists – and evangelists are free PR departments. Nothing is as powerful as a personal recommendation and an impassioned rant from a friend who tells you all about a product or service they just discovered. If markets are conversations, then Evangelists keep the conversation on topic. Hopefully your topic.


The secret for business in an increasingly personal world is really not a secret at all. It’s a basic truth. Build a great product or service and people will pay attention. Don’t – and they won’t care or will actively resist you. As many are now starting to understand, the best form of marketing is building a great product.


If however, your partners don’t feel passionate about your company and its products, then you can end up with brand atrophy on a grass roots level.


Huge marketing budgets can only stem the tide and generate so much buzz until the increasingly efficient word-of-mouth networks reveal the truth. 



Further Reading: None listed yet


Unshakeable family units have given way to an increase in constantly evolving family clusters.




If you return to the core truth about Marriage, it is an institution designed to lock two people into a contract for the sake of raising children in a stable, predicable and balanced environment. It is a container for building a successful life and offspring together in a family unit.


The institution has its roots in ancient history when work was hard (and potentially far from home) and survival was even harder. People had limited choices for partnership (mostly inside their immediate geographic area), life expectancies were short and life moved very slowly.


In modern times, in developed countries, life looks very different. Work is not always hard or far away. In a lot of cases it can even be done from home. Survival is not as hard. Technologies and medicines have ensured that life spans average around 80 years and dense cities and the broad Internet access has created a hyper-choice for companionship.


Is life better? Who’s to say? Perhaps our fast pace, shallow connections and increased life spans have only served to further isolate us from real relationships. The purpose of this text is not to judge.


It is clear, however, that the contract of Marriage now exists in very different times.


It seems natural, then, that Marriage as an institution (a container) seem to be changing shape as well.


From Wikipedia article about ‘Divorce’: 

“In many developed countries, divorce rates increased markedly during the twentieth century. Among the states in which divorce has become commonplace are the United States, Canada, South Korea, and members of the European Union, with the exception of Malta (where all civil marriages are for life, because civil divorce is banned). In addition, acceptance of the single-parent family has resulted in many women deciding to have children outside marriage, as there is little remaining social stigma attached to unwed mothers in some societies. Japan retains a markedly lower divorce rate, though it has increased in recent years.”


So with changing social pressures, perhaps a change in the success rate of the basic social contract of Marriage is both healthy and expected adjustment? Perhaps a change in definition from a formal container into more of a loose cluster of familial associations will ultimately serve our new living conditions better.






Marriage is a highly emotional subject for many. Our initial instinct when asked ‘Is an increasing divorce rate a normal and healthy trend’ is to scream no! How can it be?


When people get divorced they are hurt and betrayed. They leave with emotional baggage and are forever affected by the painful experience. “No” seems like the only obvious answer.


Without passing judgment one way or another however, consider that many of the downsides of divorce outlined above are actually not from the act of divorce, but rather our impressions and social taboos associated with it.


Social expectations and pressures result in many feeling a great deal of pain when trying to make the decision to separate. Once the separation occurs a lot of animosity and anger is based not on the failures of the other person, but rather on the failure of the marriage, wasted time and other external factors.


Besides the normal feelings of losing a long term loving relationship, perhaps a change in social dogma to families as flexible clusters of people who love each other, some who might have been married at one time or another, would improve the resulting fallout from divorces. Perhaps if the act of disolving a marrige was more normalized, the time would not be considered wasted, but rather well spent with a partner - a learning and growing experience for both.


Similarly, if parents and adults recognize families as more flexible clusters and behave accordingly, children would also experience less emotional turmoil when relationships change and evolve.




Further Reading: The themes of this section are explored in more details at these locations: Participant Democracy


As usual, Government is the last to catch up. Elections are now increasingly being funded by thousands of small donations over the internet. Campaigns have started earlier, and they go deeper into the grass roots – using Twitter, Blogging, YouTube and others. In the 2008 US presidential elections, for example, they have all used the word ‘conversation’ to describe their run. They are trying to engage the general public in a two way dialogue… to personalize it.




In reality, however, the buzzwords they use don’t matter. In today's society, the candidate with the most money typically has the loudest voice – the largest platform from which to shout their message from the media rooftops.


As some say – money is free speech. That might be distasteful for most, but it is often a truism.


In previous elections, money was provided by corporations and wealthy individuals (who typically made their wealth from or with large corporations). This means that large containers (Corporations) had huge influence over the political parties and candidates. Containers have their own agenda – an agenda that does not necessarily align with individuals - even the indivudals that particpate in the container.


In the last two US presidential elections (04 and 07) a change has begun to take shape. Individuals are starting to donate more money to campaigns that corporations.


Richard Dean raised about USD$25m – most of which came from small donations over the Internet.


This pales in comparison to how much Barack Obama is raising in the same way. His campaign has tapped the power of individuals like never before and its fundraising results have outstripped all the others. Individuals. You and me.


When campaigns are financed by individuals, the needs of individuals become more important than the issues of lobbyists working on behalf of special interest groups.


This is a paradigm change for campaign financing and empowerment of individuals to influence the issues and priorities of politicians.




Once elected, however, politicians are less concerned with raising money (at least for a little while) and more concerned with fulfilling their campaign promises to their corporate owners while spinning the media.


The problem, however, is that most mainstream media is more concerned with the latest scandal or entertaining sensation than in hard hitting investigation about the depth and breadth of government policy.


Social media (covered in more detail in the Media 2.0 section) further impacts the Political landscape by broadening the political discourse. Individual bloggers and influencers in each and every niche can now express an opinion about how new policies impact the lives of their audience.


Democracy depends on an informed citizenship. Social media not informs, but activates citizens. It empowers them to understand the implications of each policy that affects their lives. It builds transparency into every machination and gives each of us the power to participate in the conversation.


With social media, opinion polls with loaded questions become redundant. Our opinions will be heard loud and clear – about every step, every single day.


Government 2.0 means that, for the first time on a country wide scale, people have real power to execute their authority and power. The result is a kind of real-time democracy where the people are able to be thoroughly informed about, and exert influence over the day-to-day machinations of their representatives.




Social media has another profound impact on Government and Politics.


As described in the Media 2.0 section, geographic boundaries dissolve in the face of a distributed, global platform for discussion, interaction and sharing.

With a global conversation we are each developing an unprecedented understanding of our fellow human beings.


Governments can no longer point to a distant land and declare “They are the enemy, and they are evil”. How can they be evil if I chatted to a bunch of them on Twitter and read their blog posts?


In actually, we will learn, they are simply hungry and afraid. They want shelter, love and happiness. They want the freedom to express themselves, to raise a family and hope that their children will grow up in a better world. Do these sound familiar? Of course they do. They are universal human drivers.


Thomas Friedman told us a decade ago that no two countries with a McDonald's have ever gone to war. Just as global trade creates global dependencies, global conversations incrementally reduce the fear of the ‘other’ when others are actually our virtual neighbors.


These are two distinct and complimentary trends – increased real-time influence over decision makers, and an increasing sense of global citizenship. Taken to the extreme logical conclusion, these tends may influence foreign policies so that they begin to adopt a more global context. It could even change the definitions of compassion, charity, tolerance and war.



WAR 2.0

Further Reading: None listed yet


War was about countries (containers) fighting other countries. Terrorism, while not a new tactic, has increasingly become stateless fighters who are rallied by an ideology rather than a government. Battles that used to be about out killing and out stripping the enemy of land and supplies is now about turning individual hearts and minds.




Please expand

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.