Steve Nelson moderates Beyond Social Media at CoreNet Northern CaliforniaPreview

I recently had the opportunity to moderate a panel at the CoreNet Global Northern California monthly meeting held on the campus of NetApp in Sunnyvale. The panel was hosted by Jay Sholl of CBRE Global Corporate Services.  The topic of “Beyond Social Media” was chosen to move the discussion beyond the basics of social media participation and marketing, and look at some of the significant trends and trajectories.

Prior to introducing the panel, I introduced the topic:

Whatever degree you actively participate in social platforms, everyone is increasingly influenced by the people who do, from the news you are presented, to the advertising you see, to the results of every internet search you do.

In 2012, social platforms have become part of the internet’s infrastructure, and our panel focused on some of the implications of that evolution, as social media moves beyond destination sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and becomes part of the fabric of business operations.

Now, social networks are not new, they’ve just become accelerated and amplified with the internet.

But going back in time, you can pick almost any era and see that webs of social influence have always shaped our society:

In 1948 and for the next 50 years, in Framingham, Massachusetts, every resident’s health history was tracked based on their network of family, friends and associations, demonstrating the influence of the network on health conditions and choices.

Google “social network” for any century:

17th & 18th century: The “Republic of Letters, a transatlantic intellectual social network based on ongoing and forwarded correspondence, influenced the Enlightenment.

12th century: a structure of portraits of Angkor Wat in Cambodia documented a very Facebook-like network showing who was connected to whom.

Even prehistoric social networks have been discovered and documented.

We’re in the midst of a series of phases, with some accelerating trends, that show that social networks are continuing to evolve.

The web itself, emerged in the 1990’s as the linking of information to information. Information is linked to information am searching for.

The social web, emerging in the past decade, creates a graph not just of information but of people. The social graph shows how that information is consumed, shared, influenced.  Information is linked to information linked to someone who is linked to me.

And finally, we’re moving toward what some call the “internet of things”, where the graph contains not just information and people, but many of the “things” in our lives, from buildings to cars to appliances. Information is linked to information linked to someone who is linked to me who is linked to the door I just walked through.

Three trends are especially propelling these phases:

You are always on: via the high speed internet that you are connected to without even thinking about it.

Your data is everywhere: data you contribute, data that is taken from you

Your data has meaning: advanced algorithms that scan this graph of information, people, and things and derives real meaning from it.

These are the big trends, this is where things are moving beyond social media, and I was pleased to introduce the panel who would be exploring these trends:

Christy McNabb Dunlap, Brian Bailard, Terence Craig, Dr. Arnold Lund

Christy McNabb Dunlap, Sr Director, Business Technology and Enterprise Intranet, Robert Half International, speaking on “Social Media in Business”

Brian Bailard, VP of Global Strategic Accounts, HootSuite, asking “Should You Care about Social Media?”

Terence Craig, Founder, CEO & CTO, PatternBuilders on “Social Media and Big Data”, and

Dr. Arnold Lund, UX Industrial Innovation Lab Manager, Software and Analytics Center of Excellence, GE Global Research on “Social Networking in an Industrial World”

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