The Network is the Computer, The Network of Conversations is the Message
If the network is the computer, then the network is the message.
We all remember the visionary sentence: The Network is the Computer. It’s one of those powerful taglines with lots of meaning. It made Sun Microsystems very popular and provided an excellent framework to read the evolution of the web, from Java to OpenSource to Social computing and Social Networks.
Today there’s no doubt that the network is the computer but we are also very close to “the Network (of distributed conversations) is the Message”, and the “People are the Brand”.
See, we had computers and we needed to network them together. But the truth is that we really networked people and what they have to say through their computer.
Newspapers are dying one after the other, consumers are loosing trust into Corporate sites and Google, even Google, with a “node centric” paradigm is also challenged, at least in theory by Facebook, Twitter or future versions of the same ideas.
Whatever point of view we take: Blogs and social sites are taking back hours of online time people used to spend on search and sites.
One good example of the network paradigm advantage is Glam (as in this excellent old story from J Jarvis), which has captured a huge audience and value by applying it to the women media area.
So, what does it mean for marketing ?
We believe that companies will keep optimizing and developing their own properties but will also grow and nurture a “branding ecosystem” which is an extension of the brand’s operations and culture (on which they have no control but can influence).
This is what we call Social Ecosystem Optimisation ™ and consist in two very simple activities:
- make the influential people within your target communities like you
- help the people in your target communities who like you become influential.
It requires brand to be in the network all the time (not just watching it) demonstrating near-constant vigilance and engagement.
It has implications for how the message is constructed (potentially crowd-sourced), how it travels into the network and how it is measured.
Do you also see ‘Social Ecosystem Optimization(tm) as a must do for brands from now on?