Where is the new communication model provided by social platforms and social communities taking us in a global sense? How will the game changing online communication model MDEC, affect the human race? Have we finally found a delivery system that allows the vast majority of the world’s population to have a voice and can this online model deliver a fairer more equitable, democratic global society? Can social platforms deliver the vision that Karl Marx wrote about in the late 1800’s, equality for all the working class across the world? Unlikely, but it is an interesting thought.
A Communication Revolution in the Digital Age
I have previously written about Clay Shirky’s Ted Talks – here he speaks about how communication has increased in major leaps at different times over the last 400 years or so. These leaps have had different effects on the human race as they entered everyday use.
- The printing press, telegraph, telephone, radio, TV, WWW and now social platforms, are all individually disruptive technologies.
- The latest addition, Social platforms, allows a radical new online communication model Multi-Directional Expressive Capability (MDEC).
- This MDEC model is facilitated by the fact that over 1 Billion can communicate in an instant across the huge expanse of our world.
It is likely that the total number of social platform members will increase as the older 4 billion dumb phones in the world are replaced with smart phones over the coming 3 to 4 years. This will increase membership figures dramatically.
The iPhone now comes with Twitter installed, this has led to a sharp increase in Twitter membership. In fact these new smart phones will be many people’s only computer and link with the rest of the world, which increases these smart phones’ importance.
The increased level of MDEC communication, which will take place as a consequence, will allow increased group communication and will be a digital marketer’s dream.
- It is accepted that we have already witnessed the power of social platform in the Arab Spring Uprising. The social platform’s influence in these uprisings is beyond debate.
- The occupy movement also benefited from this new technology.
Time will show that these were seminal moments in our history, demonstrating the power of social platforms for the first time.
Where will this MDEC communication have it’s greatest effect?
The authorities and vested interests around the world are already worried by these new developments, hence SOPA and PIPA; and these are just in the developed world.
The Chinese Government’s banning of Facebook was because it could not control the information being shared by the online community. This has led to embarrassment for the Chinese Government. This was so worrying for them the easiest action to take was to ban Facebook.
The greatest democratic effect of the social platforms and the online space will be felt in under developed countries. Why? We, in the developed world, do not value our democracy as we have had it since most of us were born so we take it for granted. The last tyrannies being the Third Reich in Germany in Western Europe and the old Soviet Union in Eastern Europe. Heading east and south from there is a different story.
From the old Iron Curtain to the Northern Pacific Ocean down into the Indian sub-continent, African and Indonesian people have being subjugated, brutalised and enslaved for centuries.
With the advent of social platforms and cheap mobile technology, their voices will now be heard and you’d better believe that they will shout from the roof tops. These peoples have not had the luxury of a vote. Large percentages of Europeans and Americans do not bother to exercise their right to vote. In under developed countries people are dying to be able to exercise their voting franchise.
Social Revolution for the Developing Countries will lead to Social Business.
So how is this revolution going to play out? That is an unknown quantity.
What is known historically is that when the revolution takes place and the new order emerges, the new middle classes become educated, then consumerism takes hold. In my title I referred to Karl Marx, maybe I should have mentioned Adam Smith, otherwise known as the Father of Capitalism.
I believe, and this is a personal belief, that the emergence of social platforms and the associated ability of the online communities to participate in the MDEC communication model will lead to the emergence of the Twin Pillars of online social development.
- greater social democracy
- greater consumer demand
These Twin Pillars will be facilitated by the emergence of “pull, rather than push marketing ” and the already established online mantra of “Values and Principles”. Whereby companies are judged by the online community on their online behaviour and ability to deliver edu-tainment value that intrinsically motivates their community.
How will business benefit?
In an effort to get his leg-over, as is the want of the large percentage of teenage males, Zuckerberg stumbled into the most disruptive technology the world has yet seen. After all desperation is the mother of invention. This disruptive technology is still not understood by businesses worldwide; some have grasped the concept, others not so much. With the emergence of new middle classes in the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China, consumer demand has increased dramatically.
As this greater social democracy expands it follows that this facilitates greater consumer demand. Social Business and the MDEC communication model has allowed early adopter businesses such as Ford and Coca-Cola to steal a march on their competitors. These early adopter businesses are already building their online communities, by providing them with edu-information which helps their communities in their daily lives. They are adding value and online communities respond to this instinctively.
So these Twin Pillars become synonymous and the online community already embrace this. Not only do they embrace it, they actively participate in the MDEC communication model by sharing and adding content of their own. They do this out of a sense of:–
- Autonomy – the urge to manage their own lives
- Mastery – the desire to get better at something that matters
- Purpose – in the service of something greater than themselves
These are classic intrinsic motivational behaviours and are currently driving the growth of online communities. In another great Ted talk Daniel Pink explains the power of intrinsically motivated people.
Social Platforms are still a new technology; their role in society is still being defined. One thing is clear, they are disruptive in lots of areas of everyday life. What is not clear to many, due to fear of change, is that they are not proposing anything new, they are just a much more efficient delivery system for the delivery of business objectives and give all businesses the ability to be international at the flick of your key board.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues at Cork Digital Trend Setters for their input into this article, you know who you are 🙂