Posted by Sateen Sheth on Jun 21, 2012
The conversation started with the team sharing some key trends on the rapid growth of social media and mobile. You can see related videos on the topic here and here; among some of the more astonishing statistics – 1 in 5 couples meet online, Facebook has overtaken Google in terms of weekly traffic, and schools are now starting not to hand out email addresses. The general consensus among the group was that these technologies have moved past fad status; they are becoming ubiquitous and changing the way we interact with one another.
Bhoutik shared an overview of the ServiceSpace social media network as well as the various forms of content shared through our social channels. We currently have over 50,000 followers on our ~15 managed social platforms; the reach of those followers (e.g. friends of friends), however, is in the several millions! This lends to the viral nature of social platforms, where messages can reach a large number of people in a short period.
Neil followed with a fascinating discussion on some future trends in the space. He touched on a wide range of subjects, ranging from design principles of major social platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook (focused on the seven deadly sins) , to social gaming (read more about Cow Clicker here and here), to the (notso) far future where augmented reality and Sixthsense technology will become a part of our daily lives.
There were several key themes that emerged from the lively group discussion that followed. Some of them include:
1.) We should all be critically thinking about how we use newer technologies on multiple levels – personally as well as a part of the ServiceSpace ecosystem.
2.) Rather than placing value judgments on newer technology and thinking of it as good or bad, it is perhaps a better framing to think about how we can mindfully use these tools to support meaningful engagements aligned with the ServiceSpace value system. Recognizing that social, mobile and associated technology is here to stay for the immediate future, it is imperative that we use them in a manner that remains true to our core beliefs.
3.) We should continue to leverage newer technology to better connect and integrate the online with the offline, which includes developing online functionality that makes it easier to organize locally, helping move people from looser online ties to deeper ties through offline engagement, and sharing and spreading small ripples online that are created by offline interactions.
4.) It would be worthwhile to take advantage of the inherent benefits of many of these newer technologies - for example, the ability for content and information to reach a large number of users in a short p (e.g. via social sharing and viral distribution) and the new form of virtual organizing that connective technologies enable.
5.) We may want to consider ways to move people from engagement on our 3rd party social platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) that have been built on design principles not aligned with ServiceSpace values, to deeper interactions on ServiceSpace designed platforms such as ServiceSpace.org, Dailygood, etc.
6.) Considering the rapid adoption and high usage by younger adults, we should be contemplating ways that we can use newer technology to build bridges with the next generation of ServiceSpace members.
7.) Considering that new technology is rapidly changing and evolving, we need to be mindful about how and when we experiment on new products and platforms.
These are both exciting and scary times! Through it all, it has become clear that we must stay grounded in our core values in the midst of such drastic change. This way we can strive to protect beautiful and ancient wisdom in a modern and increasingly more complex world.