Social Currency & other Web musings

Social Currency

As a people, Social Media has permanently changed our behavior patterns. Used effectively, a social site forces us to publically identify who we are, which creates a positive consequence – we take ourselves much more seriously. In a social Web, I think we’re better at recognizing change and adapting to it (no matter how difficult it may be), because we’re now more connected than ever.

At the rate which technology changes our Information Age, we are forced to acquire a greater sense of social progress and, as result, we tend to become a much more forward thinking tribe of people. I don’t think this is temporary. I think it’s only going to increase.

In a future society where almost everyone holds in the palm of their hand the ability to contact just about anyone they want if they are crafty enough, no one is limited but for the sake of their own imagination.

But here’s the kicker. It’s through our imagination that we push progress forward.

This is the Social Currency.

The new currency will be found in the tribes we create for ourselves. Because there will be so much data in the near future, what’s most important will not be in who has the most, but rather in what the numbers amount to.

It’s not about how many friends you have on your AOL buddies list, how many followers you have on Twitter, how many likes you have on Facebook, or how often you check into a location on Foursquare, etc.

It’s about exactly who is on your buddy list, who is retweeting you, and exactly who is liking your Facebook status.

In a much more Social Web, it’s important now more than ever to listen to exactly who your audience is. Who are they? What matters most to them?

As of 2012, there are over 400 million tweets per day, over 2 billion likes/comments on Facebook per day, over 1 hour of videos uploaded to YouTube per second, over 38 thousand posts per hour on Tumblr, and as the number of niche social sites grow, so too will the amount of activity increase as the rest of the world comes online with time.

Amidst all of that data that keeps growing and growing, listen closely for the right signals.

Much like the Dot Com bubble and the idea of getting online for the first time was treated like a fad, do not mistake what Social Media represents in the grand scheme of things. It is the oversimplification that is very much necessary in order for us to help get the majority of the world online for the first time, or if not for the first time, then to help them actually be able to use the Web to their advantage, and to do so with a lot more ease.

It’s no longer point and click. We’re now entering into a world of scroll and tap. Scroll through miles and miles of data until you find something of interest and tap to find out more on it. All with very little effort and in mere seconds. A lot of more complex things are going to keep getting easier, simpler, and more minimal. The technology does the work for us – sorting through all of that data to help find the right thing of interest.

Finding what is of interest amidst all of the countless data is the key. The quicker and easier you make the process the better.

I think the next big step is connecting all of your previous interactions on your mobile device to help simplify and speed up your next interaction.

For example:

If I search on Google for the name of an artist, and then I open YouTube, the device I am using should have a history of what I previously searched for on Google. And because it’s all within the same OS ecosystem, there should be no problem pulling that off by sharing across my other apps on my device (provided, of course, only with my opted in choice to allow them to do so).