Sunday, 28 September 2008

Twitter Develops Its Social Influence

You will, I'm sure, have read alot of posts about Twitter and its value or otherwise as a social networking tool.

I have dabbled with it for almost a year and in some ways never really 'got-it' beyond mere amusement value and the 'having a coffee' running gag.

The recent changes seem to make Twitter a more interesting environment and I've just come across a couple of sites via Tweets that you might find worth checking out.

Blog Vibrations Twitter Link which led me to Twitter 100 a neat idea that lets you see 100 twitter follows on one easy to read page.

I think the Twitter experience is a great example of thinking carefully about what any particular social networking idea can 'do' for you rather than getting transfixed about what it 'is'. In my case I am now using it as a source of ideas and opportunities rather than merely a 'gossipy' communications 'tweet'.

The short and snappy posts provide a continual roll of potential points of interest, so now I'm feeling less gullible about getting involved with Twitter in the first place which is clearly a good thing!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

A Critical Eye On Big Business and Big Media

No doubt the machinations of the global finance crisis will have you thinking about what is really going on in the world. What can you believe, what is certain and who can you trust.

In all probability the scales may be falling from your eyes and you might be taking a much more critical look at the way big business and big media try to socially influence our understanding.

The whole credit crunch is the dire consequence of the manipulation of our consumerist and materialist drivers. These drivers have been skill-fully manipulated for decades.

Herbert Marcuse critical theorist and philosopher pointed out the Big Media was creating a "numbing and homgenizing effect upon the consciousness of the mass of the population that inhibited reflection and normalized conformism" (Alvesson Wilmott - Making Sense of Management p69)

Fellow critical philosopher Eric Fromm also drew attention to the view that mass consumption ensured that we all became passive and unreflective consumers, chasing goods positioned in our minds 'as if' we needed them that were created out of a resource consuming unsustainable and wasteful system.

As anyone who has seen their savings devalued, possibly lost their home, lost their job, the end -game of the excesses of mass consumerism and the rampant materialist excesses of hedge fund managers with their less scrupulous financial cronies are de-humanizing and repressive. These people are the nemesis of the customer and the entrepreneur. They leach off the hard work creativity, risk taking and innovativeness of others.

As Fromm argues; the ever increasing need for goods undermines happiness and continuously spurs us on to feed the habit. A habit that was fed by the 'money pushers'of the last couple of decades.

Jurgen Habermas offers a key to critical thinking when he urges us to remain skepical about ideaology of any sort. He claims that ideologies are 'functional false beliefs' that are so widespread they are widely assumed to be true and we are made to believe they are true too (James Gordon Finlayson - Habermas p11)

Maybe the Credit Crunch will instigate a global consumer re-think and the scales will actually fall of the eyes. How much are you going spend this Christmas? and perhaps more significantly...why?

Monday, 8 September 2008

Thursday, 4 September 2008

When Hospitality Retailing Goes Wrong

So the Clowns at a major UK hotel chain have really shown how gullible they are when it comes to brand reputation and the impact of word of mouth.

The complete lack of understanding of even the basics of social influence has shown that certain people in the organisation seem to be completely out of touch with the mood of the nation.

That said, I suppose they might realise that Corporal Tomos Stringer is actually defending their freedom to be inept! The fact the organisation concerned won't even comment is an indication of responsibility that must permeate the whole organisation. Something they might do well to learn about by a spell on the front line.