Clay Shirky author of the business book “Cognitive Surplus: creativity and generosity in a connected age” and of the Ted Talk “How Cognitive Surplus will change the world” coined the term “Cognitive Surplus” to “describe the free time that people have…to engage in collaborative activities” particularly online. People worldwide are allocating their free time to connecting with each other instead of passively watching TV alone. Fueled by enthusiasm and passion, they are using their creative energy outside of work to fulfill social goals, not economic ones.
Shirky, a social media theorist and technology optimist, sees Cognitive Surplus as part of a positive evolution. “Now, we have technology that allows us to create, not just consume,” he says, urging former couch potatoes to take advantage of new opportunities to make a difference. “The wiring of humanity lets us treat free time as a shared global resource, and lets us design new kinds of participation and sharing that take advantage of that resource.” This new resource means that “every year there are a trillion hours of participatory value up for grabs.”
The trend toward online collaboration is emerging as the Internet shifts from “old technology“ to “new technology.” Old technology locked users within specific systems, while new technology embraces openness and chaos. As it matures, it lets its users develop their own rules and protocols. New technology is very effective at coordinating people with different skill sets and competencies in many different places. The Internet now lets individuals pool their Cognitive Surplus to accomplish major goals at minimal cost in a variety of areas, including software development, content creation, art, design, entertainment, crisis management, and much more.
Even though Cognitive Surplus has social ramifications, it doesn’t always focus on making the world a better place. Even the LOL Cats Shirky says represents a joint effort. “Even the stupidest collaboration still shows that they’ve tried something.” It’s all part of a selection and learning process, wherein “the gap between doing nothing and doing something often provides the freedom to experiment with the creation of junk.” Individual motives don’t always have to be noble. LOL Cats are just a stepping stone to better things. He likens LOL Cats to the events that followed the invention of the printing press, when erotic novels got published before scientific journals. So, don’t worry if your kids are addicted to LOL cats; in the grand scheme of things, it is for the greater good.
If you are looking for a solution to a problem, chances are that someone has already found it and might already be sharing it with the rest of the world. You might even be able to access an online tutorial detailing the steps to follow to implement that solution. And, if no one has looked for a solution yet, a community of experts awaits on line to research your problem for you. People online constantly ask, “How do I do this?” or “Is this possible?” Those who freely share their solutions are fueling a virtuous circle of improvements and building in an accumulation of knowledge.
You have already started a blog with the intent of making it your job. You provide relevant information and views on important topics. You blog frequently and people are returning to your site for information or entertainment. Your blog entries now rank in Search Engines and drive new visitors to your website. You can measure the results of your efforts with your blog’s PageRank and Domain Authority. Personally, you are well on your way to establishing yourself as a thought leader in your “community” or industry. In short, you have found your niche. You have successfully launched your own blog. So what’s the problem? Well, you can’t make a living with it, at least, not yet.
So, how do you monetize your blog, the traffic it draws and your blogging skills? How do earn money from your blog without compromising its content or your integrity? Charlie White and John Biggs, authors of “Blogger Boot Camp: Learning How to Build, Write, and Run a Successful Blog” – offer some valuable insights that inspired the following tips:
The donate button is popular among bloggers whose site’s traffic volume is not sufficient to be monetized any other ways. PayPal, the most commonly utilized service for this purpose, may have been overused. Donations work only if your blog is connected to a charity or a worthy cause. Without that strong connection, asking for donations does not work. The online audience has gotten tired of seeing buttons that say “buy me a beer” or coffee, and that killed the random personal donation button.
One of the world’s most prestigious financial conferences, The Buttonwood Gathering brings together leaders in economics, finance, government and business. Thought leaders such as Alan Greenspan, Mohamed El-Erian and Robert Shiller discuss important developments surrounding global finance. The conference marked the perfect occasion for us to introduce this exciting new offering, in part because the getAbstract team began their initial stages of development for the product just one year ago at The Buttonwood Gathering 2012.
New York, NY, October 29, 2013: At today’s Buttonwood Conference, getAbstract AG and The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) unveiled Compressed Finance, a new mobile knowledge platform that aims to curate and compress the world’s most salient economic reports and outlooks, as well as country and industry profiles.
The increasing complexity of today’s global economy makes access to the right information essential for finance experts who need to make intelligent decisions. However, these leaders are often confronted with information overload and time constraints.
Drawing on its 15 years’ experience as a leader in the compressed knowledge field, getAbstract fills business professionals’ need for current and accessible financial and economic knowledge. Working together to create Compressed Finance, getAbstract and The EIU curate the most relevant content from renowned institutions – such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Economic Forum, the Brookings Institute, the European Central Bank, and many more. getAbstract then compresses the information into concise two- or five-page summaries, which customers can access online via their PCs and mobile devices (Android, iPhone/iPad, Blackberry). The new Compressed Finance platform is available to subscribers on www.getabstract.com.
Thomas Bergen, CEO of getAbstract AG says, “Providing managers worldwide with relevant and easy-to-access business knowledge has been getAbstract’s goal since its foundation 15 years ago. In the aftermath of the recent economic crisis, partnering with The Economist Intelligence Unit to provide decision makers with compressed financial reports, outlooks and profiles from experts was the next logical step and an excellent addition to our growing library of compressed business.”
“If what you desire is a robotic, static thinker – train them. If you’re seeking innovative, critical thinkers – develop them” (Forbes.com)
Organizations implement leadership programs to expand their employees’ competencies, skills and abilities to execute current and future business objectives. A development program should teach leaders to drive performance effectively and to help their teams excel.
Your corporate goal is to build a pool of talented people who can lead your workforce and who can generate business improvement, innovation and profits.
Great leaders gain a lot of their knowledge by accumulating years of experience, but good organizations accelerate their leaders’ professional growth by investing in programs that develop their skills. Of course, human resource senior managers need to know how to plan their companies’ leadership development efforts and how to measure, track and evaluate how well each programming investment meets its goals.
In his book “Give and Take,” author Adam Grant makes the case that most successful people are Givers. He warns, however, that “knowing how to build on ‘the strength of giving won’t necessarily ensure success,” and provides techniques so that Givers can prosper without negatively impacting themselves. His underlying assumption is that Givers seek opportunities to help others unselfishly create meaning at work and in their life. They find satisfaction and recognition by sharing information and their expertise with their network. Their Archilles’ heel is their trusting nature, which exposes them.
What can individuals and corporations do to foster a culture of giving? What are five ways Givers can prosper while protecting themselves from issues such as disappointment and burnout?
Givers and corporations need to protect themselves from Takers. Takers have a disastrous impact on teamwork and collaboration. As Adam Grant explains, “Takers are fakers.” Takers communicate by dominating others. Typically, they want all the credit for someone else’s work or ideas. While their communication style, lack of openness and curiosity is not conducive to creativity or innovation, perhaps most damaging of all is that they deter others from contributing or sharing information by spoiling the reason why Givers decide to participate in the first place.
What if the key to individual success was making the world a better place and helping others? What if the secret to success is “givers prosper?”
As Zig Ziglar wrote, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” Adam Grant also sees a connection between success and being a Giver. His book, “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success,” divides the world into Givers, Takers and Matchers. He shows that Takers and Matchers end up in the middle of the income ladder, while Givers hold the top and bottom ranks. So, what are the attributes of Givers, Takers and Matchers? What separates top-ranked Givers from unsuccessful, bottom-ranked Givers?
Givers, Takers and Matchers share certain characteristics, as Grant shows. They differ most in their communication style and how they interact with others. Givers encourage creativity and excellence, and offer help with no strings attached. However, they are not completely selfless dreamers. Successful Givers protect themselves from burnout and help others while still pursuing their own goals. They are prudent with their time and energy.
Givers’ unselfish ways earns respect and admiration. Their method of communication is “powerless.” They don’t assert their power or dominate others, but instead they gain influence by their behavior, which includes demonstrating vulnerability, sharing, listening, and showing interest and curiosity in others. A Giver validates other people so they open up without feeling manipulated or coerced.
Today, a blog is an essential marketing tool for promoting yourself or your business. A successful blog can drive awareness of — and traffic to — a company’s website by leveraging SEO (search engine optimization), which generates more organic traffic and increases visibility. A compelling blog is integral to positioning your brand, product or services; establishing customer relationships; driving new sales; and retaining existing clients. Combined, these positive results lead to more revenue..
Increasingly, people seek blogs as the go-to source for easy-to-consume information. As a consequence, your audience members are learning more from blogs — and making more decisions based on the information they gather from blogs. You can make your blog into a fantastic vehicle for establishing your niche within your (or your company’s) industry and for solving your readers’ problems.
Twitter can be a valuable tool for gathering up-to-the-minute collective intelligence and ideas from experts, leaders and conceptualizers. Indeed, the social media platform has changed enormously how we collect and collate information by directly connecting us to the innovators and industry leaders of our day. Our personal commentary on news, insights and trends is thereby not only reliable but immediate and efficient, too. Indeed, one of Twitter’s leading benefits—over any other social media platform currently available to us—is that it enables us, both as business people and individuals, to network with—and learn from—others.
Indeed “business leaders who truly embrace the concept of sharing and helping are worth following,” says Peter Shankman, who is globally recognized for his alternative thinking regarding marketing and social media, and features on our list of top 10 business leaders to follow on Twitter. “They’re few and far between,” he continues, “but the ones who understand that there’s tremendous benefit in sharing their knowledge, not only for the good of all mankind, but financially and revenue-wise as well, they’re the smart ones, they’re the ones worth following and retweeting.”
You don’t have to be an advertising executive to see how things have changed in the world of advertising and marketing. In his book, “Uprising: How to Build a Brand and Change the World by Sparking Cultural Movements,” author Scott Goodson explains how marketing and advertising have evolved from crassly hawking wares to consciously promoting a social movement. Goodson explains the difference: “Companies and brands must learn to stop talking about themselves and to join in a conversation that is about anything and everything but their product.” Goodson describes the importance of attracting attention without being obvious or manipulative: “There’s a fine line between associating with a rising idea and trying to co-opt it or turn it into a banal sales pitch.”.
From 25 years of industry experience, Goodson crafted the concept of “Movement Marketing” as a new way to build a brand. As the founder of marketing and advertising agency StrawberryFrog with offices in New York, Amsterdam and Sao Paulo, Goodson has started his very own movement. He has been a guest speaker at Cambridge University, Columbia Business School, and recently spoke at a TEDx event with the theme, “Mass Movement Mania.” In addition to writing a column for Forbes, Goodson passionately sets out to help businesses and industries engage with movement marketing by speaking at business and marketing conferences around the world. Read the rest of this entry »