I live in the future…

This book by Nick Bilton, technology writer for the New York Times is pretty high on my must read list. Although like most books these days there seems to be a lot of repetition, there are a couple of thoughts in here that I think are going to be fundamental for brands moving forwards.

The key thing to me is the idea that people are increasingly using other people they trust to act as curators and anchors for their information consumption. Swapping traditional institutional trusted voices for a new set of more personal voices.

When people do this, they are inherently at the center of their own network (as well as being a part of someone else’s).

This in turn puts brands on the edge’s of these networks rather than in the center. It also backs up what we are already seeing as social media conversation drives toward a communications environment that is like friends and family recommendations on steroids.

The really big question for me in all of this is how many brands are really ready to take on this new reality? A world in which influencing multiple people centric networks means more than controlling messages, and where the creation of compelling and valuable experiences almost certainly means more than traditional marketing techniques can deliver.


2009 was definitely the year where social media started to really change the way brands had to think and act in relation to their customers. There were three articles I wrote as a series for Mashable.com. Maybe a little long in the tooth today, I still think there are some important thoughts in there. The most important being that brands must get much more comfortable with the idea of influence rather than control.

Apologies that the first one is a bit long. I half expected it to be edited, so was a little surprised when it wasn’t!

The posts are linked to here: http://on.mash.to/dgFQra

Fast Company

Last year I had a great opportunity to be a guest blogger for Fast Company magazine. The idea was to have a post a day for five days. The challenge was that I actually only had an afternoon to write all five as it was the first day of my vacation. Thanks to the patience of my wife, it mostly came out pretty decent. (And I still think we have a lot to learn from Star Wars when it comes to brands)

The posts are linked to here: http://bit.ly/aUt5qR

Moving forwards

I’ve let this blog languish for a while, so I decided to delete the old (not very good) stuff and instead I’ll be slowly adding some better stuff up here over the next few weeks and months. To start with, I’m going to consolidate a bunch of things I’ve written for different blogs around the internet.