Lift11: Brian Solis, Social currencies

Live and India-lagged notes from the Lift11 Conference in Geneva. Might contain errors and personal opinions. Use the comments if you spot nasty errors.

Here to talk about the sociology and the psychology of what is happening because of social media.

We each lead three lives in the real world: public, private and secret lives. But online, we’re all guilty of blurring the lines between the three: sharing, oversharing, and TMI.

What can the future do for you? No, what can you do for your future. It’s in your hands. Your reputation is already working for or against you online. What you don’t know about your reputation is what is hurting you.

In the US, schools check people out on Facebook, and debt collectors hunt them down there to expose them publicly.

Welcome to the Egosystem. What you say online contributes to your social capital (term borrowed from traditional economics). None of these services are really measuring your reputation or influence, your capacity to trigger cause and effect. They’re measuring a semblance of your social capital — a credit score for the social web.

Brian is concerned. Worried enough about his credit score in the real world! Now he has to worry about his credit score online? Businesses and media are taking these “ratings” at face value.

There is a hotel in Las Vegas who ask you for your Twitter handle or Klout score, and they give you special treatment if you have a lot of followers or a high score. They want to borrow your social capital. Maybe not bad, but misperceived in the value they add to the space.

So, pretend that is your real credit score. Brian is there to help you figure out how to make that number rise. *steph-note: where is the limit with gaming the system?*

We are measured by what we say and the company we keep. Guilt by association. Even scarier: big banks are already using social media to assess credit risk. Who is connected to somebody on Facebook they do not know?

What works against you also works for you. Be mindful of what you’re sharing and how it contributes to your score. The fact is that businesses are starting to use these numbers to treat people differently.

Says Brian: on Quora, you’re encouraged to boost the number of followers and upvotes, which boosts your social capital. *steph-note: is that really how simply it works? I would have hoped it would be more subtle — use the maths that allows to factor out popularity…*

Social capital is measured by the amount of trust and reciprocity in a community.

What do you expect to get in return for what you share online?

Your stature within a community is based on your investment in it. Measures:

  • Trust
  • Relationships
  • Reciprocity
  • Authority
  • Popularity
  • Recognition

Brian shares less, but always being mindful of what it contributes. Various accounts to experiment.

The hotel in Las Vegas is not the only one to reward “influencers”. We’re being rewarded for stuff we’re not even cogniscent that we’re doing.

Problem: we’re being measured in every network differently. Take Twitter: 140 characters, missing context, and you’re going to measure me on a tweet and whether it’s going to be retweeted? The currency of social media is action: how can I trigger action with my tweet?

*steph-note: action is not the only valuable thing in the world — or is it? are ideas without action worth anything? could one argue an idea is an idea in potentiality?*

There is value in sharing experiences together, for example on Twitter. But is it measurable?

Influence vs. social capital. Plot Reach vs. Relevant. Difference between trust, authority, reputation, influence, social capital, etc… How to use these social tools to our advantage?

Giving back is the new black. American Express open forum. Toms shoes.

Not just boosting your score, but benefiting your social graph.

The Twitter box is your opportunity to invest in your value, your social capital.

Key message: it’s in your hands.

Privacy as we knew it is gone.

2 thoughts on “Lift11: Brian Solis, Social currencies”

  1. I hate to “hijack” but it seems comments are closed on the former post, and I just wanted to say that I do love Swiss pragmatic point of view “Under Swiss Law, ToS that are 34 pages long are not enforceable, even if you make people click “I read and agree”. Will not stand in court.” but that it opens a huge ocean of potential problems…

    On these notes, I’m afraid we are at the beginning only. But also at a very primitive level, counting the followers being like couting only the links, in a time where it was easy to be ranked. I can perfectly imagine a more powerful tool coming, and trying to discriminate the real influencing power (quality of interaction, kind of followers, are they “real persons” or only followers baiters, company pages, and so on)

    And I have something to resent you when you’re back, about Quora, I’d be curious to know what you think

    Sorry for this catch all comment 🙂

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