Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Mass is Past - Emerging Micro-Markets

Social Networks are the most powerful examples of how "social media will become like air". They operate as interlinked ecosystems, which incubate and nurture relationships between people and the content they create and exchange. Expect to see an increasing number of social networks, offering different market segments ways to connect and form communities.

As these communities become more defined, size becomes less important, and traditional "bigger is better" pursuits to service "mass" culture will evaporate.

As size becomes less important, Chris Anderson's "long-tail" principles, where many micro-markets are linked together, will reshape how we communicate with one another.
Watch closely as old world news journalists, many whom are being displaced, work in partnership with technologists to produce content that both machines and humans can read. In fact, what humans read, will become a subset of machine-readable content.
Why? It will be more profitable.

Social Networking platforms, and other online communities are also altering how sellers engage and interact with buyers. Being a merchant, I am fascinated with what this will mean for e-commerce? What impact will these developments have on the store-based retailing.

Recognizing that the primary challenge for business is now directed at managing the pace of change, we will see continued pressure to de-leverage traditional business structure, its overhead and how it is organized. Watch for major changes in staffing, and ask to read the job descriptions.

But, executive leadership, remain entrenched in top-down, and "branding" concepts relevant just a few years ago, but now "fatigued". This is a strong impediment to true engagement in building relationships and trust through sharing content, and connectivity with smaller micro-communities. Watch for changes in the year ahead.

As we begin to cope with the superhuman rate of expansion in global information production, it is likely that smaller teams of networked professionals, operating with minimal direct overhead, will be better positioned to leverage disruptive technologies, apply them, ground them into profitable form, and thrive.

Stay tuned here as we turn our attention to the impact of these changes on the business of media, art, lifestyle shopping, and more.


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