Welcome to the Interact Congress Blog. We have invited some leading European guest bloggers to share their observations on interactive marketing and communication skills within the integrated experience. The blog also offers you a first opportunity to interact with your peers.

For more information about the congress, please visit www.interactcongress.eu

Friday, 23 March 2007

Getting your thinking right for the Digital Networked Society

Back in 2000 I started talking about the Digital Networked Society, and with Interact coming up, it struck me that lots of firms still haven't gotten the thinking on track yet. Everyone's doing 'digital', but not enough are doing 'networked' and even fewer doing 'society'.

Here's the back story: in 2000, while the markets were crashing and depression spreading through the internet commerce community like an epidemic, you couldn’t help but realise there was something major still unfolding. It cropped up in Digital Training Academy class again this week and reminded me how easy it is to forget, so here’s a recap of the weight all three words carry: Digital Networked Society. Sure, embracing digital channels is a smart move for the business, but for the savvy marketer it's not just about being on the network, it's about being networked. And for the real smart communications teams its about engaging with that society on its own terms.

• Malleable data
• No marginal cost in data duplication
• Interoperable; crumbled barriers to data migration between systems

• Ubiquitous connectedness
• Metcalf’s law that value correlates to nodes
• Democratisation of access
• Decentralisation of conversations; activity on the edge rather than the core
• Information wants to be free

• Completeness of inclusion
• Myriad communities
• Social connectedness
• Gemeinschaft (community) and Gesellschaft (society) Tönnies

So the Digital Networked Society is fundamentally different from the analogue, poorly connected world we’ve left behind. Some of this is new, but some of the elements of the Digital Networked Society are easy to trace and possible to predict. And it’s the cumulative effect of the D + N + S that creates the scale of change. Each paradigm in isolation would herald vast upheaval, but combine them and you have something seismic.

The Web 2.0 culture is a core part of this for sure, and a massive leap in making the concepts more accessible to more publishers. If you'd like to chat more then drop into some of the postings on my personal blog , join the debates at Interact 2007, and get your firm to play its own part.

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