domingo, março 22, 2009
Capitalism Risk Level
A corporate Web 2.0 tipping point is on the horizon?
The key message for corporate leaders seeking to harness the benefits of Web 2.0 is that simply deploying the software is not enough. The challenge is to ensure that the company's corporate culture is infused with values of openness and transparency. Of course, at many corporations that's easier said than done.
As the management guru Gary Hamel observes, "While the Web was founded on the principle of openness, the most honored virtue among senior executives seems to be control. Most companies have elaborate programs for top-down communication, including newsletters, CEO blogs, Webcasts and broadcast e-mails. Yet few, if any, companies have opened the floodgates to grassroots opinion on critical issues."
These are tough challenges. But Web 2.0 is finally gaining momentum in corporations, with an urgency increased by the current economic climate. It's now reasonable to predict that following the Web 2.0 revolutions in personal interactions and politics, a corporate Web 2.0 tipping point is on the horizon.
Yes, CEOs Should Facebook And Twitter - Forbes
sábado, março 14, 2009
O que ai vem
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Yet a huge financial crisis, together with a deep global recession, if not something far worse, is going to have much wider effects than just these.
Remember what happened in the Great Depression of the 1930s. Unemployment rose to one-quarter of the labour force in important countries, including the US. This transformed capitalism and the role of government for half a century, even in the liberal democracies. It led to the collapse of liberal trade, fortified the credibility of socialism and communism and shifted many policymakers towards import substitution as a development strategy.
The Depression led also to xenophobia and authoritarianism. Frightened people become tribal: dividing lines open within and between societies. In 1930, the Nazis won 18 per cent of the German vote; in 1932, at the height of the Depression, their share had risen to 37 per cent.
One transformation that can already be seen is in attitudes to pay. Even the US and UK are exerting direct control over pay levels and structures in assisted institutions. From the inconceivable to the habitual has taken a year. Equally obvious is a wider shift in attitudes towards inequality: vast rewards were acceptable in return for exceptional competence; as compensation for costly incompetence, they are intolerable. Marginal tax rates on the wealthier are on the way back up.
Yet another impact will be on the sense of insecurity. The credibility of moving pension savings from government-run pay-as-you-go systems to market-based systems will be far smaller than before, even though, ironically, the opportunity for profitable long-term investment has risen. Politics, like markets, overshoot.
The search for security will strengthen political control over markets. A shift towards politics entails a shift towards the national, away from the global. This is already evident in finance. It is shown too in the determination to rescue national producers. But protectionist intervention is likely to extend well beyond the cases seen so far: these are still early days.
The impact of the crisis will be particularly hard on emerging countries: the number of people in extreme poverty will rise, the size of the new middle class will fall and governments of some indebted emerging countries will surely default. Confidence in local and global elites, in the market and even in the possibility of material progress will weaken, with potentially devastating social and political consequences. Helping emerging economies through a crisis for which most have no responsibility whatsoever is a necessity.
The ability of the west in general and the US in particular to influence the course of events will also be damaged. The collapse of the western financial system, while China’s flourishes, marks a humiliating end to the “uni-polar moment”. As western policymakers struggle, their credibility lies broken. Who still trusts the teachers?
These changes will endanger the ability of the world not just to manage the global economy but also to cope with strategic challenges: fragile states, terrorism, climate change and the rise of new great powers. At the extreme, the integration of the global economy on which almost everybody now depends might be reversed. Globalisation is a choice. The integrated economy of the decades before the first world war collapsed. It could do so again.
On June 19 2007, I concluded an article on the “new capitalism” with the observation that it remained “untested”. The test has come: it failed. The era of financial liberalisation has ended. Yet, unlike in the 1930s, no credible alternative to the market economy exists and the habits of international co-operation are deep.
sexta-feira, março 13, 2009
Ask the Global Mind ?
In the future, searches won't only query what's being said at the moment, but will go out to the Twitter audience in the form of a question, like a faster and less-filtered Yahoo Answers or Wiki Answers. Users would be able to tap the collective knowledge of the 6 million or so members of the Twitterverse.
"You put a question out to the global mind, and it comes back," Mr. Chaffee explained. "Millions of people are contributing to the knowledge base. The engine is alive. You get feedback in real time from people, not just documents."
Here's how it might work: Someone posts a query on, say, the best basketball shows (is @The_Real_Shaq listening?), or what to look for in a single-malt Scotch, or where to have a drink at 6 p.m. in New Orleans. Then the Twitter community (hopefully) comes back with useful links or other information.
It's the difference between asking the Twitter community where to go for drink after work and searching for any relevant tweets about a bar in New Orleans, which you can do now, and which may or may not yield relevant tweets.
Twitter users who make themselves useful have the added incentive of attracting more followers to their feeds. Like AdWords, this really only works if there's scale, and of the active Twitterverse transcends over-sharing journalists and social media "experts."