Archive for the ‘Sociology’ Category
This is indeed a time of change, regardless of how we time it. In the last quarter of this fading century, a technological revolution centered around information, has transformed the way we think, we produce, we consume, we trade, we manage, we communicate, we live, we die, we make war, and we make love. Castells, End of Millenium
In Castells‘ last volume of his trilogy, End of Millenium, the author begins with examining the Soviet Union collapse, then discusses the problems faced by Africa and the so called rise of the fourth world as a result of social exclusion. Africa is presented as the exponent for the Fourth World which consists in millions of homeless, incarcerated, prostituted, criminalized, brutalized, stigmatized, sick, and illiterate persons. [..] But, everywhere they are growing in number, and increasing in visibility, as the selective triage of the information capitalism, and the political breakdown of the welfare state, intensify social exclusion. In the current historical context, the rise of the Fourth World is inseparable from the rise of informational, global capitalism. Probably, some good examples in the western world would be the French riots in 2005 or UK riots of this year.
On the other side is the example of Japan where the income inequality is one of the lowest levels in the world. Although the social landscape was transformed by modernizing without Westernizing, Japan’s cultural identity was preserved. We discussed the importance of cultural attibutes of the information society in our previous post about The Power of Identity.
The most fundamental political liberation is for people to free themselves from uncritical adherence to theoretical or ideological schemes, to construct their practice on the basis of their experience, while using whatever information or analysis is available to them, from a variety of sources. [..] The dream of Enlightenment, that reason and science would solve the problems of humankind, is within reach. Yet there is an extraordinary gap between our technological overdevelopment and our social underdevelopment. Our economy, society, and culture are built on interests, values , institutions, and systems of representation that, by and large, limit collective creativity, confiscate the harvest of information technology and deviate our energy into self-destructive confrontation. [..] There is nothing that cannot be changed by conscious, purpseive social action, provided with information, and supported by legitimacy. If people are informed, active, and communicate throughout the world; if business assumes its social responsability; if the media become the messengers, rather than the message; if political actors react agains cynicism, and resoter belief in democracy; if culture is reconstructed from experience; if humankind feels the solidarity of the species thoughout the globe [..] maybe then, we may, at last, be able to live and let live, love and be loved.
We explored Castells views, the marxist leading analyst of the Information Age and the Network Society. In the following posts we will look into a more scientific book called Globalization, Uncertainty and Youth in Society by Hans-Peter Blossfeld, Erik Klijzing, Melinda Mills and Karin Kurz, in order to identify some key problems of our current society and find solutions to them.
Sociology is ‘the systematic, sceptical and critical study of the social. It studies the way people do things together.’ There are many different perspectives and it encompasses the widest global issues right down to the individual and their inner world.
Although sociology is also a social science similar to my other subject choice of economics they work in different ways. Economics uses data to predict future spending etc, but sociologists are researchers and theorists. There is a degree of overlap, but the range of sociology is much wider and so sociology methods are more varied. Researchers find data, from experiments or data from everyday life (such as population statistics or Census data), and use is to draw conclusions about the world and society, Theorists go further and want to understand how this data fits into ‘the grand scheme of things’ and want deeper understanding of what is going on. Data alone cannot speak for itself and a wider understanding is necessary to gain real insight from the data. Theorists in sociology develop these wider ideas and help develop theoretical explanations for the data and how it fits in the world.
Although there can be some problems with the way sociology is studied. Firstly they are part of a changing world, one finding may be true one day, but not the next. Secondly, sociologists are part of society so it is difficult to remove oneself from what you are studying. Lastly, sociology knowledge becomes parts of society as it is known and therefore changes society. This cycle of knowledge has an impact of society itself.
Origins of Sociology
The Enlightenment caused a change in society. There was a move to rational thinking, empiricism and science and there was more focus on the individual.
Auguste Comte wanted to understand the ‘human drama’ of his time. He believed that if people had the knowledge of how society operates they would be able to build a better future. He divided his new discipline into two parts: how society is held together; and how society changes. From the Latin ‘to study society’ Comte descried his study as sociology.
Previous to Comte philosophers had been imagining the ideal society, not measuring and analysing society as it was. Comte wanted to develop a scientific approach to study society, thus he was proponent of Positism – to understand the world based on science.
Society is always changing and there have been many great leaps in society and how we look at it, for example during the Industrial revolutions. However, there is a more recent change that is of current interest to my research question: The Cyber Revolution. The Cyber Revolution is linked to the development of digital technology and the spread of information technologies that affect how we communicate and how it has become mainstream. The World Wide Web is a great example of this, launching recently in 1991 it is already embedded in all of our lives and is considered an international technology. This changes surrounding this digital age is a rapid change with large effects on society. The textbook tries to break down these changes:
The Digital Age: The shift of computerisation of life. The way there are computers is most everyday things.
The Cyborg Age: The way humans are becoming more adapted to using these technologies.
The Information Age: The rapid growth of production and availability of information and data.
The Network Society: The change in the way we are networked together through mobile phone and the internet.
The Virtual Age: The mediated nature of reality. We live in a world that is increasingly less direct and instead of face-to-face we communicate through computers and phones.
Another large aspect of sociology is that there are different theoretical perspectives of looking at things which guides thinking and research. Below is a simplified map of Western sociological theory, 1700-2000.
Classical/Traditional Perspectives of Sociology
‘Functionalism is a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system those parts work together and interconnect.’ This perspective looks as social structure (finding stable patterns of human behaviour) and social function (all social structures have a function in society, either it be a handshake of family life). Merton also speaks of social dysfunctions, which cover any social patterns that have undesirable consequences for the operation of society. The critique for this perspective is that although this perspective was dominant until recently it presumes that society is stable and orderly. It also does not take into consideration inequality, such as class/gender/ethnicity issues.
‘The conflict perspective is a framework for building theory that sees society as an arena of differences and inequalities that generate conflict and change.’ This perspective complements Functionalism as it focuses on division and inequality. The critique of this perspective is basically the opposite of the Functionalism critique. The Conflict perspective glosses over the shared values and interdependence in society and focuses on the conflict and inequality. Both the Conflict and the Functionalist perspectives could also be criticised for being too broad and glossing over the smaller factors that make differences in society such as family and class.
Social action perspective
Contrary to the broad views of society seen in both Functionalist and Conflict perspective, the Social action perspective focuses on the smaller factors. One founder of social action theory is Max Weber who emphasised looking at a setting from the point of view of the people in it. His approach emphasised how human meaning and action shape society. A critique for this perspective is that this perspective helps us understand how people experience society and how they do things together. But by focusing on these smaller details broader social structures may be missed.
There are also contemporary perspectives such as feminism (looking as gender difference), Anti-racism (looking at race differences), postmodernism (looking at differences and complexities) and globalisation (looking at the larger world and how societies fit in it). The next post will further explore globalisation because I believe it is an important in relation to my research question. The globalisation of industry and society may lend some answers to why independent music can survive if the music industry has been made global.
Information and graphs summarised from:
Macionis, J.J. & Plummer, K. (2008). Sociology. A global introduction. Essex, England: Pearson Education Limited.
Macionis is a professor of sociology and a Prentice Hall distinguished scholar and works at Kenyon College in Ohio and is considered one of the most prestigious liberal arts colleges in the U.S. Professor Ken Plummer works at the University of Essex.
Sociology is the study of the forces of social integration and how they change in space and time. According to Macionis and Plummer sociology is
“the systematic, sceptical and critical study of the social.”
So it challenges preconceived ideas about the world like any decent science but what is the social? For example we mostly think of ourselves as individuals who make our own decisions whereas many sociologists, such as Durkheim (1858-1917), believe that many of the decisions we make are contingent on social factors. Durkenheim noticed a correlation between the less socially integrated (single people, men, the rich) and higher suicide rates. He argued that people would have made different decisions had they been born a different gender, social class, in another time or another space.
Sociologists are interested in the way that different groups (ages, gender, racial etc.) are affected by society as a whole. In particular, the definition of gender or age or race differs depending on location in space and time. For example in the Victorian era in Britain, women were expected to dress much more conservatively than they are today. Maconis and Plummer sum this up succinctly,
“At the broadest level, sociology sets out to show the patterns and processes by which society shapes what we do.”
I think that the word “show” here is very important, it deftly avoids the question, as a sociologist, am I required changing the world or just observe it? Or are critical observations enough to change it?
Sociologists claim some statement and then build up an argument which supports this statement. To build an effective argument sociologists use a variety of methods such as case studies, statistical analysis, questionnaires and interviews. For example Durkenheim (above) used statistics to back up his claim that individual decisions are often not that individual and are contingent upon society
In my first blog post called Self and business in social networks, I was refering to the concept of self and four methods through wich self-consciousness is achieved. In his first trilogy volume called The Rise of the Network Society, in the chapter Prologue: the Net and the Self, Castells explains that the first step in an informational society is the organization by recognition of itself based on cultural attributes. This was the fourth method of self identification described in my post: 4. cultural perspectives – depending on the origin of the individual. In the second volume The Power of Identity, Castells defines identity as a source for the meaning and experience, distinguishing between three forms and origins of identity building:
- Legimitizing identity – introduced by dominant institutions e.g. nationalism
- Resistance identity – generated by the dominated minorities opposed to the institutions of the society
- Project identity – based on some cultural values, a new identity is built
e.g. feminism challanging patriarhal family, reproduction, sexuality and personality on which societies have been historially based
e.g. green culture, smart meters, preserving nature
In the final chapter called Conclusion: Social Change in the Network Society, Castells sees the information networks we presented in our previous post as the organizers of activity and sharing information, as producers and distributors of cultural codes.
I see a similarity between Castells’s forms of building identities and Nietzsche’s history types:
- Monumental history – study of nation’s heroes conducted in order to invoke them in all their greatness 
- Antiquarian history – local history of specific social and civic communities , history as consolation and reassurance, as the positive continuity that provides a people with its identity 
- Critical history – the sort of history one utilizes when the monumental structures fail to inspire and when antiquarian musings become mired in unproductive thoughts and a conservative motionlessness 
Wikipedia differentiates identity as personal and social, where social identity is defined as a person’s conception and expression of their individuality or group affiliations (such as national identity and cultural identity).
In our next post we will look into Castell‘s last trilogy volume End of Millennium.
 F. Nietzsche, Untimely meditations
Just reading Repko’s book on Interdisciplinary Research. Very interesting to consider that,’ Interdisciplinary research is a decision-making process that is heuristic, iterative, and reflexive. Each of these terms – decision-making, process, heuristic, iterative, and reflexive-requires explanation.’
I’m finding this very intriguing, especially in relation to one of our courseworks that involves outlining the process involved in searching for and (hopefully) finding material on a randomly selected question that has something to do with the web at its heart. It is interesting that although we think of searching as ‘seeking’ there is sometimes an element of filtering or of looking for material that might reinforce one’s original ideas.
Have also been reading on economics in Afghanistan, Intelligent Agents (not secret ones), hypermedia, (just discovered The Humument – an old favourite of mine is about to be released as an app) bots (including narrative bots and social bots – here’s one I made earlier) and privacy. At present these don’t strictly appear to be to do with my original question, but some of the topics keep re-presenting themselves to me and so I’m keeping an eye on them, to see if they might develop into a personal theme. Have also been reading on spimes, hyperreality and skeuomorphs, and came across this blog from Matt Jones on The Internet of Things.
Have a good introduction to Sociology (Giddens) but need to also check to see what isn’t in it, as it’s quite an old copy.
I was writing in my previous post that we don’t really realize where we are heading, but the change is already here, we are already in this cybersociety. At the London Conference on Cyberspace last Tuesday, Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda emphasised the social benefits of being online. She stressed that it was vital to deal with the 30% of Europeans currently not online. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15544517
In the forward of the book Engines of Creations by K. Eric Drexler, Marvin Minsky says the following: How can we predict where science will take us? [..] It is virtually impossible to predict which alternatives will become technically feasible over any longer period of time. [..] It is equally hard to guess the character of the social changes.
Probably one of the best fortunetellers of today, Manuel Castells, Professor of Sociology at Berkley University, is widely regarded as a leading analyst of the Information Age and the Network Society. In the following blog posts we will try to pick up his main ideas by selectively reading through his famous trilogy.
Castells defines space in The Rise of the Network Society, the first volume of his trilogy, as being the material support of time-sharing social practices. Further he explains by time-sharing social practices I refer to the fact that space brings together those practices that are simultaneous in time. [..] The space of flows is the material organization of time-sharing social practices that work through flows.
- The first layer, the first material support of the space of flows is actually constituted by a circuit of electronic exchanges (micro-electronic based devices, telecommunications, computer processing)
- The second layer is constituted by its nodes and hubs. [..] A “global city” is the production site of the informational global economy
- The third layer refers to the spation organization of the dominant, managerial elites (rather than classes) e.g. Google, Facebook
In the Conclusion chapter of the book, Castells says the new economy is organized around global networks of capital management and information, whose access to technological know-how is at the roots of productivity and competitiveness. [..] Our species has reached the level of knowledge and social organization that will allow us to live in a predominanty social world. It is a beginning of a new existence, and indeed the beginning of a new age, the Information Age.
In Marketing to the Social Web, Larry Weber suggests the following methods for promoting the community that you built around your product:
- doing marketing research by following what users blog or post about your product
- minding the gap between the different ages, income or whatever might differentiate customers and focus on a target
- actually contact and offer incentives to good customers
- use search engine optimization
- promote the URL of your website through traditional or multimedia ads
- increase the benefits of your services by constantly adding new features
Social Marketing compared with traditional Marketing is personalized, more targeted and I think it is more cost effective and efficient.
In the next post, we will take a look at Castells’s second volume of his trilogy, The Power of Identity.
What is sociology? Sociology is the systematic, sceptical and critical study of the social. It studies the way people do things together. [..] it becomes a form of consciousness, a way of thinking, a critical way of seeing the social. Sociology, a global introduction, Macionis and Plummer. As I was reading Chapter 6. Groups, organisations and the rise of the network society, Manuel Castells‘s ideas about the network society and the Information Age (this is the name of his 3 books on this topic) were described: people, cities, businesses and states are nodes in networks through which information, money and people flow. These flows make time become a perpetual present and space becomes global, being everywhere at the same time. A guide to this trilogy is David Bell’s Cyberculture Theorists which discusses the ideas of Castells and Haraway.
Haraway, the other theorist besides Castell discussed by Bell, is a professor at the University of California in the History of Consciousness. She published in 1985 a cyborg manifesto suggesting enhancing our human bodies to transgress the boundaries of nature. She is recently interested in the links between humans and animals.
A quick browsing through the Cyberculture Theorists google book http://goo.gl/yS4n1 brought me to Carl Popper‘s World 3 about which I read last year. Popper’s elegant philosophy explains the world on 3 levels:
World 1: the world of physical things
World 2: the world of mental events and objects
World 3: the world of abstract objects produced by the mind such as scientific theories
Bell states that world 3 is sometimes referred to when cyberspace is discussed. Cyberspace is a term coined by William Gibson in his novel Neuromancer. In this novel cyberspace is entered as disembodied consciousness by joining the network which is the battleground over ownership and access to data, much like today’s internet where Google, Facebook and other players are crunching user data to provide the best sponsored ads.
People like to spread information and social networks, microblogging helps them do that easily through webpages like Twitter or status updates on Facebook. For example, 100 billion updates are processed each day on Facebook. People care what others think, more than what Google thinks. This is why rating appeared recently on Wikipedia and that is what the Facebook Like button is all about. Socialnomics, Erik Qualman
The Zeitgeist, the spirit of the age, our common consciousness is the one leading us in this connected, common, social direction.
By selectively reading through these books, I think that the most comprehensive is the Sociology book. I was particularly interested in the chapters about the future of society and the internet. It contains valuable information regarding these topics. I have the feeling they are all predicting the future. We don’t really realize where we are heading, but the change is already here, we are already this cybersociety.
I also read 3 chapters on Social Marketing (Marketing to the Social Web – Larry Weber), but I couldn’t find some valuable information, something that Qualman didn’t mention in his book – the main idea emphasized is what I already mentioned in my previous post – that the new marketer’s perspective should take into account the customer, he should be an aggregator and not a broadcaster.
I will keep on reading about Social Marketing and Sociology.
Hello! Sorry for the tardiness of my first post.
My research questions are (currently):
How can we make an effective mathematical model of the web? How can we make an effective mathematical model of social networking sites? How can we best use these models to “understand” the web and how people use the web?
These questions are rather vague and hopefully they will be refined over the next four years.
In order to make such a mathematical model we must decide what basic properties the model should have. This argument appears circular, needing to know properties of the web in order to make a model which will inform us of properties of the web! However, we are really investigating the (sometimes hidden) effects of these known properties and what they mean for the web.
For example we might want to model Facebook. We could associate Facebook with a graph G by assigning people to nodes and then draw an arc between two people if they are friends. Since it has been shown that two people with mutual friends are more likely to be friends themselves than two people with no mutual friends, one property of G is that it has an abundance of triangles. This means that if node A is joined to node C and node B is joined to node C then it is likely that node A is joined to node B.
In practice drawing G would be virtually impossible because Facebook changes constantly as new friendships are created and destroyed and people join and leave Facebook we make a model graph M (a more convenient graph which we generate and can control). In order to be a good model M must have an abundance of triangles.
Note that the seemingly abstract mathematical property, an abundance of triangles, comes about for a sociological reason. What other properties should the model graph have? To find this out it will be vital to understand how people use the web, so I have chosen to study sociology/philosophy as my first discipline.
Such mathematical models could be used to find the most efficient route from node to node (in the Facebook example from one person to another and be useful at looking at the spreading of ideas). These models could also be used to measure the resilience of a network from attack, (i.e. how will a network cope if we knock out some nodes?) hence I have chosen criminology as my second discipline.
Mors ubi dira fuit vita salusque patent.
So, to expand the first blog post a little: what I think is nagging at me is this sense of a range of ‘objects,’ of pieces of ‘knowledge-meat’, or ‘currency’, that are consumed or traded within their own disciplines. Sometimes these objects of knowledge have the same names in other subjects, but they mean different things. And across disciplines the means of making them edible, civilized, tradable can be hugely different. Traditionally these bits of ontologies, of data (they are sometimes data) are going to somehow be examined, discussed, prodded, perhaps measured: quantified or qualified in some sense. In the past this might have been described on paper. These days, some of us (perhaps not that many, globally) have the web as a means of mediating discovery and knowledge acquisition. There are many things that can be done with knowledge on the web: it can be hidden, it can be spread, it can be created, it can be pushed around. If tiny bits of data somehow fit with the tiny little pieces of the structure of the web, then one might suppose that a sort of true picture emerges. However, again, something that has nagged at me is how so much of our thinking is analogical, or metaphorical. So that true pictures are actually very hard to locate using reductionist mapping – see Wicked Problems, for example.
What I think might be part of one of the questions I want to pursue, is to do with how the web might change the analogies that are implicit or embedded within disciplines. Sometimes the process of collaboration can bring out these assumptions. Sometimes, collaboration is hugely impeded by them.
For example, one of our widely used assumptions or analogies that fascinates me, is that which describes electricity. Electricity has long been portrayed as a commodity. Walter Patterson (a physicist by trade) has written at length on this subject, in a book called, ‘Keeping the Lights On.’ The traditional picture of electricity is of something that ‘flows’ like water, and can be cut off, traded, conserved, or wasted. Entire forests have been destroyed in the pursuit of the subject of electricity and our consumption of it. Generations of schoolchildren have suffered sleepless nights, worrying (somewhat misguidedly) about global warming’s fatal pendulum hanging over the Polar Bear every time they put their heating on (along with the location of the calorie - another rather elusive and misleading concept.)
Patterson says, “How many times have you heard or read some energy specialist refer to ‘energy production’ or ‘energy consumption’? These people are supposed to be experts. Surely they ought to know one unbreakable law, the First Law of Thermodynamics, the law of conservation of energy. No one produces energy. No one consumes energy. The amount of energy in the whole universe remains the same.”
He then goes on to describes a host of assumptions that arise incorrectly out of our making electricity a commodity to be traded, the most simple being that arising from the regulators who are allegedly looking for the best deal for the household market – a low unit price does not equal a low bill – the holy grail for the ‘consumers.’ To me, having worked with the UK’s largest energy company and, in particular, with their hard and soft data, it’s clear on a fairly elementary level that describing our relationship with electricity like this is going to cause anxiety for the ‘consumer’. It describes a selfish market. It’s all about measuring how much we use, and not the quality of our relationship with it. Too much = red, not very much = green. It’s almost a little bit childish. Imagine designing an app to somehow map our relationship with energy. It would have reds and greens, wouldn’t it? It would be about ‘a lot’ (scolding) or ‘a little’ (caressing tone of voice- well done.) It would be great to break from this model and look at different ways of being technical about how we are with energy.
Even as I’m doing my preliminary, slightly distracted, coffee-table pre-reading, this strikes a chord with me. A book I picked up a couple of weeks ago, written by Stephen Landsburg is called, ‘The Armchair Economist.’ (In the manner of many inhabitants of armchairs he keeps disappearing just when I want him. I’m also wondering if The Spy in the Coffee Machine can see him from the kitchen, and if so, whether they should talk. Never mind.)
The first chapter of this book starts boldly with, “Most of economics can be measured in four words: ‘People respond to incentives.’ The rest is commentary.” He then goes on to describe, or perhaps, hypothesise, how making cars more safe kills more people, as people drive more safely in more dangerous cars. Landsburg continues by saying that economics begins with the assumption that all human behaviour is rational. I’m presuming that part of the rest of the book is to decry this notion triumphantly. It is very fashionable nowadays (and seems to cause great joy for the evolutionary psychologists) to show how entirely irrational we are; however I can’t help feeling that there is sometimes a confusion in the literature between say a system of perception, or of governance that overcorrects, and the net result that that has for the movement and/or survival of its owner. (I know, feeling something isn’t really academic: it’s another question to explore.)
So, now I have economics and markets intruding a little into my original speculation about how the concepts or metaphors embedded in disciplines might be creating pictures that aren’t entirely correct. It’s certainly the case that while markets have their own language, they also trade in the languages used by the disciplines that come together to create the products or objects on sale. And now, for some of us, the sorts of things that can be traded, over the net for example, are elusive objects, which it might be worth while trying to pin down a little further. I’m worrying that some of this sounds as though I’m just talking semantics. I do intend to explore this further and show how it’s not just trivial misunderstandings, but deep ones that maybe re-cast our notion of the world to some extent.
As far as a methodology goes, my approach to research is often about contingency. Particularly interdisciplinary research. I don’t believe that using a wholly empirical, top-down filtering method is always going to work, as this assumes that there is an explicit pool of knowledge out there to be refined. My very subject matter says that this might not be the case. So, although I intend to use the traditional method, and my next step is to get my text books on economics and psychology/ sociology, and to read and annotate findings from them, I will also read a lot of not-quite academic, coffee-table stuff that gives me a feel for whether I would be happy to say, sit and have lunch with the people who are writing. And, more immediately, I’m suffering from a nagging sense of not having figured out what the correct referencing procedure for blogging is. I’m used to using hyperlinks and checking they’re still live every now and then. Suspect I might need proper references.
I also haven’t yet drawn out my reasons for an interest in psychology, but, quickly, this is because I think that in the pursuit of truth (which should arise somewhere when looking at how subjects are affected by the web), it is is probably going to be interesting to look at what drives people to co-operate and trust each other when working together within specific subject areas that use specific ontologies that might or might not be affected by the emergence of the WWW.
I am now releasing these thoughts into the wild, where they can roam about in a sort of purgatory of waiting for approval.
I was considering the two topics – social networks and consciousness from the perspective of Psychology and Marketing. But as I found later the more appropriate fields would be Sociology and Social Marketing.
After the class on Wednesday, one nice colleague boroughed me the book Social Psychology by Brehm, Kassin, Fein with the suggestion that I could also look into Sociology. As I was reading through this book and thinking about the topics, I came across the The Self-Concept which is just another term for self-consciousness. We can describe self-consciousness by looking at the main methods through it is achieved:
- introspection = looking inward at one’s thoughts and feelings
- perceptions of our own behavior = analyzing your own behaviour you can find out how you react in certain situations
- influences of other people = identifying yourself through comparison with others
- cultural perspectives – depending on the origin of the individual he might be an individualist (its values are independence, autonomy, self-reliance) or a collectivist (its values are interdependence, cooperation and social harmony)
So point 3. states that self-consciousness is influenced by others. In the Royal Society presentation called Understanding social and information networks given by Professor Jon Kleinberg: http://royalsociety.tv/rsPlayer.aspx?presentationid=499 the speaker shows the probability of joining a group based on the number of friends already joined:
The web is now a social phenomenon, it isn’t just a place to access and share information, it is a world of its own where people interact, live and change. This is an unprecedented phenomenon in human history.
And as the world changes, the way of doing business also shifts from the traditional marketing techniques to a more valuable, customized approach. A suitable quote from Socialnomics by Erik Qualman would be the following:
Marketer’s Philosophy Yesterday
- It’s all about the sex and sizzle of the message and brand imagery
- It’s all about the message; good marketers can sell anything
- We know what is right for the customer – we are doing the customer a service because they really don’t know what they want
Marketer’s Philosophy Today
- It’s important to listen and respond to customer needs
- It’s all about the product; it’s necessary to in constant communication with all the other departments
- We never know what is exactly right for the customer; that is why we are constantly asking and making adjustments
The topics that I touched in this post (and will in the next ones) were the self-concept and how it relates to the social-self, new ways of doing marketing taking into account this new type of individual. Until the next post, I will
- have a look into Sociology to understand the driving forces of social networks
- read more from the book Socialnomics because it describes how social media transforms the way we live and do business (this is actually the book subtitle)
- look into more social marketing books to find out the methods of doing business in this brave new world