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Future society II   no comments

Posted at 11:48 am in Sociology,Uncategorized

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.

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.

  1. 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)
  2. The second layer is constituted by its nodes and hubs. [..] A “global city” is the production site of the informational global economy
  3. 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.

Written by ad4g11 on November 9th, 2011

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