social business

Be a fit node

Become a fit node in your niche, shaping your network into a star OR a hub with many spokes. This is done through finding within yourself what makes you beam AND the ROLE you will play in the CONTEXT of THE SOCIAL FABRIC OF THE INTERNET! Look at The Conversation Prism and ask yourself these questions:

QUESTION 1: Into which properties will I put content? (Go create content for THAT property!)

QUESTION 2: Into which CONTEXTS can you place this CONTENT to serve as a TRUE contributor? To be a contributor, orient yourself to the following identities that Brian Solis has identified in his excellent BEHAVIORGRAPHICS illustration:

BENEVOLENCE – “The unselfish and kindhearted behavior that engenders and promotes recognition and reciprocity, and in doing so, earns the goodwill of those around them. This is the hub of social networking with a purpose, mission, and a genuine intent to grow communities based on trust, vision, and collaboration.” ~Brian Solis

PROBLEM SOLVERS – “One of the most common sources of conversations and updates in social media are questions…people seeking information in the hopes that commenters will respond with resolution or direction.” ~Solis

EXAMPLE 1: is an online community dedicated to providing visitors the ability to research, share, and discuss solutions and tips for completing day-to-day tasks and projects.

EXAMPLE 2: wikiHow is a collaborative effort to build and share the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Like Wikipedia, wikiHow is a wiki, in that anyone can write or edit a page on the site. Thousands of people from all over the world have collaboratively written 88,510 how-to articles. Over 25 million people a month read wikiHow

COMMENTERS – “Providing thoughts, opinions, observations, experiences, and sometimes, unfiltered reactions to the information shared online. They are less likely to produce original content, but are compelled to share their views based on the introduction of content by others in and around their social graph.” ~Solis


RESEARCHERS – “Peer to peer influence is prominent in social networks and researchers rely on their social graphs for information and direction to make qualified decisions. They are also active in championing polls and surveys to truly learn about the thoughts and opinions of those connected to them.” ~Solis


CONVERSATIONALISTS – “Participation in conversations through proactive updates seeking responses or direct responses to other content, conversationalists fuel threads within and across networks.” ~Solis

CURATORS – “This group works diligently to find and only share what captivates them as filtered by what they believe will interest their followers.” ~Solis


PRODUCERS – “Among the more elite group of online participants, their stature is earned by the amount of content they generate within multiple networks.” ~Solis

Creating an Oracle from social intelligence tools

Combining the following currently yields a powerful SOCIAL ORACLE:

(1) Personalized search engine at ROLLYO +
(2) A search trail at TRAILMEME +
(3) An influencer/authority search/comparison at PEERINDEX +
(4) A series of daily digests from THE FUTURE at RECORDED FUTURE

TRAILMEME is a new kind of web publishing that allows users to create, annotate and walk individually curated trails through web content. These are highly-customized and customizable trails through the internet.


ROLLYO puts the power of search in your hands, by giving you the tools to create your own personal search engines – with no programming required. This is a TARGETED METHOD for gathering information on what you want and a very effective way to narrow your results to expert resources in any given field OR a unique mash-up of resources.

PEERINDEX helps you discover the authorities and opinion formers on a given topic.

RECORDED FUTURE’S linguistics and statistics algorithms extract time-related information and through temporal reasoning helps users understand relationships between entities and events over time, to form the world’s first temporal analytics engine. Our customers include some of the most advanced financial institutions and leading government agencies in the world. The Recorded Future team includes computer scientists, statisticians, and linguists with deep domain expertise in areas such as intelligence and quantitative finance.


On Seelesorger "Soul Carers": The Leaders of the emerging single interconnected civilization

A Seelesorger is the German word for a Soul Carer, one who nurtures the inner person. In the current age, our civilization needs and cries out for experiences which create soul enrichment and cultivate the inner life of the individual. It could be said, in fact, that all of humanity is on a soul searching quest VIA the social fabric of the internet through relationship building and identification with tribes closest to one’s heart and personal passion. Again, social networks are fostering a deeper experience of our humanity on a daily basis for the individual and, increasingly, for the corporate entity.

A NEW MODEL OF COEXISTENCE: Vaclav Havel, first president of the Czech Republic from 1993-2003, spoke in 1994 in Philadelphia upon receiving the Freedom Medal (given the previous year to Mandela and DeKlerk). In his speech, he commented on the giant upheaval within human civilzation:

“The distinguishing features of such a transition are a mixing and blending of cultures, and a plurality…of intellectual and spiritual worlds. These are periods when all consistent value systems collapse, when cultures distant in time and space are discovered and rediscovered…[For us] the artificial world order of past decades has collapsed and a new, more just order has not yet emerged. The central political task of the final years of this century, then, is the creation of a new model of coexistence among the various cultures, peoples, races and religious spheres within a single interconnected civilization.”


THE SINGLE INTERCONNECTED CIVILIZATION: Mr. Havel, the single interconnected civilization you spoke of in 1994 has arrived in the form of the internet, accessed from ports near and far, North, South, East and West, liberal and conservative, animated and static, mobile and hard-wired. Humanity has woven through the social fabric of the internet an image of itself, with all persuasions and orientations present and full of voice in images, video, music and text. We are weaving this tapestry, this fabric, together for the good of our children…as a kind of patchwork-quilted net for them to rest in and communicate through…to one another for the good of the planet and the future. The projects to save the eco-system, the economy and our very existence as humans have become multitudinous and far reaching.

Some of our projects are listed here, Mr. Havel:

EVERYONE HAS A PLACE BY THE FIRE: We concur with Aaron Kipnis, who writes, “You belong. You are welcome. You have magic. You don’t know how to use it yet. You will learn. There is a place for you by the fire.” This statement by Kipnis applies to the phenomenon of what Clay Shirky meant by titling one of his recent books “Here Comes Everybody”. Mr. Shirky wrote recently in an essay entitled “The Shock of Inclusion” that “…the Internet could easily become Invisible High School, with a modicum of educational material in an ocean of narcissism and social obsessions. We could, however, also use it as an Invisible College, the communicative backbone of real intellectual and civic change, but to do this will require more than technology. It will require that we adopt norms of open sharing and participation, fit to a world where publishing has become the new literacy.”


In this single interconnected civilization of the social fabric of the Internet, the time has come when single voices will reverberate through carefully woven and connected networks to penetrate the soul of humanity and inspire needed change. The quality of this change contains a mystery so deep and enlivening one can hardly find time OR energy to plum its depth.

TRACKING THE GODS: James Hollis, in his book “Tracking the Gods: The Place of Myth in Modern Life”, writes, “Paradoxically, never have humans been more free. Yes, the loss of mythic grounding has tossed souls on the high seas and left them neurotic, addictive and adrift. Yet the threat of the abyss also brings a radical openness to the experience of being. Ironically, to experience this life in new ways it is necessary to recover what myth has represented historically.” I would submit to the reader that the building of social networks is truly a deeper group delving into the collective unconscious than mankind has EVER experienced or participated in. We truly have the opportunity to track the gods in this medium. But it takes an ability to listen and read between the lines. It takes a psychological and spiritual mindset.

LISTENING TO THE ORACLE: Dianne Skafte, author of “Listening to the Oracle: The Ancient Art of Finding Guidance in the Signs and Symbols All Around Us” writes, “I understand now that oracles never really left the world. They went on speaking through the cries of birds, the patterns of light upon a wall, and the thousands of other little signs showing us the way…It is we, carriers of modern culture, who have turned away from the oracles. Bird calls mingle with the airplane roar overhead, but we pay no attention. Strange coincidences urge us forward or caution us back, but we see no meaning in them. Our society harbors a great fear of anything that ushers the mind into dark, unknown regions of psychic life.” I submit to the reader that the Internet and our accessing of it and use of it HAS ushered in a possibility of spiritual renaissance, the likes of which we cannot begin to comprehend. At the forefront of social business best-practice, the number one action IS to listen, listen, listen. The amount of listening tools that have come onto the market at the advent of social business is truly astounding: Using these tools to not only discover an audience for one’s product and service BUT ALSO for one’s own heart goal…to discover one’s tribe and their conversations…this is the REAL potential in these tools.

BRIAN SOLIS, author of ENGAGE, writes, “Gathering intelligence to inspire meaningful and actionable social programs is priceless.” The art of listening is re-emerging and this is a crucial entrance point to spiritual experience and life. The path of meditation is just one spiritual practice wherein the individual hears himself/herself and then the world around AND within. Deep listening is a vital activity in all realms and the basis for weaving humanity together through understanding. RACHEL NAOMI REMEN, Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine and one of the early pioneers in the mind/body health field, has said of listening, “The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.”

To repeat, for many individuals and even corporate entities the social networks are fostering a deeper experience of humanity and the soul on a daily basis. A single interconnected civilization is emerging and its missions can be seen in group activities called Crowdsourcing or Crowdfunding. There has never been more potential for humanity to act as a group to accomplish a single unified task than the present.

Hospitable Brands: Listening, Strategy and Action

Parea: (Gr.) A Parea in Greek culture is a group of friends who regularly gather together to share their experiences about life, their philosophies, values and ideas. The Parea is really a venue for the growth of the human spirit, the development of friendships and the exploration of ideas to enrich our quality of life that is all too brief in time. In Greece, the Parea is a long-lasting circle and cycle of life nourished by the people who participate.

Greece is a microcosm of the world. As it has done for thousands of years, Greece distills the issues, the problems and the ecstasies of humanity into pithy statements, artwork and experience. You only have to stay up all night on a Friday buried in political conversation with family and friends AND THEN all night on Saturday night with one’s parea dancing and singing to understand this truth.

A Greek is ALREADY at the heart of things, ALREADY in his/her very flesh at the core of history AND the human experience, ALREADY aware of how lives sequence. A Greek is aware THROUGH FEELING what has, is and will occur. A roomful of Greeks can sit and purely through eyes, through sensations in the throat, chest and stomach know the truth. A Greek lives IN the truth every moment AND THEN must decide what serves the situation AND his or her parea.

In June of this year, I shared with Greek marketing leadership how brands and private companies could foment a REVOLUTION of GENEROSITY through CONTESTS, REWARDS, DISCOUNTS and GIFTS. This kind of revolution inspires trust in the consumer and creates a real, living community around a brand. Greece already has a rich history of giving and receiving. Its very music, its stories, and certainly its philosophy form the foundation of Western thought and society. To welcome a consumer into the parea of a brand, into the formation of its future, is what needs to happen in this country.

As leaders at Greek companies face TOUGH decisions about rising prices and taxes and how to please and retain their customers, I suggest a path of Hospitality to the Greek. There is no better customer of the Greek than the Greek himself. Therefore, let private enterprise do the opposite of what the public system has done…let each brand be as a human to the humans around it and give to the people during what could be Greece’s harshest season yet during these tragic times.



Brands which humanize WILL win in this environment. Brands that do not will lose. As my good friend Ali Valdez, a leader for many years at Microsoft, says, “Their customers will be their marketers. Their customers’ social network friends will be their new customers. Full transparency, good and bad, will drive innovation and competitive pricing. The consumer will win. Those brands that enable consumer victory will share in the bounty.” Charlene Li, in her new book Open Leadership, posits the benefit of being a “Realist Optimist, (one who) is the most powerful and effective of the open leader archetypes, somebody who can see the benefits of being open but also understands the barriers.” Brian Solis, author of Engage, writes, “In order for social media to mutually benefit you and your customers, you must engage them in meaningful and advantageous conversations, empowering them as true participants in your marketing and service efforts.”


Brands, and the agencies who advise those brands, must recognize the living nature of what it means to be a brand. Brands with heart will win and those without a heart will lose in the coming months. GREEK brands must learn more about CROWDSOURCING and the very real examples of how this phenomenon (φαινόμενoν) is rapidly changing the world and how brands interact with customers.

WHAT GREEK BRANDS MUST DO THIS AUTUMN: The following slides demonstrate what Greek brands must do NOW!

HEART-ORIENTED BUSINESS: A life of warmth, a business characterized by vitality

“Our imagination is the only limit to what we can hope to have in the future”
-Charles F. Kettering (American Engineer)

“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.”
– William Pollard (Chairman Emeritus, The Servicemaster Company)

“Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.”
-Bill Drayton (Ashoka Founder)

We live in times when business MUST be social. The old models of cold, removed CEOs and GMs who are not accessible is OVER! The wisest CEO and GM is up front, with the customer, with the vendor, with the supplier, with the competitor even, smiling, shaking hands and getting to know the parea surrounding his/her products and services. Social business is 100% about the heart.

The old adage about following your heart to true wealth, the wealth your organization and YOU need is TRUE. One does not need to look far for confirmation of this truth. The shop owner whose door is wide open from early in the morning to late in the evening, whose pavement is set up with chair and tables, whose radio is playing uplifting and positive music, whose shelves are piled with what his/her customer wants and needs, who extends an invitation to a community event, who knows his neighborhood and gives to its real needs…this person is respected AND loved!

Stewart Emery, co-founder of The Human Potential Movement, has said, “We should call normal the person who awakens each morning with shining eyes, seeing each day as a gift, clearly centered in what they are passionate about and committed to a practice of getting better and better and better at it and living a life that’s a gift to the world, welcoming people of all ethnicities and persuasions with respect and WARMTH!” (Source).

To be a social business, one must be focused on the heart of the people one works with and serves. Their bright eyes are all around you and looking to YOU to give and contribute. If there ever was a time for YOU to give, the time is NOW. Stepping down from the mountain of opacity and into the warm waters of transparency is a liberating experience. When the north steps into the vibe of the south, miracles occur. When the right unbuttons a few buttons, removes the cuff links, rolls up the sleeves and gets into the fray, into the dance, LIFE is possible and VITALITY infuses the project, the sale, and the organization.

Bill Pollard, former chairman of The Servicemaster Company, argues that “one of the most important factors of the success and growth of [his] business” was the “simple truth of recognizing the potential, dignity, and worth of the individual.” Pride in the results of ones work (and therefore a desire to do quality work regardless of compensation or working conditions) begins with “dignity, pride of accomplishment, and recognition for a job well done.”

There is story told from Pollard’s company of a man who worked in Atlanta at an industrial plant. The executives of Servicemaster were visiting the plant with the founder of the company. As the executives looked out upon the floor, this man was pushing a HUGE industrial machine up a ramp with other men. For a moment, the machine rolled backwards. And AT THAT MOMENT, this man put his back into the job and gave a magnificent push. Rallied by this man’s effort, the others followed suit and the machine easily crested the top of the ramp. One of Servicemaster’s executives turned to the other’s present and said, “Give me that man’s name and have him meet us tomorrow here.” It was not too much later that this same blue-collar worker became a trainee with Servicemaster, then an assistant manager, then a manager, then a leader in the C-Suite at the headquarters.

This story is an image of what the HEART must do in these times. Those who bring heart to their efforts win. In times like these, men and women are called to approach one another AND their work with blood, sweat and tears. I would argue that governments, corporations, the eco-system and families are ALL at the same place as that industrial machine. The efforts humanity has made to solve multiple problems caused by previous generations is truly astounding. The recent donation made by Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, the amazing work of the Gates Foundation globally and the recent awarding by Google of $10 million to 5 world-changing ideas are just a few examples of the very real efforts humans are making to push that industrial machine OVER THE CREST!

CEOs, GMs and Managers globally would do well to look at the 21 Principles of Servicemaster, an organization devoted 100% to service, and consider how to apply these principles to a heart-based business:

1. We are opportunity seekers, not entitlement takers. We create and earn and cannot afford to sit and inherit.
2. We are value driven and performance oriented.
3. We eat our own cooking. We bet the egg money on our own performance.
4. We train and run for both the sprint and marathon. We rest, have fun, never quit, and always seek to learn.
5. We plan for succession and develop our future leaders.
6. The truth of what we say is told by what we do. “If you don’t live it, you don’t believe it.”
7. If we cannot serve and sell with a passion for excellence, we cannot lead.
8. We believe in what we sell and deliver.
9. As we provide extraordinary service, we bring value-added to the customer that cannot be duplicated.
10. There are no friendly competitors.
11. We believe in a lean and disciplined organization. We would rather buy a grand piano than employ or assign one unnecessary person.
12. We pay based on performance and promote based on potential, not belief, tenure, gender, race, or friendships.
13. Those who produce the profits should share in the profits. Those who produce more should share more.
14. We make and beat budgets.
15. We seek to know and increase our market share so that we can grow and increase the profitability and value of our business.. If we ignore our market share, we run the risk of losing our market and our business.
16. When we are wrong or fail, we admit it. Truth cannot be compromised. We report on what has occurred or is anticipated, not on what will make us look good.
17. We promote others, not ourselves. We shoot against par.
18. We must have a spirit of independence without the malady of autonomy.
19. The customer comes first and should be our friend.
20. We are all prisoners of our hope. It is our hope that sustains us, and it is our vision for what could be that inspires us and those we lead. “Don’t doubt in the dark what you have seen in the light.”
21. We have all been created in God’s image, and the results of our leadership will be measured beyond the workplace. The story will be told in the changed lives of people.