how to leverage social data

Photo credit: Android Guide

I left Dr. Andreas Weigend’s session thinking we’d just participated in an experiment to fuel his Social Data Revolution project. But, then I realised that this is how he goes about his business, his life. He’s one big experiment, constantly honing his hypotheses about humans and how they interact with each other, things and the world around them. Head to weigend dot com and check out exactly what information he shares with the world. You could be amazed… You’re back. What do you think?

Andreas was fascinating to listen to and even more so, watch. There was something about him and the way he performed. Imagine perhaps part mad scientist, part artist and part detached observer. He’s also got quite an amazing resume. Instead of rattling it off, here’s his ‘about’.

Dr. Andreas Weigend studies the ongoing revolution in social data and its impact on consumers, business, and society. He teaches at Stanford University and directs the Social Data Lab. Andreas was the chief scientist of Amazon.com where he focused on building the customer-centric and measurement-focused culture that has been central to Amazon’s success.

He’s the type of guy that doesn’t fit into an hour and a half slot and probably not even into a day, give him the chance. And as a result he kind of brushed over the surface of a lot of subjects. But here are some fragmented thoughts that stuck:

– Community: people come for the benefits and stay for the community.

– Commerce: moved from e-commerce to me-commerce. Individuals as the centre of the architecture of interaction.

– Connection: purpose of information is to serve as an excuse for person to person communication.

– Markets are conversations and conversations have become markets.

– Collaborative consumption: is airbnb the social craigslist room lease section?

– He believes that people share online to get attention, not approval and from it breathes belonging and connection.

I thoroughly recommend having a peruse through all his content that he’s kindly made available online, start here and here. Most interesting to me is his five step process he developed because the companies he was working with were focusing on the collection and analysis of data, without first defining the real problem. He calls it PHAME (Problem, Hypothesis, Action, Metrics, Experiment). He says be doing this companies expand their focus beyond just the technical issue at hand.

I’ll leave you with the task he asked us to complete: what is the one greatest social data experience that had the greatest impact on your life? While you’re at it, add it to the experiment/film: socialdatafilm.com

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