Rewiring the World.
“Facebook’s Open Graph invests in what I refer to as the Egosystem, a network in which each person is at the center of their own universe. Each app now extends the persona of each individual, where they tell their story through updates and actions and tailor engagement based on what they do and say. Facebook is simplifying the sharing process for doing so. The idea is that we strengthen relationships through interests and foster conversations based on our actions and intentions. As such, Facebook is investing in the quality of our relationships through technology where the social graph, people we know, slowly transforms into an interest graph, people with whom we share common interests.” – Brian Solis in Likes, Genre, Action – Facebook Introduces Clicks to Action.
Leadership guru Warren Bennis once asked whether leaders are born or made, and it remains an open question. When asked if Wall Street would accept a young Mark Zuckerberg, at the time still in his early 20s, as CEO, Facebook investor and seminal web figure and disruptive visionary Peter Thiel said: “Well, we’ll wait until he’s over 25 to file.” Wise move, considering that the legend says Mark’s title on his business cards at the time read “I’m CEO, bitch.”
Zuckerberg is a bold, ambitious leader. In his February 2012 letter to investors, many of whom were no doubt considering buying shares of Facebook to enhance their portfolios, he made sure to affirm that his focus as a CEO — one who controls 57 percent of the voting stock — was not on reaping the highest profits, but rather to profit from a righteous sense of mission. This mission, in his own words, was to “rewire the way people spread and consume information.”
This is a curious statement from the CEO of a company that sells a lot of ads with data from millions of its users, and who was actually looking for money from investors with the public IPO. This is the statement of a visionary and a provocation to the way of thinking of many potential investors (the DNA of Wall Street is greed after all). As sales pitches for assets in a commercial public offering go it was more than merely unconventional. Some in the investment world might be tempted to call it lunatic. Zuckerberg’s statement proposed a rewiring job that pitched the epicentre of Facebook as a place / platform to facilitate the sharing of an individual’s daily life, news and performance. His intent was to convince individuals and investors alike that by sharing (literally everything) among themselves they are not simply surrendering their privacy, but rather going through a self conscious act of empowerment.
That Facebook has proved wildly successful is beyond question, and despite internal admonitions by Zuckerberg that Facebook’s social graph “journey” is only 1 percent finished, it has already achieved almost as much (I would dare to say more) as Google has achieved in its 15 years. The social graph is obliging Google to adapt its own search algorithm towards a social algorithm, and the Mount Valley Company is under increasing pressure to do so. The social algorithm or social graph is being repositioned at the heart of the web, and whilst both are still somewhat in their infancy their power and influence are already immense – and we are yet to fully explore their true potential.
Although thought leaders, journalists and web commentators have latched onto Zuckerberg’s statement that Facebook wants to “rewire” the way the world works, in truth that’s exactly what’s happening. We should be in no doubts about just how serious and seismic a change this is. And it is all a result of the 360 degrees of social networking boldly engineered by Facebook, with its push for sharing (expanding its reach from its own network to hundreds of thousands of websites, and now starting to encompass the rest of the web) and enlightened privacy settings and data.
In a complex technological world where the web is becoming the standard of communication, the message is that world leaders, marketers and public personalities have to redefine the way they look at themselves and platforms such as Facebook. Zuckerberg, the messenger of this change, has in essence invented and rewritten what the present (this is a very fluid present, as everything is
If Zuckerberg is ingratiating himself into a bold timeline of human innovation, a kind of visionary prophet of social economy, culture of likes and sharing in the form of a platform called Facebook, the challenge is how to use it in ever more innovative ways bearing in mind all the challenges (data abuse, privacy…).changing) world thinks of web experience and of the web as social media evolving and changing disruptive crowdsourced platform.
However, true to the spirit of social networking, the challenge lies namely with us, the users and members of Facebook and other related forms of social media that give him and other entrepreneurs the willingness to do what they are doing. The beauty and scary thing is that the social open internet is fundamentally a co-creation ongoing process platform, and we must ensure that we help co-rule and co-manage Zuckerberg’s strategic disruptive vision!
Image source: Charis Tsevis. Licensed under the Creative Commons License Scheme.