September 13, 2011

News & Opinion: Public Parts

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 3:23 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Here's a perfect example: we're online, I'm writing a blog post, and you have the option to comment back, to which I also can comment back. We can share information and thoughts more freely than ever. Ideas spread, and connections are made. But the more often that happens, and to what degree, has some concerned about how much about ourselves we're revealing, and who's using that information in ways we'd rather not have it used. Jeff Jarvis is not one of those people. In fact, Jarvis sees these transactions as evidence that the world is improving in a variety of ways. That said, he also understands that social media is a complicated tool, and one that works better with everyone on the same page. From Facebook's privacy setting debacles, German concerns over the Google street view car, and more, the fear of privacy hearkens to the invention of the camera or printing press. It's his new book, Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live, that was written to calm the fear and focus on the positive aspects of the technology that has become so involved in many of our lives. Regarding this effect on our lives, and the business we do, he states,
Relationships will come to be worth more than corporate secrets (for what is the value of keeping a mediocre dress design under wraps when by sharing it you can learn what customers really want?). Relationships may be more telling about a company's prospects than quarterly income (for relationships build real long-term value and create a true barrier to entry for others). Brands equal relationships. This is what Mark Zuckerberg is saying when he argues that every product and all business will be social. "Get on the bus," he advises.
In essence, the sharing will be fundamental to our business, not something to fear. Gary Vaynerchuk has certainly been blowing the same trumpet for more than a few years now, and he's not the only one. Whatever your take on privacy issues and how you use (or don't use) social media, one thing is apparent, that it is less an issue of 'if' to deal with it, and more an issue of 'how.' To that end, Jarvis has written a helpful guide, filled with interviews, insights, stories, and examples of how share in the best ways possible, without validating the fears that so many still seem to have.