Consumers dictating to corporations: 2011

I was fortunate enough to come across a post on Ross Dawson’s Trends in the Living Networks blog towards the end of last year, and I recall at the time thinking – ‘Wow.  It’s amazing what we’re in for.’

As a communications professional, I’m always fascinated to see how the world is changing and where the next technologies that will drive that change are coming from.  As online technology and the increased capacity to share information continue to gain speed, I often wonder what that will mean for me both as a comms professional and as a consumer.  As part of the Ross developed The Zeitgeist: 2011 list of key factors shaping the world this year and a number very much caught my eye.

Given phenomena like he describes in ‘brands in the blender’, how do we, as professional communicators, advise our clients on things that we cannot see coming?  Have we entered a period now where control is genuinely a thing of the past and power lies very much with the consumer dictating terms to the business?  And what does that mean for traditional business-to-stakeholder relationships?  This shift in power is reflected in ‘wrath of crowds’ – online connectivity means voices can swarm quicker than ever and it’s now impossible to hide.  You need to be upfront and honest.

Equally, ‘social news curation’ isn’t something new to 2011 but it is something that many journalists express concerns over.  Again, the community seems to hold the power with traditional institutions often sourcing content from everyday people to make mainstream news.  Like Ross, I believe there will always be a place for quality journalism but there’s no doubting the opportunities for anyone to write their own news and consume it where they like.

The most interesting change, however, and something that has been much talked about, certainly in my office, is that ‘everyone’s naked’.  As Ross points out, WikiLeaks was a giant catalyst and transparency has been taken to a whole new level.  It now seems anything can be revealed with enough people power and people are listening.  If information is no longer private, just how much will the level of corporate and government honesty need to rise?  Yet again, who is left with the power?

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by rossdawson and Chaordix Crowdsource, Lohas_de. Lohas_de said: RT @rossdawson: Consumers dictating to corporations: 2011 […]

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