Economies Have Currencies

Posted by JimBenson On July - 19 - 2009ADD COMMENTS
Economies Have Currencies

Economies Have Currencies

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Groups form to achieve a common goal – to affect change, to create something. It might be a car, it might be a report, it might simply be creating a good time. In order to create, people provide input. As input occurs, the members of the group build “social capital” – the currency of a social relationship.

Business is social at heart.  It therefore finds itself in a dizzying set of social economies, trading in different types of social capital, managing these economies. A successful business must develop an appreciation of what groups value, how to best facilitate value creation, and how to broadcast that value.

Photo by Tonianne

Associations Have Inherent Value

Posted by JimBenson On July - 17 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

Associations Have Inherent Value When we find ourselves in need of  things, we often turn to others. Prior to the age of social computing, we had very few tools in our social arsenal to manage large, personal networks. Loose associations – people you know of, but have little contact with – were nearly impossible to track. It’s not just the people that are important, it’s what those people are doing, what they can do, and who they might know. Little contact = little information = little usefulness.

To compensate for this, we turned to institutions for information, recommendations, and inspiration. Newspapers, magazines, broadcast television, and books were the primary channels for vital information. Leveraging directories, compilations, and slowly culled advice from immediate and credible contacts was how work was conducted. Old-boy networks and cronyism naturally developed from this low-bandwidth, social structure.

Today, through social media, we can easily keep tabs on the actions of an unprecedented number of people.  In both our personal and professional lives, we now have access to thousands of people in our network.

Increasingly, our social networks are comprised of networks of weak ties; networks of thousands to which you can present a need and have a very small percentage of people reply to provide a great deal of value.

For business, networks mean rapid solutions to problems, rapid access to markets, quickly discoverable resources, better human resources, improved outsourcing, and reductions in cost and waste.  Understanding the inherent value of associations and rewarding them is a primary step in becoming a 21st century business.

Photo by oddsock


Posted by JimBenson On June - 14 - 2009ADD COMMENTS


While writing this book, we’ve engaged in some awesome conversations with business owners, managers, social media aficionados, and thought leaders who have enlightened us. While many of their stories are included in the book, there’s still so much more for us to explore and share.

We will continue to discuss the principles with interesting people, hearing their stories and sharing their insight.  The first “Karmaversation” has been scheduled for mid-August. We’ll be putting it on the site soon after, so stay tuned!

Creating 10 Principles of Social Media for Business

Posted by JimBenson On June - 14 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

At the beginning of November 2008, I scoured the web, and posted what I considered to be The 64 Top Social Media Principles.  64 seemed somewhat unwieldy.  So I spent a month scaling down that list to a more manageable number.

I then presented the 10 Principles of Social Media for Business, each in its own post.  Just exploring the high-level view them and focused my thoughts.

My social media principles attempt to boil down lessons that social media embody.  These can then be applied in a technology neutral way to the rest of our lives – both personally and profesionally.

These principles help us communicate and relate better. With these principles we can establish networks and understand our place within them.  These principles give coherence to the creation and exchange of value.  They help us build better communities and working relationships.

However, these are merely principles. As human beings, managers, and friends we need to interpret and apply them.

JimBenson_04 Jul. 11 15.21

10 Principles of Social Media for Business:

1. Associations Have Inherent Value - Knowing more people expands opportunity and conversation
2. Information Wants to be Free - Free society runs on free information. Information hoarding is the enemy of discourse and growth.
3. Economies Have Currencies - All economies trade on specialized currencies. 
4. Decentralization is Freedom
- Decentralized power structures spur creativity, growth, and innovation.
5. Rules Beget Rules - The more rules you have, the more rules you make.
6. Karma is Real - You give more, you get more.
7. Context is Fluid - How you view an object today will be different tomorrow.  Don’t destroy tomorrow’s value.
8. Immediacy in all Things - Strike while the iron is hot.  Eat when the food is fresh.
9. Communication is Blood - Communication is the river upon which information flows.
10. Findability is Power - Unfindable information or people are irrelevant.

Noteprinciples are not rules, not laws, not edicts.  A principle is a philosophical underpinning.  You use them to guide how you build or shape a culture.

Karma is Real

Posted by JimBenson On June - 14 - 20094 COMMENTS

Sputnik was a karmic surprise

From Martha Stewart to Sputnik, human beings have spent a lot of time and energy building up and tearing down our own good will.  The principle Karma is Real reminds us that when we act, our actions are noticed and either rewarded or condemned by our friends, family members, co-workers, and society.  Can we build management systems that take karma into account?  Is it possible for groups to self-govern based on thoughtful participation?


Watch this space for video and audio conversations about the Instant Karma principles!


Instant Karma

About Me

My career path has taken me through government agencies, Fortune 10 corporations, and start-ups. Through them all my passion remained consistent - applying new technologies to work groups - in each case asking how we can leverage them to collaborate and cooperate more effectively. I love ideas, creation, and building opportunities. I love working with teams who are passionate about the future. I love pushing the boundaries. I love inclusion. My goal with all technologies is to increase beneficial contact between people and reduce the bureaucratic noise which so often tends to increase costs and destroy creativity.



    Purple Rain, 2009Hierarchy"Economies Have Currencies"