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Good Links: Social Economics Edition

I live and die by my RSS reader (Google Reader), as a quick look at the stats reveals that I’ve read over 65,000 articles in the last three years alone. That means that I come across a large amount of very good content that I would love to share. You may have noticed that I often have a “Daily Digest” post, which is simply a pipe from my Delicious links into here. With future “Good Links” posts, I will also add a short commentary about the links to provide context. And so today let’s start it off with social media, economics, and the interplay between the two.

Link #1: How Social Commerce Really Works and Why

This GigaOM post highlights a fantastic slide deck, also embedded here, that talks about how many purchasing decisions must move to follow the social network model in order to be more successful. It’s long (121 slides) and starts slowly at first, but get into the second half and you’ll find a lot of interesting material.

Also in the post is mention of the Google engineer Paul Adams and his two presentations, “The Real Life Social Network” and “How Your Customers’ Social Circles Influence What They Buy, What They Do and Where They Go.” With the recent release of Google+, does that all sound a little familiar?

All in all, a great read, especially the slide deck, as it turns traditional marketing a little on its head, and gives good ideas about how to truly be influential in people’s decision making process.

Link #2: The Next Internet Opportunity is in Social Upheaval

Another GigaOM article, this one discusses a talk by Fred Wilson on how he believes that the Internet is on the verge of participating in or facilitating great societal revolutions, much like the 60s or the anti-war revolutions of previous decades. However, the thrust is how entrepreneurs can capitalize on this, and how thinking will need to change in order to profit from it.

I believe that this viewpoint is unfortunate, in that societal upheavals and changes produce long-term effects, but this talk is focused on very short-term results. Too much of our modern day economy is driven by short-term ambitions, and is therefore being driven it into the ground. Why don’t entrepreneurs look to build sustainable, long-term, growth-oriented businesses anymore? So few benefit from “the exit” or “the pivot,” when so much more social change could really be enacted by large businesses aimed at providing wealth to a large group of individuals. Capitalism has succeeded for the past several hundred years primarily because of its ability to enlarge the pie for all, not just a portion for a few. If we truly want to capitalize on social upheavals, then focus on long-term strategies that affect the greatest number of individuals. Make the pie bigger for everyone.

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