I'm sitting at Chicago's O'Hare with a couple of hours to spare. It is the first time in a while I've had to reflect on some big issues, at least ones that are big to me.
It been a few months since I announced the postponement Global Neighbourhoods, what I hope will e my next book. The primary reason, as I stated, was that I make more money consulting than I do writing books and speaking about them. I had strayed to far to the fame side of the fame/fortune continuum.
But there were other reasons for tabling Global. One was I could describe a situation that every business thinker needs to consider, but I could not get far enough ahead of the relentless changes in the world of social media far enough to write a book thjat could remain relevant for at least a couple of years. There I was thinking about what a flat world meant for non-American startups, when YouTube became part of Google, when young people stared slipping out of the vast walled city of MySpace; when people started Twittering and then Powncing as they realized their First Life was better than the second.
You just can't write a hard cover book on a constantly changing situation.
Things, I had written became generic and common knowledge. My core concept was that the social media sites were not the key relevance, but the way people self organized along topical rather than geographic lines was. That we and no more than 200 online friends would bop from one site to another finding each other time after time after time.
I was among the first to note that the importance of social media to business rested not in ourselves but in our children who would soon replace us at the prime movers in the workplace and in the market.
I got lots of encouragement for these and a few other ideas. But I couldn't quite figure out where it was going, and what part of this thinking would endure for a couple of years, rather than become blatantly obvious.
I was never quite satisfied with our Naked Conversations ending. We declared the beginning of a new Conversational Era, replace the Broadcast Era.By the time you read the book, that was quite obvious, I would wager. For Global Neighborhoods, I wanted to paint a bigger picture with broader strokes, and I couldn't quite see where all this was going.
Then Facebook opened it's APIs. Two months later, there are 2000 approved 3rd-party applications and 10,000 or so, waiting to be approved. Students continue to do what they have always done on Facebook, not noticing that millions of business users are stampeding into Facebook, that most social media organizations are enjoying bursts of popuarity by using Facebook as a distribution platform.
People are self organizing on Facebook. The are building their own small groups of friends who share common interests. They are bopping around from one group to another, sharing thoughts, watching video clips, watching pictures, organizing face-to-face events, meeting new people based on mutual friends or interests.
Facebook comes closer to being the Global Neighborhood than I had imagined something could.
Maybe I should just write a book on Facebook. Maybe I should write it, notion my blog but on Facebook.
What do you think?