Saturday, September 8, 2007

Why organizations can't ignore Facebook

Facebook announced this week that they are going to expose user profiles to Google search. I saw this in Blogstorm: Is Facebook the new Wikipedia:

Facebook has 18.5 million incoming links. Wikipedia has 47 million so it is fair to assume it won't struggle with rankings. Wikipedia features at the top of almost every search term you can think of at present.

Expect Facebook to feature in the top 3 results for 90% of people you search for within 3 months.

When this happens the game is over. Actually, the game is already over. One of the rules of the burst economy is that there is no such thing as a work life and a personal life. There's just life. Attempts to containerize one or the other will fail. If your profile isn't on Facebook you won't exist as people won't look deeper than the first page of a Google search to find you.

6 comments:

Peg said...

...there is no such thing as a work life and a personal life. There's just life. Attempts to containerize one or the other will fail.

I'd call that an enduring metaphysical truth not unique to the burst economy.

I work as a writer/editor; every moment of my experience, every observation, contemplative insight, hope, dream, aspiration and vision informs and infuses my paid work.

Yet I don't and never will get paid for my most productive hours, the sideways thinking and breakthrough insights that come during my two-hour bike commutes, my lunchtime runs, my gossipy, spontaneous chats with folks whose passions and experiences I want to learn more about, or my countless "vacation-day" hours spent tending my vegetable garden, putting by my crops for winter, and splitting and stacking firewood. (All of which I definitely classify as "work.")

I do get paid, in part, for sitting through interminable (often mandatory) meetings, watching screen after screen of bulleted text scroll by as PowerPoint presenters drone on, reading it word for word. I get paid to edit tired boiler-plate others have "written" because they didn't have the time or whatever else it would take to produce something lively, original, and locally focused...

And so it goes. The market economy neatly containerizes and walls off "work" from the rest of "life" for almost everyone.

Otherwise, the productive work of households(breastfeeding,childrearing,early language acquisition, cultural education, caregiving, sheltering, meal preparation, etc.) wouldn't disappear from reckoning as essential economic work. We'd measure its value and generate some sort of hard economic rewards for these forms of essential unpaid work. (Don't get me started on the need to assign value to the "work" of ecological services.)

If your profile isn't on Facebook you won't exist...

Ahhh. Whadda way to disappear!

Kevin Gamble said...

Great comment Peg! Thank you.

I think burst organizations are somewhat different in that they not beholding to the artifacts of the industrial age.

"And so it goes. The market economy neatly containerizes and walls off "work" from the rest of "life" for almost everyone."

I think that's my point. The folks that are kicking butt and taking no prisoners in the burst economy are those that have rejected these artificial walls. I just don't see any evidence that the old economy organizations are capable of making the shift, however.

"Yet I don't and never will get paid for my most productive hours..."

You would if you worked for an organization that grokked burst.

Peg said...

You would if you worked for an organization that grokked burst.

Hmmm. I don't think so, so long as it continued to function as a market-based enterprise.

I share your enthusiasm for burst realities, but I suspect the trend, wherever it leads, may not provoke the deep changes that will bring social and environmental justice to global economics.

The idea of co-optation springs to mind. I remember the heady promises of the '70's, when several earlier iterations of burst economics got sucked in and drowned in the dominant paradigm.

I agree that the current paradigm shows no signs of making the shift (mostly because of what Clayton Christensen dubbed "the innovator's dilemma"), but plenty of big-money interests are grokking burst.

Still, many await and some work towards the post-capitalist economy that conducts its transactions in social justice and true measures of wealth, such as access to land and natural/solar resources. A higher-order burst.

Kevin Gamble said...

Peg,

Not every organization is market-driven. (Or maybe they are and I'm just naive. Hmmm?)

Have you read Yochai Benckler's book, The Wealth of Networks? It's an important work in this regard.

I've enjoyed your comments very much. They make me think. TY!

K

Peg said...

Kevin,

My definition of "market-based": an enterprise that uses cash or a cash proxy as its primary measure of value. I'll have to think about whether that equates with "market-driven." Off the top of my head, I'd say perhaps, but only roughly.

I haven't read The Wealth of Networks, but I'll give it a looksee.

I'm a true believer in networks. Networked holons work more like our human neurophysiology than dominator hierarchies.

Do you remember the first Whole Earth Catalogue and the subsequent run of Coevolution Quarterlies?

Mitch Owen said...

One of the myths is that leaders have to balance work vs personal issues. The findings are pretty clear.. most highly successful CEO's have a work life that is their personal life. They work and play toward their work goals.. and life goals. And Peg.. you do get paid for your sideways thinking.... Those productive hours are a part of the blended equation.. Much of my career success points to what I did outside the lines, when others were content to work 9 to 5...