Why we all want to be Jedi

JediYou are facing a social status problem. Why? Because the gentlemen you are debating against on a forum system is considered level Jedi, whereas you are just a mere Ewok. You thought 100 posts and counting was good, turns out Mr Jedi level is a community manager who has the power to shut your conversation down – by the way, he’s posted 15,000 times. Tough luck.

Throughout the mid-noughties forum systems were the one social media channel everyone seemed to be a member of. This was before Facebook properly hit mainstream in the UK around 2007. A forum existed to host the conversations of particular communities; I boasted membership of religious forums, atheistic, technological and aquatics (don’t judge me…).

Members boasted their fixed roles such as member, moderator, scripter, admin. Then each individuals’ social status was partly dictated by their post frequency and corresponding title. What made these economies was the supply and demand of membership levels, in correspondence with members constantly wanting to raise their online social status. This kept communities ticking.

Not much has changed since forums. Online communities still exist today; everyone is still attempting to raise their own metrics. This helps PR agencies identify the ‘influencers’. It’s this desire to constantly be better, more famous and louder online which is a key ingredient behind every social network. If it’s missing, kiss goodbye to the network. Some people call this element gamification.

Everyone faces social status challenges online; we all want to be better than everyone else. What makes this currency real for PR practitioners is that online status can directly be applied as an indicator to show effective you are in your own role. We all want to be Jedi.

Wearable Technology; an Ethical Nightmare for PR?

Yesterday evening the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) became the first professional marketing body to officially debate the potential ethical implications of wearable technology. At an event hosted in the House of Commons, well known figures Neville HobsonStephen DaviesStephen Waddington and Claire Walker debated the motion:

“Wearable Technology is an Ethical Nightmare for PR, Marketing and Communications Professionals”

I attended this thought provoking debate and have published a review of it on the Keene Communications blog here. Do have a read.

In an ever-changing technological landscape it’s important to sometimes question the ethics surrounding the technologies being developed. Today, wearable technology is all around us from fitness bands to smart watches, Google Glass and even devices that can embed into the human body. By 2018 it’s expected that the wearable technology market in the U.S. will have a value of $12.8bn. The UK is catching up fast with Amazon UK launching it’s own wearable technology store yesterday (7th July 2014).