Joshua-Michéle Ross

Josh has spent over 15 years consulting on digital business strategy and is currently Director of Digital Strategy, Europe with Fleishman Hillard, a global communications firm. His focus over the last 6 years has been on applying Web 2.0 principles to deliver competitive advantage (from new business model development to customer engagement and communication strategies). Mr. Ross has been a guest lecturer at Harvard University and has spoken at conferences related to technology and digital strategy around the world. Key clients include Philips, Nokia, Best Buy, Autodesk, and Polycom. Joshua holds a degree with honors in Chinese Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Stop Giving the Newspapers Your Advice – They Don’t Need It

Speculation about the demise of the news business and advice about what they should do about it is everywhere. It makes for great, self-congratulatory sport but it won’t help the news industry. Why? Because the news industry doesn’t suffer from a shortage of ideas or possible revenue models, it suffers from a different but more acute malady: being an institution…

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The Productivity Myth: Step Away From the Twitter – Get Back to Work

Ever since I posted a how-to on establishing guidelines for social media in the workplace, the issue that has generated the most energy concerns productivity. Employers it seems are very worried about lost productivity due to social media usage (Facebook, Twitter etc.). I can’t really get my arms around it because I don’t think these tools bring out any really new productivity concerns (and yes I am aware of operant conditioning).

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Amazon, Zappos and Buying What You Can’t Compete Against

Amazon bought Zappos. At first I was a bit surprised. Like an aging celebrity going to the “big theater in the sky” it is unexpected when you first hear about it – but upon reflection not surprising at all. It smacks of inevitability. Amazon has consistently displayed a genius for pushing the boundaries of their business – for syndicating their…

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In Defense of Social Media (At Least Some Of It)

Scott Berkun just posted a great rant titled, Calling Bullshit on Social Media. I suggest everyone read it. Berkun raises good points – and I agree the hype around social media warrants taking a critical look. Despite being in general agreement, there are a few areas I can’t abide, starting with this statement: social media is a stupid term. Is there any anti-social media out there? Of course not. All media, by definition, is social in some way.

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Silicon Valley's First Phone Company – A conversation with Ted Griggs

Silicon Valley's First Phone Company – A conversation with Ted Griggs

Ribbit bills itself as “Silicon Valley’s First Phone Company.” Recently I sat down with Ted Griggs, Ribbit’s CEO to talk about that tag line, Ribbit’s business and what’s behind their recent acquisition by British Telecom. It will be interesting to see how the telecommunications industry is going to handle the coming disruption as the public becomes accustomed to near-free calling and outside competitors like Google Voice and Ribbit accelerate the pace of innovation.

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Social Science Moves from Academia to the Corporation

Social Science Moves from Academia to the Corporation

This is the latest of a series of posts addressing questions regarding social technologies. Previous posts: The Evangelist Fallacy, Captivity of the Commons and The Digital Panopticon. These topics will be opened to live discussion in an upcoming webcast on May 27 with a special guest to be announced. In order to control a thing you must first classify a…

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The Digital Panopticon

The Digital Panopticon

This post is part three of a series raising questions about the mass adoption of social technologies. These posts will be opened to live discussion in an upcoming webcast on May 27. In 1785 utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham proposed architectural plans for the Panopticon, a prison Bentham described as “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.” Its method was a circular grid of surveillance; the jailors housed in a central tower being provided a 360-degree view of the imprisoned. Prisoners would not be able to tell when a jailor was actually watching or not. The premise ran that under the possibility of total surveillance (you could be being observed at any moment of the waking day) the prisoners would self-regulate their behavior to conform to prison norms.

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Captivity of the Commons

Captivity of the Commons

This post is part two of the series, “The Question Concerning Social Technology”. Part one is here. These posts will be opened to live discussion in an upcoming webcast on May 27. In January 2002 DARPA launched the Information Awareness Office. The mission was to, “ imagine, develop, apply, integrate, demonstrate and transition information technologies, components and prototype, closed-loop, information systems that will counter asymmetric threats by achieving total information awareness (emphasis added)” The notion of a government agency achieving total information awareness was too Orwellian to ignore. Under criticism that this “awareness” could quickly migrate to a mass surveillance system the program was defunded.

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The Question Concerning Social Technology

The Question Concerning Social Technology

I am an evangelist of social media and an active participant: on Linked In (business), MySpace (music) and Facebook (increasingly my online identity), I blog on several sites and I am a daily user of Twitter. I also make my living speaking to companies about the value and operating principles of these more open, participatory technologies. I have read the proponents that abound (Why I Love Twitter, Groundswell, Here Comes Everybody etc.) and found much to agree with. I have read the detractors (“Is Google Making Us Stupid?” …, Facebook Addiction is Real etc.…) and found little to agree with.

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Radar Interview with Clay Shirky

Clay Shirky is one of the most incisive thinkers on technology and its effects on business and society. I had the pleasure to sit down with him after his keynote at the FASTForward '09 conference last week in Las Vegas. In this interview Clay talks about the effects of low cost coordination and group action, where to find the next layer of value when many professions are being disrupted by the Internet, and the necessary role of low cost experimentation in finding new business models.

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