The User Is The Destination Now


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I presented this slide deck at Widget Web Expo in London on Oct 6, 2008.
You can watch the video of that presentation here:

Full title is The User Is the Destination Now: Widgets role in the eighth mass media.
See the video and slidedeck together at

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  • The User Is The Destination Now

    1. 1. The user is the destination now Widgets’ Role in the Eighth Mass Media David Cushman
    2. 2. Hits are worth(-)less in the networked world
    3. 3. Three laws describe how value grows and is distributed in networks David Cushman
    4. 4. Sarnoff’s Law – the red line <ul><li>The value of a broadcast network is proportional to the number of viewers/listeners: Eg TV, Radio, Cinema </li></ul>David Cushman
    5. 5. Metcalfe’s Law: the yellow line <ul><li>The value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of users of the system ( n² growth): Fax machines, telephones, one-to-one communications. </li></ul>David Cushman
    6. 6. Reed’s Law: the green line <ul><li>The value of large networks , particularly social networks , grows exponentially with the size of the network.(2n) </li></ul><ul><li>Because: The number of possible sub-groups of network participants grows much more rapidly than either the number of participants, ‘ N’ (Sarnoff’s Law) , or the number of possible pair connections ( Metcalfe's law ) (N squared) </li></ul>David Cushman
    7. 7. How does this reveal the value of hits in the networked world? David Cushman
    8. 8. Flip the graphs to find the demand curve … and we discover why the long tail succeeds in the group forming ( Reed’s Law ) world of social networks that IS the internet. David Cushman
    9. 9. Hits take more of the available value in a broadcast world David Cushman
    10. 10. Hits worth more in broadcast world <ul><li>Shaded area shows hits account for a greater proportion of the available demand and total value in Sarnoff’s broadcast world and in Metcalfe’s world of one-to-one communications. </li></ul>David Cushman
    11. 11. Hits are still worth having… but <ul><li>They have less proportional value compared to the overall economics of the networked world. </li></ul><ul><li>In a broadcast world the hit was where MOST of the value resided </li></ul><ul><li>The opposite is true in a networked world. </li></ul><ul><li>Seeking ways to create value in the long tail therefore offers the bigger opportunity </li></ul>David Cushman
    12. 12. Caution: Snakes Long tail is getting longer…
    13. 13. Frightening Fragmentation Q: How can we reach deep into and along the ever-elongating long tail? A: Understand how messages/ideas and conversations evolve in the networked world
    14. 14. The internet is for people .
    15. 15. The internet is for people . For people to form groups
    16. 16. The internet is for people . For people to form groups Groups with shared purposes
    17. 17. The internet is for people . For people to form groups Groups with shared purposes Groups of people that can form at little or no cost
    18. 18. That changes everything http:// stuckincustoms/
    19. 19. Three key disruptions Who gets to create content? Who gets to distribute content? Who controls the user experience?
    20. 20. Three key disruptions Who gets to create content? Any and everyone Who gets to distribute content? Any and everyone Who controls the user experience? The user is the destination now, they control their own A-to-anywhere journey
    21. 21. You can’t target every community of purpose They can Here’s how
    22. 22. You can’t target every community of purpose. They can Here’s how
    23. 23. THE STAGE Scale = audience = where the eyeballs have gone Message broadcast at audience David Cushman
    24. 24. THE STAGE But in (social) networks the broadcast message doesn’t arrive David Cushman
    25. 25. They aren’t looking at The Stage. They are looking at each other Scale = lots of communities of purpose = where the eyeballs are focused David Cushman
    26. 26. <ul><li>They share messages among </li></ul><ul><li>their groups. </li></ul><ul><li>They adapt them to suit their groups. </li></ul><ul><li>They make the message theirs </li></ul>We share what we think is cool with people who (we think) will think its cool , too David Cushman
    27. 27. <ul><li>The groups are not fixed (adhoc). </li></ul><ul><li>The message spreads when the </li></ul><ul><li>groups reform around a new purpose </li></ul>Users select what they think is cool (has utility) to take with them on their journey David Cushman
    28. 28. Participants adapt the message to suit the group they wish to share it with The people best-placed to adapt the message are in the group, not on the stage David Cushman
    29. 29. And so it continues; the message evolving to survive. Or it dies out. We share what we think is cool. That which we co-create, we embrace David Cushman
    30. 30. They aren’t your groups, they are theirs. They aren’t your messages, they are theirs Marketing is not done to them, it is done by them David Cushman
    31. 31. The seven mass medias <ul><li>Print </li></ul><ul><li>Audio recordings </li></ul><ul><li>Cinema </li></ul><ul><li>Radio </li></ul><ul><li>TV </li></ul><ul><li>Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile </li></ul>
    32. 32. <ul><li>7 th Mass Media </li></ul><ul><li>1. It’s truly personal </li></ul><ul><li>2. It’s always on </li></ul><ul><li>3. It’s always with you </li></ul><ul><li>4. Has a built-in payment mechanism </li></ul><ul><li>5. Allows creation at the point of inspiration </li></ul>
    33. 33. The eighth? <ul><li>Connects communities of purpose globally </li></ul><ul><li>In real time </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond all silos </li></ul><ul><li>Enables the fulfilment of Reed’s Law (GFNT) </li></ul>
    34. 34. We are the eighth mass media <ul><li>Participatory culture is leading us to the eighth mass media </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not just that we create it in a UGC vs Professional way. I mean: </li></ul><ul><li>WE are the distribution, </li></ul><ul><li>WE are the content, </li></ul><ul><li>WE are the 'user journey', </li></ul><ul><li>WE are how messages are transmitted. </li></ul><ul><li>WE are the medium and the media carried by it. </li></ul>
    35. 35. For the journey… <ul><li>We are the connections. </li></ul><ul><li>We are also how the connections are made . </li></ul><ul><li>The eighth mass media is where being pointed at is less important than being taken with . </li></ul><ul><li>Widgets are consumate taken-with enablers. </li></ul>
    36. 36. Perhaps the ninth?
    37. 37. Key lessons for brands 1
    38. 38. Key lessons for brands 2 <ul><li>Respond </li></ul>
    39. 39. Listen <ul><li>The conversations are happening with or without your permission. </li></ul><ul><li>They are happening everywhere people talk </li></ul><ul><li>You can listen:;, Radion6 </li></ul><ul><li>Listen, enable, and serve. </li></ul>
    40. 40. Business case for listening <ul><li>70% of purchase decisions are friend-recommended. </li></ul><ul><li>How much of your current spend is focused on connecting to the conversations? </li></ul><ul><li>How much value do you currently place on these conversations? </li></ul><ul><li>If the answer isn’t 70%, why not? </li></ul>
    41. 41. 2. Respond <ul><li>Marketing isn’t done to them, it is done by them </li></ul><ul><li>Think less of where the eyeballs are and more about the mouths and ears </li></ul><ul><li>Place value on real-time, human interaction. </li></ul>
    42. 43. Why widgets <ul><li>Portable: taken on the user’s journey </li></ul><ul><li>(portablity is the new point-worthy!) </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptable: The joke can be retold </li></ul><ul><li>Adoptable: Users can associate themselves with brands/bands/orgs/ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Low-tech barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Rapidly becoming ubiquitous </li></ul><ul><li>(we’ll come back to how important that is) </li></ul>
    43. 44. Homo Mimicus <ul><li>Widgets are great enablers of behaviour emulation </li></ul>Pic: Somargraphics via flickr
    44. 45. Widgets work <ul><li>Where they let users adapt them to better suit those they would share them with </li></ul><ul><li>Eg Youtube’s many incarnations of the Cadbury’s gorilla ad. </li></ul><ul><li>Where they lower the technical barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Eg Pampers easy-insert of your own kids’ pictures into a Christmas video message. </li></ul>
    45. 46. Widgets require <ul><li>A willingness to relinquish control </li></ul><ul><li>Toolkits users can play with </li></ul><ul><li>Creative users </li></ul><ul><li>2&3 are in place. </li></ul><ul><li>Ready for No1? </li></ul> /
    46. 47. The networked journey <ul><li>Listening to and responding to the network requires and drives cultural change within the brand itself. </li></ul><ul><li>It raises and answers questions about ownership and control to make your brand better adapted to the networked world. </li></ul><ul><li>It is your safe passage to the future </li></ul>
    47. 48. The great disruption has only just begun Brian Eno 1991
    48. 49. Thanks! Find me at <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Or just Google: “David Cushman” </li></ul><ul><li>Call or text +447736 353590 </li></ul>