The Signal Economy
Publishing Success in a Web of Sensors, Senses and Semantics
John Blossom, Shore Communications Inc.24 February 2014
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What is Signal?
A new perspective on information
What is signal?
• sig·nal ˈsignəl/ noun
“A gesture, action, or sound that is used to
convey information or instructions”
• Clear status & action indicators
derived from complex inputs
• Highly actionable
information at the
right time & place
Where do we get signal?
Signal is the
Everything can generate signal
Internet Protocol Version 6 provides
340 trillion trillion trillion addresses!
EVERY THING in the world
can send signal via the Web
and Web-aware networks
The world IS signal
The economic impact of signal
Building data sets
...and that’s just the “things!”
More than 32 billion new
personal sensors in 2014
Not just big data!
It’s what Big
Data helps us
to DO faster
Poll Question #1
Are you integrating big data
analytics into your current
publications or client
platforms? (YES/NO/NOT SURE)
What’s creating signal?
analyzed at scale
In Web cloud
SENSORS: Signal in motion
• “War on Terrorism”
SENSORS: Signal in locations
SOCIAL: Signal from and for people
SEMANTICS: Signal from analysis
What does signal change?
Building data sets
Signifying signal sets
What is The Signal Economy?
The value of acting on signal
What is The Signal Economy?
• The generation, collecting, organizing and
analysis of signals that drive economic activity
predictively at unprecedented scale
• From hypothesis-driven mass planning cycles
to signal-driven targeted production cycles
An economy of signal-driven markets
...using less time, fewer resources and
more effective filtering of options
Understand and fulfill unique demands at scale
before others even see them
An economy that demands analysis
An economy of complex simplicity
• Creating economic value out of effective signals
o Driving innovation
o Exploiting more “blue skies”
o Accelerating marketing
o Support as research
• From expert-driven
decision making to
• Marketing before markets are defined
Basic diagram source: Cognitive Edge Pty.
(Accepted Hypotheses)(Valuable Hypotheses)
(No Hypotheses) (Applied Hypotheses)
An economy that redefines success
Investing in signal monetizes the value of failure
What Should I Do?
Publishers in The Signal Economy
Where publishers like to be
Where publishers fit in the Web
Your StuffSites/Apps x
Publishers in The Signal Economy?
Big Data x
Poll Question #2
Do you think that predictive
services would provide
high value to your current
or prospective customers?
Why hide content from signals?
Make it aware of what makes it valuable now
Why not become a master of signals?
that deliver it
& act on it
Structure is just the beginning
• “Google Now for xxx”Can signal from your content be
found and adjusted easily?
Is it structured in a way that will
enable action-oriented analytics?
Follow the verbs
The verbs of entity relationships shift in real-time
Create new adjectives and adverbs
What subtleties and nuances do others miss?
Adapt to the TL;DR culture
Massive information without massive and instant
interpretation and application is a thing of the past
Success in The Signal Economy
• “What processes and actions
are valuable right now?”
• “What should I be looking at
that has escaped my focus?”
• “What are customers/
competitors/leaders/researchers going to do next?”
• “This looks like a valuable idea. Can I get in on it?”
o Monetizing idea selection and access to its testing
Your to-do list
1. Focus on analytics producing actionable metrics
o “How can we quantify semantic signals for action?”
o “How do we respond now?”
o “What are „failures‟ telling us?”
2. Focus on tailored actions
o Targeted, personal, predictive
o Aware of real-time syntax shifts
o With rich context from anywhere
3. Focus on actionable syntax for any and all content
o Rethink your assets - are they contextualized for success?
• “Google Now for xxx”
o From static to predictive insights
o From queries to predictive alerts
o From building lists to
building relationships & successful processes
o From delivering facts to multiplatform actions
o From indexing to real-time knowledge mapping
o From producing research to signifying signals
Potential Value Statement
A closing thought...
”...Something can be a real failure until it‟s not. It‟s just an absolute dud until it‟s a hit.
So you have to be able to sense those early indicators of success, and the
leadership has to really lean in and not let things die on the vine. When you have a
$70 billion business, something that‟s $1 million can feel irrelevant. But that $1
million business might be the most relevant thing we are doing.”
- Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
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