#8 Collective Intelligence - Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engagement


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This is the eighth report from our upcoming People's Insights Annual Report titled “Now & Next: Future of Engagement”, also available as a Kindle eBook and soon as an interactive iPad app. The report will highlight the ten most important frontiers that will define the future of engagement for marketers, entrepreneurs and changemakers: Crowdfunding, Behavior Change Games, Collaborative Social Innovation, Grassroots Change Movements, Co-creation Communities, Social Curation, Transmedia Storytelling, Collective Intelligence, Social Live Experiences and Collaborative Consumption.

In each of these reports, we start by describing why they are important, how they work, and how brands might benefit from them; we then examine web platforms and brand programs that point to the future (that is already here); then finish by identifying some of the most important features of that future, with our recommendations on how to benefit from them.

Do subscribe to our email newsletter to receive an invite to download a free copy of the interactive iPad app.

Find out more: http://peopleslab.mslgroup.com/peoplesinsights/future-of-engagement/
Get the Kindle eBook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D8ZZMDY

Published in: Business, Technology

#8 Collective Intelligence - Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engagement

  1. 1. 8. COLLECTIVEINTELLIGENCEPeoples Insights Annual ReportNow & Next:Future of Engagement
  2. 2. We are delighted to share that we will bepublishing the People’s Insights AnnualReport titled “Now & Next: Future ofEngagement” as an interactive iPad app. Thereport will highlight the ten most importantfrontiers that will define the future ofengagement for marketers, entrepreneursand change makers: Crowdfunding, BehaviorChange Games, Collaborative SocialInnovation, Grassroots Change Movements,Co-creation Communities, Social Curation,Transmedia Storytelling, CollectiveIntelligence, Social Live Experiences and theSharing Economy.Throughout 2012, 100+ planners onMSLGROUP’s Insights Network have beentracking inspiring web platforms and brandprograms at the intersection of social data,citizenship, crowdsourcing and storytelling.Every week, we pick up one project andcurate the conversations around it — on theMSLGROUP Insights Network itself but alsoon the broader social web — into a weeklyinsights report. Every quarter, we compilethese insights, along with original researchand insights from the MSLGROUP globalnetwork, into the People’s Insights QuarterlyMagazine. Now, we have synthesized theinsights from our year-long endeavor in futurescanning as foresights into the future ofengagement.We believe, like William Gibson that, “thefuture is already here; it’s just not very evenlydistributed.” So, innovative web platformsin the areas of social data, citizenship,crowdsourcing and storytelling point towardsinteresting possibilities for brand programsthat leverage similar models to engagepeople. In turn, the web platforms and brandprograms of today give us clues to the futureof engagement tomorrow.In our reports on the ten frontiers that willdefine the future of engagement, we start bydescribing why they are important, how theywork, and how brands might benefit fromthem; we then examine web platforms andbrand programs that point to the future(that is already here); then finish by identifyingsome of the most important features of thatfuture, with our recommendations on how tobenefit from them.For the next ten weeks, we will publishthese reports one by one, then present themtogether, in context, as an interactive iPad app.Do subscribe to our email newsletter to receiveeach report and also an invite to download afree copy of the interactive iPad app.People’s Insights Annual Report
  3. 3. 3What is Collective Intelligence?Organizations synthesizesearch, social andsensor data streams intoinsights that guide smarteractions.Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are anonymizingand aggregating this data, mining collectiveintelligence from it themselves, and also makingit available for third-party applications via robustAPIs.Web platforms are using data to create reviewsof the most important trends and events in theprevious year (Google Zeitgeist(video), 2012 Yearon Twitter (video), Facebook Year in Review); addnew perspective to important political, sportsand entertainment events (Amazon ElectionHeat Map (screenshot), Twitter Political Index,Facebook America Votes 2012 (video),TwitterOscars Index); and even predict potential careerpaths (LinkedIn Career Explorer (video)), thespread of communicable diseases (Google FluTrends (video)) and traffic conditions (GoogleMaps Traffic (video)).Collective intelligence involves analyzing thecollective actions and feedback of people,finding patterns and trends, and sharing itback to aid understanding and guide action.Organizations, artists and changemakers areusing collective intelligence to analyze opinionsand behaviors, identify patterns and trends, andrecommend actions or inspire change.The rise of collective intelligence can beattributed to three broad trends. First, peopleare sharing immense amounts of location-based, personalized data online, both implicitlyby searching, clicking or buying and explicitlyby creating profiles, posting status updates,and checking in to locations and events.Second, people are beginning to use sensor-based devices to track and share real worlddata about our bodies (quantified self) and ourdevices, houses, and environments (internetof things). Third, web platforms like Google,Source: jodiejaye on Flickr
  4. 4. Click to watch: Next BioNews and entertainment media organizationsare partnering with internet platforms or usingtheir APIs to use search and social data toanalyze public opinions, predict the outcome ofimportant events (USA Today/ Twitter ElectionMeter, Facebook/ CNN Election Insights, E! HeatGauge (video)) or showcase upcoming artists(MTV Music Meter (video)).Several web platforms are finding patternsin user profiles, networks and behaviors tomake better product, movie, book, music andrestaurant recommendations (Amazon, Netflix,Random House’s Bookscout, Goodreads,Pandora, Bundle).Entrepreneurs and changemakers are creatingniche platforms to mine social and search datato improve traffic conditions (Waze (video)),optimize energy consumption (Opower (video)),and aggregate health data to predict outbreakof diseases (Sickweather (video), Flu Near You(video), HealthMap (video)) and even exploreeffective cures (Patients Like Me (video), NextBio(video)).Some collective intelligence initiatives haveachieved significant impact and scale. Forinstance, Waze’s community of 36 million driversshared 90 million user reports on real time traffic,accidents, hazards, police, gas prices and mapissues, and Opower has used data from 80 utilitycompanies to help reduce energy consumptionby 2 billion kilowatt hours and save $234 millionon electricity bills.The success of such collective intelligenceplatforms shows that it’s possible to synthesizesearch, social, sensor and self-reported datafrom millions of people into meaningful real-time insights that can guide actions and changebehaviors at scale.How does Collective Intelligencework?Collective intelligence platforms can beclassified across three dimensions: the typeof data, the method of data analysis, and thepossibilities for participation.Most collective intelligence platforms usea combination of search, social, sensor andself-reported data. Recommendation engines(Amazon) primarily use on-site browsing,buying and rating data, but are beginning to addsocial data. Navigation apps (Waze) primarilyuse automatically updated location data fromsmartphones, with some self-reported data.Many behavior change applications (Opower)use sensor or transaction data from their ownor partner devices, but sometimes add insocial data. Many platforms from media andentertainment organizations (MTV Music Meter)use social data sourced from social network APIs.Platforms that use search, social or sensor datatypically use the public APIs or take a one-timepermission from the user. Platforms that useself-reported data from specialized communitiesoften build their own community platforms andadd gamification features to encourage people toshare data regularly (Patients Like Me).Different collective intelligence platformssynthesize data in different ways. Someplatforms use algorithms to cluster users andproducts based on viewing, buying, or ratingbehaviors and show their recommendationsin terms of “users who liked these products alsobought these other products” (Amazon) or “userswho have similar characteristics also behaved inthis way” (Opower). Many platforms plot search,social, sensor and self-reported data on maps,based on keywords or metadata, to find shifts ingeographical patterns over time (Sickweather).Other platforms find patterns in socialconversations through text and link analysisand connect them back to source or profiledata (Facebook/ CNN Election Insights). Someplatforms allow users to filter through the databased on time, location, popularity or sentimentto get to more nuanced insights.Many collective intelligence platforms haveoverlaps with co-creation communities, socialcuration platforms, and behavior change games,and offer similar possibilities for participation.Crowdsourcing-driven platforms ask users tocreate profiles, share answers or ideas, andengage with other users’ content (PatientsLike Me). Curation-driven platforms ask users
  5. 5. 5Click to watch: ShopycatClick to watch: Wazeto engage with other users’ content and tagtheir own content so that it might be included(Sickweather). Behavior change driven platformscompare the users’ behaviors with similar othersand incentivize them to change their behaviorthrough gamification features (OPower).Collective Intelligence for BrandsMany organizations and brands areexperimenting with collective intelligence inmeaningful ways.A number of organizations have createdideation platforms to crowdsource insights fromemployees, partners and customers, and somehave even used these insights to create newproduct and service offerings (Dell Ideastorm,MyStarbucksIdea). Many other organizationshave created long-term public or privateinsights communities to get a more nuancedunderstanding of consumer behavior, and somehave even shared these insights back with thecommunity. For instance, Nestle launched theHappily Healthy Project (video) quiz to helpAustralians measure their Happily HealthyQuotient and compare it to nation and stateaverages, filtered by a number of demographicvariables like age, gender and income. Otherorganizations have partnered with independentcommunity platforms to get insights aboutspecialized high-value communities. Forinstance, several pharmaceutical companies havepartnered with Patients Like Me to understandpatient needs and drug performance.Other organizations have taken the socialcuration route to synthesize and share insightsfrom social conversations around importantevents. For instance, KPMG built WEF Live tocurate the conversations around World EconomicForum and highlight the most important themesfrom WEF delegates and WEF watchers fromaround the world. During the 2012 LondonOlympics, GE tied up with NBC to track Twitterconversations around the games. Almostall major brands are trying to use big data,including search and social data, to understandand engage with consumers. For instance,Vicks combined aggregated search data fromGoogle Flu Trends with demographic data totarget moms in high flu zones with ads for theirpremium Flu Thermometer. @WalmartLabshas analyzed vast amounts of social data (“fastdata”) and combined it with public web data andproprietary data to create the social genome,a living database of entities (people, events,topics, products, locations, organizations) andtheir relationships. It is now building a series ofcollective intelligence social applications usingthe social genome, starting with the social giftrecommendation app Shopycat (video).Finally, some organizations are buildingplatforms and products to synthesize and shareinsights from sensor data, both in the quantifiedself-space and the internet of things space.For instance, the Nike+ (video) and AdidasMiCoach (video) range of wearable sensor-enabled products enable people to track theirworkouts, compare themselves with friendsand similar others, and even compete withothers. Audi partnered with MIT to create a RoadFrustration Index (video) based on traffic andweather conditions, reported accidents and driversentiment from social data.
  6. 6. Click to watch: MTV Music MeterSource: mtvmusicmeter.comCollective Intelligence case studiesThroughout the year, we have tracked theconversations around a number of collectiveintelligence programs and branded programsin our weekly insights reports and quarterlymagazines; here are a few highlights.Collective Intelligence program: MTV MusicMeterRead the full case study on our blog or onSlideshareThe algorithm also segregates artists by type, by analyzing where people are talking about them. AsBillboard contributor Glenn Peoples noted:MTV Music Meter is a platform that ranks artists bysocial popularity and helps people discover new music.Mashable’s Brenna Ehlrich explains how it works:“MTV worked with music intelligence companyThe Echo Nest — which recently partnered withIsland Def Jam — to develop an algorithm thatcombs through blogs, social media, video andmore traditional metrics (like radio plays andsales) to determine which bands are getting themost attention each day.”“Where an artist is being talked about influencesthe Music Meter list where that artist appears. Forexample, indie rock artist Bon Iver showed up onMusic Meter’s mainstream list after winning aGrammy for best new artist.”Then, MTV Music Meter provides curated contentabout the artists with 30-second song previewsfrom music partner Rhapsody; articles, bios andphotos from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and theMTV archive; and tour dates from Songkick.
  7. 7. 7Source: facebook.comThe platform is accessible via the web, iPad,iPhone and Android. In its first year, MTV MusicMeter generated 1 million downloads.Collective Intelligence program: CNN I’mVotingRead the full case study on our blog or onSlideshareIn early 2012, Vicks combined three layers of datato reach moms in high flu zones with mobileads for their premium Behind Ear Thermometer.Moms only received ads if they were within threeSource: nytimes.comAnalysts acknowledge the potential of the I’mVoting app to use metrics gathered from surveysand insights gleaned from conversations, bothto predict trends and to better understand theviews of the masses. Online radio host Tim Bergenoted:“Currently, about 25-hundred Facebook usershave pledged to vote in November. Of theparticipating users, 53 percent said they areDemocrat, while 25 percent are Republican, and22 percent said they are Independent.“And, despite what the candidates may besaying recently in their campaign attacks… mostFacebook users are listing the economy as themost critical issue.”Several people have criticized the data collectedfrom the app, pointing out that it does not trulyrepresent the view of Americans but of Facebookand CNN users, the majority of whom aredemocratic.Branded program: Vicks Mobile Ad CampaignRead the full case study on our blog or onSlideshareCNN partnered with Facebook to create theI’m Voting app to encourage people to discusspolitical issues and pledge to vote, and toshare insights from these conversations in theircoverage of the 2012 presidential elections.In a press release, CNN shared:“The app will enable people who use Facebook tocommit to voting and endorse specific candidatesand issues. Commitments to vote will be displayedon people’s Facebook timeline, news feed, andreal-time ticker…"Govind, member of the MSLGROUP InsightsNetwork commented:“I love the fact that this initiative gets media topartner people in recognizing and thinking of realissues, and lets people see that they are not alone.Also, as this movement grows, political parties getto see that they need to deliver.”Meghan McCain, daughter of 2008 presidentialcandidate John McCain, blogged:“In my opinion, It will be really interesting tosee how this Facebook integration influencesconversations surrounding the election amongyoung voters, and if it will become a platform forbipartisanship.”
  8. 8. Branded program: Nike FuelBandRead the full case study on our blog or onSlideshareSource: nike.comIn 2012, Nike introduced the Nike FuelBand – awearable product that measures people’s dailyactivities and workouts in a virtual metric calledNikeFuel. People can view their performancedata on their smart phones and the Nike+ websiteand can compare results and NikeFuel earnedwith friends and members of the 7 million strongNike+ community.Nike targets the “everyday athlete” with theFuelBand. As journalist Jessica Stanley observed“Just Do It’ is one of the best positioningstatements in the world, but customers started tochange. Don’t just say it, help us.”The FuelBand does this by re-positioningeveryday activities and chores as a sport,measuring people’s daily activities on web andmobile dashboard, and rewarding them fordoing more. The concept of instant feedbackimmediately appealed to self-trackers, like JennaWortham, who commented“From the moment I wrapped the band aroundmy wrist, I was enamored with the idea of a devicethat could help me collect data about my habitsand behavior, so that I could try to improve them.”Ever present on the wrists of the owner, theFuelBand displays the amount of NikeFuelearned for the day, and motivates people to meettheir daily goal.MSLGROUP’s Gaurav Mishra talks about how theNikeFuel band has helped him become moreactive:miles of a retailer selling the thermometer. Onclicking the ads, moms were shown a video onthe benefits of the thermometer and directed tothe nearest retailer selling the thermometer.First, Vicks used Google Flu trends to find outwhich areas were experiencing high incidences offlu. Dr. Robert Brecht, a specialist in healthcaremarketing, explained how the raw data wasvalidated and made accessible:“Google’s [Flu] Trends is based on a formula toestimated flu activity based solely on searches.Google was able to do that by correlating flu-related Web searches with actual data fromthe Center for Disease Control (DCD) (sic). Bycombining the search keywords with the IPaddress of searchers which provides searchers’locations, Google is able to estimate regional fluactivity within a day of outbreaks compared to aweek or two lag with CDC reports.”Second, Vicks reached moms and expectingmoms through mobile apps such as Pandora,which collect user data including age, gender,marital status and whether they are parents.Andrew Adam Newman, a journalist at New YorkTimes, noted:“A mobile campaign by Blue Chip MarketingWorldwide, which is based in Chicago, places theads for the thermometer within popular apps likePandora that collect basic details about users,including their sex and whether they are parents,and can pinpoint specific demographics to receiveads.”Third, Vicks used real-time data from locationbased mobile advertising network Where totarget moms when they were within 3 miles ofa closest retail store that stocks the Behind EarThermometers.Michael Johnsen, who covers medical marketingnews, wrote:“The ad targets users who arguably have ahigher need for the product — a factor that wouldpresumably increase the purchase intent with thatbranded call to action.”
  9. 9. 9We expect that big corporations will acquiremany of these social data startups. For instance,Twitter acquired TV social data startup BlueFin,Intuit acquired personal finance startup Mint,eBay acquired personal recommendation startupHunch, and Walmart acquired social commercestartup Kosmix (now @WalmartLabs). Otherorganizations will partner with platforms likeKaggle or DataKind to run crowdsourced datachallenges.We also expect that organizations will shift theirfocus from collecting and analyzing data tocreating applications that use the data to helptheir users get better understanding and makebetter decisions. As a result, social curation toolslike MassRelevance, insight community toolslike CommuniSpace and crowdsourcing toolslike BrightIdea will all strengthen their featuresaround visualizing and showcasing data back tothe users to guide action.Finally, we expect that “fast data” will be the nextbig thing after “big data”, as organizations seek toanalyze data streams from social conversations,search queries, sensors, and transactions, findpatterns and actionable insights, and shareit back with users to help them make betterdecisions, all in real time.“I am a big believer in breaking down a largechallenge into small challenges and tickingthem off in public. I remember that the year Ifirst bought a Nike+ shoe was the year I ran mostregularly. The instant feedback and the sense ofprogress were almost addictive. Then, I lost thesensor, and lost my stride. I bought a NIkeFuelband a few weeks back and I have seen my activitylevels go up significantly since then. Instead oftaking a taxi, I walk 3+ km to work, both ways,and I am planning to buy a bike for the weekends.I even created a goal on Nike Plus to finish 2012active.”As Alyson Shontell reflected“Realizing how inactive I was during certain hourshas made me more active in my spare time.”The Nike FuelBand is the latest addition to Nike’ssuite of fitness tracking products, all of whichincorporate some elements of games, networksand data to help people achieve their fitnessgoals.Future of Collective IntelligenceIn the near future, we expect more socialplatforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter andLinkedIn to synthesize user data to share insightsthat help users get a new understanding oftheir own behaviors (how families interact onFacebook). We also expect social platforms tocreate more data-driven applications that helpusers make meaningful decisions and changetheir behaviors (LinkedIn Career Explorer, GoogleFlu Trends).We also expect the social data space to explodewith new, specialized players. Gnip, Topsy andDataSift (video) aggregate data from multiplesocial platforms, provide applications torecombine and analyze them, and APIs for thirdparty developers to build applications on them.Other data players are focusing on building socialdata applications for a specific industry: Dataminrfor financial services, BlueFinLabs (video) andSecond Sync (video) for Television, Next BigSound video and The Echo Nest for music, andReviewPro for hotels. We also expect other datastartups to focus on sensor data (SensorCloud(video)) and transaction data (Swipely (video)).
  10. 10. People’s Lab is MSLGROUP’s proprietarycrowdsourcing platform and approach thathelps organizations tap into people’s insights forinnovation, storytelling and change.The People’s Lab crowdsourcing platformhelps organizations build and nurture publicor private, web or mobile, hosted or whitelabel communities around four pre-configuredapplication areas: Expertise Request Network,Innovation Challenge Network, Research &Insights Network and Contest & ActivationNetwork. Our community and gaming featuresencourage people to share rich content, vote/comment on other people’s content andcollaborate to find innovative solutions.The People’s Lab crowdsourcing platformand approach forms the core of our distinctiveinsights and foresight approach, which consistsof four elements: organic conversation analysis,MSLGROUP’s own insight communities, client-specific insights communities, and ethnographicdeep dives into these communities. The People’sInsights Quarterly Magazines showcase ourcapability in crowdsourcing and analyzinginsights from conversations and communities.People’s Lab:CrowdsourcingInnovation & InsightsLearn more about us at:peopleslab.mslgroup.com | twitter.com/peopleslab
  11. 11. MSLGROUP is Publicis Groupes strategiccommunications and engagement group,advisors in all aspects of communicationstrategy: from consumer PR to financialcommunications, from public affairs toreputation management and from crisiscommunications to event management.With more than 3,700 people, its offices span22 countries. Adding affiliates and partnersinto the equation, MSLGROUPs reachincreases to 4,000 employees in 83 countries.Today the largest PR and Engagementnetwork in Europe, Greater China and India, thegroup offers strategic planning and counsel,insight-guided thinking and big, compellingideas – followed by thorough execution.mslgroup.com | twitter.com/msl_groupWrite to us to start a conversation on the future of engagement.:Pascal Beucler,SVP & Chief Strategy Officer(pascal.beucler@mslgroup.com)Janelle Dixon,North America Head of Insights(janelle.dixon@mslgroup.com)Dominic Payling,Europe Head of Insights(dominic.payling@mslgroup.com)Gaurav Mishra,Asia Head of Insights(gaurav.mishra@mslgroup.com)