Archive for the ‘Social Business’ Category

Lazy trumps all – for the supporters of SOPA and PIPA

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

One of my favorite quotes from Hunter Ellinger is: “Necessity may be the mother of invention, but laziness is the father.”  (I don’t know if he said it first, but that’s where I heard it first.)

I find that quote to be accurate in so many ways.

I look for how to get the most leverage and the quickest win.  The normal arguments about doing the, “right thing”, unfortunately, don’t always apply. It doesn’t help that the industry itself isn’t really trusted or viewed as doing the “right thing.”

So in regards to SOPA and PIPA – we have to ask: “what are the real goals here?”

If the REAL goal is to sponsor the artists and make their lives sustainable, then we need to take advantage of people’s laziness.  Set up something like iTunes appstore for individual artists and give them a fair cut.

Or perhaps we should better pursue something like YouTube’s commodification for popular creators/posters.  If you have a popular enough channel, you can actually make a living off of it.  But then, YouTube actually understands the Long Tail in regards to content creation.

Another option would be something like a donation jar like the website which allows you to give micropayments to content creators and bloggers.

I also like the idea of microdonations for nonprofits.  But again, make it easy…  Appstore purchases are only a password away!

Also don’t force me to “steal” to enjoy something I have already purchased.

RIAA and MPAA need to start looking towards more convenient purchase models like iTunes and Paypal.  (Though Paypal could be a lot easier IMHO.)  It is so easy for me to do “the right thing” on iTunes.  Imagine instead that more artists saw direct profits like developers do on the appstore…  How would that change many peoples’ purchasing habits?

I also hope and dream that someday Facebook will realize the amazing monitization that could occur if they looked at things a little more like YouTube and realized that we are not the content to be sold to advertisers but instead are the artists that could be supported by our friends.


Capture the flag!

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

If you come to a discussion with a set position you turn the discussion into a game of capture the flag.

The goal then becomes to affect the position you have staked territory on.  This greatly limits creativity in regards to end goals.

We often unconsciously do this by stating a position and settling on it before considering all of our options and talking with the people who matter most (friends, partners, employees, customers.) If you plan on negotiating from your position… you have already shot your self in the foot (going with the military strategy metaphor:-).)

Try stating things in regards to goals you would like to achieve instead of positions. Remember, it is EASY to add your favorite tactics or tools after others have contributed.  And try not to create goals that predetermine tactics. For example: “I want 10K twitter followers by tomorrow” as a stated goal instead of, “I want to have a viable two way conversation with our most influential customers.”

Don’t accidentally make tactics and tools the end goal and the primary focus for your team.  Goals are the true end game – don’t lose sight of them.

PS: Capture the flag is a great teaching tool for your troops when it comes time to determine how best to use the tools and tactics given :-) Just don’t limit them upfront!


Expectations – they aren’t just your own ;-)

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011


We all have them.

We try to capture and document them.  We all hope (or assume) that we have enough common starting ground that our documentation of these expectations makes sense.

We talk about concrete things like “I will give you X percentage of X profits.”  We try to manage the informational flow with things like “The consultant has a 2 week turnaround after the deliverable  is signed off on by the project manager.”

We list Requirements, Deliverables, Benchmarks, Resources, Allocations, Budget, Schedule, Dependencies, Roles, Responsibilities and hopefully even Goals 😉  But in regards to change and expectation management we rarely talk about the other expectations…

There are so many other types expectations projected on processes that are difficult to account for.  Things like cultural and behavioral and even emotional expectations.  I have watched these kill projects and partnerships esp international ones.

And while this seems too fuzzy or emotional to address, you would be surprised at how often it happens. We human beings enjoy working with people we like and trust.  If those emotional needs are not handled they can start to cause problems in communication over Resources, Schedules, etc…  If fundamental levels of trust cannot be supported this whole glass house of partnership can begin to fail on a basic communication level of shifting sand.  Perceptive filters are incredibly important. And a negative filter will kill a project or partnership.

So being the touchy feely girl that I am, I would add to the expectation management portion – an understanding of cultural, emotional and behavioral differences.  Trust is an essential cognitive filter in regards to understanding language and communication with others.  Once it is gone it is difficult to recover a level of positive communication that is needed to handle expectations properly… probably because those “expectations” can obtain a very tarnished filter.

Projects are always risky.  You can try to enumerate the risks at the beginning.  But the true interpretation of risks in that of perception which is often colored by the belief of intent.  The real risks are the unknown unknowns that you can’t enumerate at the beginning of the project that your partners have to believe you honestly did not see.

Also emotion affects perception, if communication is hurt then you can be perceived as underperforming even when technical expectations are met.

I think this is a substantial trap that women deal with often in the work place.  I can say the exact same thing as a man.  I don’t mean I say things that have the exact same meaning… I mean I say the exact same words.  And simply because I am in different packaging ( like a dress ) it will be heard differently.  This can be positive and negative.  I have had my looks and friendly approach guarantee I don’t set off Alpha Male paranoid in regards to position.  But it also means that I have to reframe myself at times in regards to leadership roles.  Awareness is key.

At no time forget that perceptive filters are in place.   Active listening i.e. repeating back your interpretation is crucial to creating accurate filters.  As I learned in India, Also have them also repeat back to you what they understood your requirements to be.  And never forget to check in with cultural experts and liaisons…


Women and Twitter

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

@thenextwomen: New Article: Women on Twitter for Business Reasons Why

Made me think about my gaming days… And all the discussions we used to have about women in gaming and getting more women involved in gaming.  We noticed that games with low introduction barriers were the most popular with women and captured the casual gamer market.

Two major ones that stood out to me are Solitaire and Tetris.  (I actually had a 4am discussion about this w Alexey at Burningman this year too.  I was camped at Tetrion – a very loud camp esp once the two 40ft tetris screens were setup.  We were celebrating Tetris’s 25 yr anniversary.  Henk was the initiator of the idea and got Alexey out there in all the dust and noise.)

Alexey believes (if I heard him right – it was kinda loud ;-)) that women like Tetris because you are constantly building/creating/fixing something rather than destroying.  I’d like to say that was true but I think it is something deeper than that.  At Dave and Busters, all the girls play Day of the Dead.  I think it is because the interface is quickly accessible.  Also you are cooperating with your partner.

So adoption…It also wasn’t a time issue – I noticed many women getting lost in those games for hours.

To me it all come around to interfaces… women have less patience with overly complex interfaces.  I found that on average men would spend more time trying to figure out an interface than a woman would.  Women seem to adopt faster when the interface is simple.  We know how to create the necessary social structures/rules so we prefer interfaces that get out of our way and allow us to do so.

I think that is why women love twitter and have adopted faster.

***disclaimer all of this is said in recognition of “Sparkling Generalities.”  There are always exceptions to the rules.  I am just mulling over a pattern I have personally observed.  I am very open to opposing evidence esp scientifically gathered!


WDYDWYD part 2

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

So I ignored the signs about identity. I waffled back and forth trying to create privacy on important things like home addresses while trying to maintain my brand. In a way I was forced into it. Whenever anyone hears the name Silona and they know me – they assume it is me. It’s a reasonable assumption. But when some students of mine discovered, I realized I had more to do. was a porn site for a dominatrix in the Czech Republic. Unfortunately she never showed her face and hard dark hair and a similar build to mine. Everyone seemed to believe me that it wasn’t me but.. the seeds of doubt were there. I knew I had to work more on creating and preserving my own identity. And I was tired of addressing the issue – “no that isn’t me…”

So I gave up on privacy. For me it had become a lost cause. So many sites and agencies wanted my address and phone. It had accidentally been published. So many things depended on my SSN and name. I had already been stalked once and because of that Dad and I had done concealed handgun classes together. (Yes I own 4 guns. Yes I am a Texan and a military brat.) I realized privacy as secrecy was a thing of the past – it just took me awhile to completely accept it.

I know it’s hard. I mean I do large scale databases for a living.

So I went looking for a way to fix it… my first attempt was a royal failure.  I realized things don’t just need to be available.  They need to be equitable.

As individuals, the electronic medium was forcing us to be transparent to businesses and government but they did not have to report back to us.

I decided to strive to create more equitable relationships.  Step was get government transparent… step two was business.  But I didn’t tell many people.  See in 2004 in Texas – most people already thought I was a little “unrealistic.” (to put  it nicely.)

Recently though I refocused.  Now I am focused on citations for government documents, creating citable data, and openbanking.


Open bank proposal and women

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Doing more research on my Open Banking proposal (due in less that a week) and I am noticing many females coming to sisterly similar conclusions. This is very odd to me coming from the world of computer programming and gaming as well as politics. There just aren’t very many gals…

I also have thought of the banking industry as nothing but men… and yet these new concepts are all being reflected in women’s work. I’m not gonna preach but that does say something to me and makes me feel oddly happy and confident to see so many new sisters.

Kristin Moyer at Gartner

Cate Long at Riski

Kate Niederhoffer at Dachis Group



OpenBanking – what do I mean by that term…

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Since I seem to be one of the main people using the term of #OpenBank (at least in MY echochamber) so I feel l like I should define this hashtag publicly. (Also note I have registered and will be raising investment funds shortly so I have like vested interests and such.)

When I say OPEN I am going a bit further than just “Transparent.” Things can be transparent without being Accessible. (See this blog post for an enlightening example 😉

I admit I am a huge fan of “show me the raw data.” And I often tell Government wonks – stop worrying about interpreting the data just release it RAW and we will work with it. To be honest, I don’t want them interpreting it. Rarely does the government employee have the same motivations as the individual citizen. Therefore cannot do an appropriate interpretation without biases showing. Their interpretations will be subjected to their odd internal metrics which are too abstracted from the public. (see post on Govt metric issues.)

So what am I trying to achieve with #OpenBank? I want an open and accountable bank.

I see this as a 6 step process. I am going to only talk about 3 steps here. ( The other three are kinda out there and I have noticed many of my ideas need 3-5yrs marinate time before anyone else doesn’t think they are nuts so I am holding off… maybe in a month or two)

So the 3 steps I created 2.5 almost 3 yrs ago are…

1) The new #OpenBank will

a) be completely transparent to its customer about all data gathers on the customer.

b) will acknowledge the Mutual ownership of data btn the bank and customer

c) create equitable contracts in regards to the accrual and usage of that data hereby creating equanimity and trust.

2) The new #OpenBank will be transparent about the Bank’s data and status and will release all FDIC data to the public. It will foster a community of stakeholders to openly interpret the data like but with special support.

3) It will create internal mentoring communities that eventually will help with the loaning process.  There is a reason has a 95% return rate.  The special mentorship Nonprofits are key.  They know the individuals, the community, the conditions etc.  They are motivated to make sure the customers can repay the loan.  There are no levels of abstraction that allowed the previous trading of mortgages that resulted in fraud.  We can bring that back to banking on a large scale.

So that’s the first part of my plan… whacha think?


Long tail of social networking

Monday, July 6th, 2009

So currently most people don’t have enough time to join more than 1 or 2 social networking sites at a time.

Much of this is driven by the Dunbar Number.  Dividing up into Family (10-20), bands (50), groups (100-200) and tribes (500-2500). Social media is letting us supersede that 150 people by being a bit more efficient in interactions (though I will be the first to admit I often fail at it.)  And looking at things from the perspective of those different levels of intimacy illustrates the need for different permissions.

But the reality of it – is that we do not want to be limited to a single social networking tool like facebook or linkedin.  Instead we would like to create our own contextual groups with our own intimacy levels. I believe we can expand those numbers through contextualization. I think that is key to creating cohesive groups in a tribe.  Those groups need to be fluid as well since relationships change often.

One thing that can solve this is a decentralized social net.  One where you are allowed to create and reconnect shards of your identity (and relationships) on the net better controlling your persona and the different types of relationships those personas can have.

Humans were able to go beyond Bands with the introduction of language – a cheap form of grooming.  I believe that if we can enable technology to do similar things for us. After all that is what the printing press was all about!  Though printing not as conducive to conversation as the net is and can be!

So let’s design better tools that are focused on how people would like to interact.  So that we spend less time on the grooming of our toolset and instead spend it on our actual relationships. Esp social media tools that enable me to be more efficient about seeing people in Real Life.  not virtually…


How to save the world in 3 easy steps

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

This is the 10 year plan I created in 2004

1) transparent govt
2) transparent business
3) introduce checks and balances in behavior
and create legal constructs when social norms fail

I started on all this because I am “Silona Bonewald” the only one in the world and I am a database geek. So I realized with the nature of things as they become electronic – privacy thru obscurity is gone. We needed a new (might I say better) type of checks and balances. And decided to start making govt and businesses more transparent.

When I started I didn’t talk much about business – everyone thought I was crazy enough in regards to govt. But now with the crash and such… I am not looking as crazy.

This is why I do allllll the crazy projects I do…
this is my theme!


How to create negiotiable contracts?

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

I think the biggest current barrier to creating equitable relationships btn shared data in social networks btn the customers has to do with the contracts.  I mean B2B relationships wouldn’t put up with this all or nothing behavior.  So we have to fix this before a mesh of Social Net’s can occur.

Most contracts currently on the cloud are all or nothing arrangements.  Therefore people accept contracts that this non lawyer views as unreasonable and often enforceable… Simply because they have no option. They typically give up ALL RIGHTS to their data (please please post links here to any that don’t! as I would love to say THANKS!)

I do think we need an organization ala Creative Commons/eTrust to police these businesses.  ~4 yrs ago I registered in anticipation of such issues occurring. I just wish I could clone myself (and grant myself $20Mi) to pursue this idea too!

People only become aware of these severe inequalities when something fails on a social level say Kodak decides to delete all the data… This will happen more as more businesses on the Cloud fail.  That data means more to the individual at that point than it does to the business.  So deleting is the easy thing to do and fiscally makes sense for the business.

It seems that people only see the social contracts that are broken btn them and the organizations.  They do not notice the other forms of lack of control over their data…  Like Facebook and Beacon, people don’t care UNTIL this data is reflected back to their friends.  Then they care.  This doesn’t make sense from a data ownership point of view.  That is because we are short sighted creatures and few understand databases, data mining, and social behavioral metrics.  They cannot see this reflection and I am as guilty as the rest of them.  I also hope that society will take care of this issue.  But I worry and wonder what our “star of david” will be if will are not observant.

I would tentatively like to propose 3 settings for the contracts

  1. Transparent – All sharing ON CC enabled
  2. Paranoid – All sharing OFF only to members of friendlist explicitly granted?
  3. most popular settings- in the middle – not sure here… um Copyright all right reserved?

Maybe the Social Net’s or other products on the cloud can give different levels of features to encourage people to choose transparent…  but really the big thing that I would point out is that the most necessary piece is to be OPEN about the data being collected.  I did issue this challenge to Mark Hindsbo at Microsoft for the new cloud they are creating.  They have the ability and power to do it right.  I hope society will also reward them for doing so…

I know these need work but I still think it is a good starting point of discussion. having met the attorney at several of these businesses they are looking for guidance too.  Businesses are become wise to the fact that people often lie in inequitable relationships…