Updating the Highlights Reel

In 2007—has it really been so long?—I posted a list of older posts that I thought were worth remembering. The relentless updating of the reverse-chronological blog format was hiding some good stuff, and I wanted people to find it. Over time, some of those old posts became truly outdated, and I've gotten into some new themes. It was time for an update, and in the process, I was reminded of where we've been—and where we're going.

The complete list: Highlights from the Archive

History of social media
The updated list goes all the way back to 2006, when I first sketched out the role of the social media manager. It's not quite what I would write today, but I think it holds up reasonably well, especially given that the perceived need at the time was "blogger relations." Somewhat more recently, the posts on influence and the meaning of "Like" aren't exactly what everyone else had to say on those topics.

Social media analysis
From "listening" to the latest emerging tech for analytics, I've been watching and writing about SMA for years. A 2008 post on the building blocks of social media analysis set the stage for later lists of companies offering the various pieces. I still like the three buckets of social media data framework as a way of sorting out the many tools in the market, too.

I particularly enjoyed rereading Language Support in Social Media Analysis, a detailed look at all the different ways that a vendor might check the language box. In my public speaking, I tend to go high-level and generalize a lot, and this example shows why. When you get into the specifics, they get very specific, and heavily dependent on a client's situation.

Expanding horizons
For several years, there's been some tension between the blog that started with a strong emphasis on social media and the topics I find interesting more recently. I've hinted at some of the topics with the summer reading posts and some others, and now it's time to put more emphasis on the new stuff.

The whiteboard series of posts was a step toward sharing some of the speculation that develops on the literal whiteboards in my office. The Omniscience, computer attention, and learning ecosystem ideas from that series are themes that I need to revisit, and there are others in the drafts folder.

Expect more connecting of dots from diverse sources, such as last year's Simulations, Customer Journeys, and the Link Between What Could Happen and What Did Happen. I'm not sure why I'm still surprised to find connections between the seemingly unrelated topics I dig into. The latest example crosses long-term policy analysis, simulations, wargames, the mechanics of human insight, network science, and associative memory—my sources keep citing each other. There's no social media angle, just fascinating stuff.

I've been involved in working through the meaning and implications of new technologies for a long time, and there's less for me to do once a technology reaches mass adoption and people understand it. With the social media market maturing into something that holds fewer mysteries, I plan to write more about those new topics.


About Nathan Gilliatt

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  • Voracious learner and explorer. Analyst tracking technologies and markets in intelligence, analytics and social media. Advisor to buyers, sellers and investors. Writing my next book.
  • Principal, Social Target
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  • Highlights from the archive


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