Jeff Jarvis; What Would Google Do?
PROFIT : What’s important to you? What rules are you playing by? What values do you hold dear? With the arrival of the internet, some of our old values no longer support us. Here’s six things Google values for you to consider…
Google often avoids making decisions. Instead, they let us decide for them – they’re listening to the crowd. Likewise, Starbucks and Dell are listening to blogs, forums and give-us-your-idea platforms. Flickr amplifies the crowd by displaying their most popular photos. And, Amazon, compares what you bought last time with what others are buying. They’re all in the game of helping you get a better experience. Are you?
Trust is like oil in your car engine. You need to have it for everything to run smoothly. Without it, friction will develop that may lead to further problems. If you’re controlling your customers with limited choice, then you’re not building trust. Google trusts us. Their search engine is based on the belief that we know best. The pages we visit count for something, they’re like a vote of support that is rewarded by a higher ranking. Ebay relies on trust in their feedback rankings. Amazon trusts your reviews. Prosper.com offers person to person loans – they trust you and your money!
The internet is a public place. Duh! That might be obvious and did you realize that every mention, blog, tweet, pic and comment is being recorded? Being public is a control issue – letting yourself and the information about you be seen. You don’t really have a choice online. There isn’t any privacy anymore. Be aware that you’re potentially on show. Be upfront, honest and transparent. Being public also has a collective value – the wisdom of the crowd trades on the publicness of the web. Use it to your advantage.
What are you keeping secret in your organization? And, why? Who are you protecting? In the old days, journalists, TV producers and the like were able to ‘promote’ news they had a self-interest in. Today, they’ll be found out. Someone always knows the truth and now we have the means to get it out to whoever wants to listen. A better strategy is to be open. Transparency is crucial to involve your audience in your process. It hands over control, builds trust and you can benefit from the expertise of your customers through open-source networks.
The co-creation of products has a number of benefits. You’re likely to create a better product, you’ll align your product with what your really customers want and they’ll take ownership of it – promoting it, improving it and discussing it. The simplest way is to blog about what you’re up to. Let people comment and contribute so we all win.
As a kid, you might have done ‘it’ because you didn’t think you’d get caught. That doesn’t work on the web. With Google, almost anything can be found. This makes it way too hard to try to hide behind deceit, spin and misinformation. The most trusted people are the amongst the most honest. Trusted bloggers are blunt, direct, to the point, real, authentic and make no apologies for their opinions. The internet has a human voice.