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Showing posts from December, 2009

The Only Certain Prediction for the Next Decade: All Forecasts Will be Wrong

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As we approach the end of a decade once again the media have begun the tiresome review of the past ten years. Try as you might you will not find a newspaper or TV schedule that doesn’t feature some sort of overview of the noughties. Some, perhaps unwisely, are also essaying some predictions for the coming decades – the “oneties” I call them for the lack of a better name (the word comes from my three year old son who said onety-one, onety-two instead of 11 and 12 when he was smaller).
Normally I would not add to the confusion, but this year I have decided to share with you the only prediction you will ever need. Cut this out and paste it to something everlasting like a pyramid where you can always find it: All Predictions Will Be Wrong.
Why is it that predictions about the future are always so wrong? I believe that there are three fundamental mechanisms:
1. Underestimating the dominance of momentum: the Trains & Planes Case. Browsing through old books and magazines you will often find…

Mutant Facebook Groups: Yet Another Social Media Hazard You Need to Know About

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Every time I read some PR maven forecast that social media spells the end of PR I always laugh. Far from putting flacks out of work, social media tools like Facebook and Twitter actually create more work, generating or adapting content, monitoring and watching out for hidden dangers. Communications professionals in the old days never had to worry about domain name or typo squatting, and they didn’t have to worry about fake Twitter accounts in their name.

And they certainly didn’t have to worry about Mutant Facebook Groups. This is a new danger where someone creates a new Facebook group with some generally acceptable scope, such as “Keep Facebook Free”. Then, when millions have signed up, the administrator changes the group name and description to something like “Let’s Eat Human Flesh!”.
Can’t happen? Yes it can and it did this week. A person or persons unknown created a number of groups in Italy with titles like “Support the Victims of the Abruzzo Earthquake” and “Support Made in Italy…