New insights on the future of search, privacy and the inevitability of social media

Last week I had the honor of attending a “B2B Marketing Huddle” in London organized by Kerry Bridge, Neville Hobson, and Simon Hughes.  The content was fantastic and I wanted to share with you a few highlights from one of the keynotes speakers, Dave Coplin Chief Visioning Officer – Microsoft. Here are a few quotes from this presentation that I think will get your synaptic connections firing:

dave coplin

Dave Coplin of Microsoft

“The Internet has fundamentally changed the way we work and communicate so why do most people have a better user experience at home than at work? How many people try to access the web at work and get, “Computer says NO.”  How can any company block the social web today?”

“Companies who build up all these policies and firewalls to keep people from using the Internet at work are just wasting their time.  Are they frisking you for Sudoko books? Here’s the real reason for these policies: They don’t understand, so it’s easier to just shut it off. Social media is inevitable. There will be a tipping point for every single company.”

“It’s time to end the Era of the Dumb User. These are the people who wear their disdain of computers like a badge of honor. Today, that’s like bragging that you can’t read.  IT people have helped create this because they try to control it. We need to unleash the power to everyone.”

“It seems that every year is declared the ‘The year of mobile’ but I really do think it is the year of mobile. Look at it this way.  I will lend you my computer but never my smartphone. This a truly personal device that delivers personal services. It gives you a window to the digital world wherever you are, whatever you are doing. This fundamentally is changing the way we work right now.”

“Bing is blending search results with the social graph. If you don’t have relevancy you have a cold, binary, alien algorithm. Web search is a needle in a billion haystacks. Can you even find a photo on your own computer?  Blending search with relationships can make the search warmer.”

“Apps and search will be merging to create entirely new offerings. Apps keep search in context. It doesn’t take you where you don’t want to be. Wouldn’t you love to have “Dave’s Friday Night App” to lead you to exactly where you want to go without being at the mercy of ‘www?’ ”

“Having access to big data is going to lead us to fundamentally different conclusions about the world.  Data science is the new rock and roll. Understanding how data comes together will be important for every single business of every size. This will be a key competitive advantage for those who are early on and master it.”

“Technology will eventually disappear into the background. Screens will disappear. Social TV will connect all the screens but that is just the beginning. Every single flat surface will provide contextual information.  In a few years, Minority Report will be nostalgic. Information will not be plastic and glass. Every surface will be interactive, including your skin. Your arms and fingers will be the input devices.”

“The human side of social technology is behind and this will have to evolve. It has taken 20 years to start mastering cell phone etiquette.  People feel anonymity makes them safe but it makes them bullies and stupid.  It’s not funny.  The lack of civility jeopardizes the potential of the technology.  Facebook does not cause bullying. Shitheads cause bullying.”

“Privacy is a really difficult issue because the line between personal and private is different for every person. All we can do is be transparent about what we do. The ultimate search service is like getting the ‘usual’ at your favorite restaurant or pub. You can have local, personal service wherever you go, whatever store you visit.  We all need to approach privacy as a journey and we are all involved in that.”

“The educational systems are not keeping up with the real world.  We need to be teaching SKILLS not tools. If all you do is teach tools, you will continually teach obsolescence.  Your education will be useless. We must be educating children for jobs that do not yet exist.”

“Critical thinking is the most important skill as we move forward and we’re losing it. Are you going to be satisfied living a Wikipedia life or will you seek to lead life that is based on something that is true?”

“Be human. Nobody cares about your company. How do I convince people to wake up and care what the second biggest search engine is doing today? We got our biggest Twitter following ever when we told jokes during National Cheese Week. I can’t talk about search all day every day.  Don’t just engage — enchant. Do the unexpected. Connect on a level of basic human emotion — to our friends, our partners, our customers.”

“Here’s a wonderful example of a company being human. Marks & Spencer took a suggestion from one of their customers that they feature a Downs Syndrome child as a catalogue model. And they did it. Beautiful, moving. Human.”

I hope these quotes get your brain turning as much as they did for me.  What has an impact on you? What got you thinking? Share a comment, won’t you?

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