500 Million in sight

We have been hearing that Facebook is due to hit 500m users this month.

As a student of human behaviour this seems to be one time when the passenger get to be the driver in pretty much any way they choose.

Unlike in many areas Facebook is ideal for 500 m niches of 1 and that works pretty well for everyone. Expression is a very powerful thing.

You may have seen an earlier version of this video.

I watched the Digital Nation documentary on the multi tasking clicking on everything that moves lifestyle that many of use are heading towards. Is this wholesale immersion helping us or hindering us while making us feel like we are doing better than we really are.

Perhaps the illusion of instant activity is not just amplified by the web but actually it is distorting our perspective. (Cue Rat in Cage song here. ) See how easy it is to be distracted even by the good things we love.

View Digital Nation Chapter 1 Distracted by Everything here.

It seems that at least some of the really frenetic texting, facebooking, sm twitching is very much an illusion when it comes to focus. Here are the other chapter headings below.

  • Chapter 2 What’s It Doing to Their Brains?
    Tests given Stanford multitaskers yield troubling discoveries. Other research into Net use and the brain raises more questions.
  • Chapter 3 South Korea’s Gaming CrazeSome cautionary lessons from a country where Internet addiction has become a public health crisis.
  • Chapter 4 Teaching with TechnologyTeachers are embracing digital media–‘it keeps students engaged; new skills are needed for a new age.’ But is there a catch?
  • Chapter 5 The Dumbest Generation?The debate has just begun on whether we are losing as much as we’re gaining in a 24/7 wired world.
  • Chapter 6 RelationshipsMillions of people are inhabiting the Net as if it were a real place, satisfying the urge to connect to others in online games, virtual worlds.
  • Chapter 7 Virtual WorldsSecond Life offers a totally new reality for humans, says its creator — and IBM has begun shifting its meetings into this virtual space.
  • Chapter 8 Can Virtual Experiences Change Us?The U.S. military is using virtual spaces for PTSD therapy and for flying drones in Iraq while based in a room in Nevada.
  • Chapter 9 Where Are We Headed?A school is organized around learning through video games–maybe its students are getting something we aren’t yet able to measure or recognize.

—- Very Much worth a look —-Watch it online

Anyone who has been around for more than a decade will have seen incredible change come – and go.

“Action is no substitute for direction.” Me

I actually wrote that more than 20 years ago in a list of recommended reading books that I used to try and compile every year or so.

Outcomes are what really counts most of the time. And yes there are many distractions along the way. For my 2 cents – I reckon switching down a gear and going to the film festival or for some really long swims works better for me.

At least that is the plan.

For years we ‘ve had endless conversations about online traffic. Now its all here and on tap I believe it is time to be more selective. Sure not every movement means anything in the way that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar but lets see some outcomes other than burnout and various over use symptoms.

Traffic is NOT the same as engagement. A like on facebook is not the same as a comment on a blog but the ability to click on the like button does give some clues. #justsaying (like they do on Twitter:)

So is a Facebook fan worth anything ?

I’m sure that there are some formulas.  All fans are different and their FB activity may give some clues as to what their influence or “clout” might be.

If only life was that easy to quantify.

Mashable had some ideas on what FB, LinkedIn and Twitter might be worth. A simple division of total by numbers of actual users might give some ideas.

Of course Linkedin may well be close to reaching full potential and actual earnings. For FB and Twitter they have yet to really monetize much more than a fraction of what they might be capable of.

In a few weeks I’m off to my 4th WordCamp. WordCamps are community organised and local events for bloggers and othere users of WordPress.

What I really, really like about the WordCamp crew is that everyone has a story and often they are are extrememely proactive about projects and outcomes.

WordCampNZ is on Aug 7th & 8th at Unitec in Mt Albert Auckland. Feel free to come along and join in. Go on change the world with us.

Here are just 16 of the speakers ( * a few more to be annouced)   who will be sharing their insights with us.