Some days ago, while reviewing my upcoming endeavor blue print, I found my self diving into a plethora of information regarding crowd sourcing, social networks and community engagement. Oddly enough out of the blue someone with an enigmatic nickname started following me on twitter: memeticbrand.
After asserting there was a human behind the nick (bots are becoming a daily nuisance) and some @ and dm’s between Michael Cayley and me, I was politely asked by him to read his book “The Wizard of Oz is a carny. Follow the yellow brick road” a.k.a the Social Capital Value Add (SCVA) book. Oblivious of what lied behind I read it and found lots of points that resonated either with my beliefs or with my project cornerstone: produce and publish content related to product development usually distributed commercially under something close to a GPL license.
In a big stretch, I will summarize the book as follows: a fast, rabid and objective review of the changes that occurred on the online ecosystem due to the explosion of social networking that ends with an academic approach by which companies can evaluate social capital tools to boost their brand reach.
From start to finish, Cayleya proofs to be an inspiring source to anyone interested in understanding the aspects surrounding the outburst of social networking tools and how those said tools can help companies build new and stronger bonds with current and future stake holders. From the intro and up until page 40, you are bombarded with facts, metrics and numbers that support three aspects: broadband increased share as the origin of a more engaged online consumer, how social networks are shaping a new medium: the individual; and, finally an assessment of how the changes that occurred online are defining new ways by which a brand can reach and connect with individuals.
From then on, Michael elaborately builds the means and ends of a valuation method (SCVA) to be used to establish a dollar value on the most promising social capital available to a company. SCVA, mainly provides a new indicator by which any organization can establish how different network structures, methods and tools impact their goals.
Although complex, if read carefully and with previous knowledge of the “Wizard of Oz”, SCVA book is unquestionably a must have for anyone either already on the coliseum arena or planning to enter it.
As for me this book has opened several new lines to explore: how could social capital evaluation impact businesses with a huge footprint –if not all of their assets- on the media arena? Will SCVA proof to be a useful tool that could help amplify the reach and effectiveness of actions outside the profit world (e.g. government policies, community engaging, social responsibility)?