Idea: Tracking support costs

It would be sweet to have capability within a support ticketing tool or CRM to track the “cost” of a given client or topic. When the agent logs a transaction, they’d record their perceived cost to the transaction. The system would capture this information against client, topic, and type of support. A type of support might be “one-on-one” or “workshop.”

Obviously the former is a lot less efficient way of supporting. If the system logged this information, it would be much easier to see when we’re “in the red” for one-on-one support, and that we should host a workshop for a given topic.

Economics is not a natural science

Douglas Rushkoff easily wins the most quotable essay of the day award:

We ended up with an economy based in scarcity and competition rather than abundance and collaboration; an economy that requires growth and eschews sustainable business models. It may or may not better reflect the laws of nature — and that it is a conversation we really should have — but it is certainly not the result of entirely natural set of principles in action. It is a system designed by certain people at a certain moment in history, with very specific interests.

The entire piece is a solid foundation for how we think about changing the system, and the devil will be in the deets.

Micro-currency extrapolation

Andrew Spittle has a post up on ideas for expanding Spot.Us. The skinny is to give the funding community more power over who is reporting on what stories. In addition to allowing them to choose which stories are funded, they’d also have some amount of influence on who reports on which stories.

Let’s take this one step further. In addition to allowing the community to pitch assignments, they should obviously be able to use a currency to vote on which reporting projects actually move forward. It doesn’t need to be an “official” currency, however; the money that the community uses to green-light journalism assignments could be the same that they use for economic transactions within the local geo-space.

Framework for reinventing classifieds

This is a framework for inventing a better Craigslist.

It is highly unlikely that newspapers will reclaim the monopoly they had on classified advertising pre-internet. They controlled the platform before the internet, and were able to dictate what information used their print pages to gain readers and audience. Some newspapers have lost control of the platform completely and the ones that haven’t will follow suit. Newspapers won’t be able to reclaim the classified advertising space by using the old mental framework for thinking about classifieds, by pretending they might be able to own the platform and charge access to it. Instead, it’s imperative to take the approach of hacking the platform and adding functionality, value, and convenience.

Remember Friendster? I don’t. I never had an account. It was upstaged by MySpace, where I had an account for a few months before it became uncool to do so. MySpace was then upstaged by Facebook. Yes, I’ll concede that MySpace has a large userbase, but its value in the mindspace of the users is rapidly diminishing and there’s a big need for creativity. Fortunately for everyone involved, there’s a low barrier to disruption on the internet.

The real way local news organizations can upset Craigslist and build a better classifieds is simple: create a micro-currency. In addition to providing a more user-friendly interface and the ability to add better meta data, news organizations with a specific geographic community should establish a currency to “monetize” the local marketplace. As Douglas Rushkoff says, the web, and web 2.0 especially, is breaking existing institutions because it allows people to create value on the periphery again. Local news organizations are in a unique, and therefore advantageous, position to provide the platform with which to capture the value of local transactions.

Continue reading “Framework for reinventing classifieds”

More disruption, courtesy the Internet

Via Joey Baker (and an earlier link I didn’t save), Professor Douglas Rushkoff on the “transformative nature of the internet“:

I’m not entirely sure how to collect my thoughts on this, but the presentation struck me as profound. Most importantly, it’s heartening to know that there are other crazies out there working their minds through the same observations of a fundamental change taking place. There’s tremendous room for intellectual growth, largely because it’s such uncharted territory. A couple memorable quotes from the presentation:

Talking about crises in the banking sector, Rushkoff says, “decentralizing technologies fundamentally undermine the corporate-capital structure.” The traditional corporate-capital structure, to my understanding, mandates that the wealth of a corporation is dependent on the scarcity of its product.

He goes on to explain that “‘digital economy’ is in itself an oxymoron […] Things digital are best understood as an ecology, not as an economy. Economies are based in […] rational actors, maximizing their value, through the acquisition and distribution of scarce resources, whereas on the internet what we have are irrational people having fun engaging in sharing what feels, at least to them, like limitless resources.” In short, the foundation of the economy is taking a 180, thanks to the internet.

The takeaway, as I realized in a conversation over lunch, is that it’s an amazing time to be alive because, depending on which side of the bed you work up on, there is so much potential for high impact creativity and innovation.