The weekly round up:
- When Customer Rebellion Becomes Open Revolution – Is the Dutch reaction to bonuses paid to bailed-out bankers translateable to other jurisdictions? If it is, then there's a bunch of businesses who will be looking at consumers' use of social media with a degree of apprehension (they should be feeling apprehensive anyway, but that emotion seems not to be in their repertoire at the moment). It may be that Umair is correct, and 20th Century businesses will be caught horribly short when consumers become less passive.
- Designing for illiteracy – a mass market accessibility challenge – Leisa's post on the importance of good user interface design, particularly given the high incidence of functional illiteracy in the USA (the locale of the experience she discusses). While other Western countries' statistics may differ to some extent, it is still a significant issue. This affects the potential for employment and (re-)training for those whose current jobs are being displaced, with a significant (and negative) social and economic impact. And if you don't think it's a problem for YOU, check out some of the statistics showing a strong positive correlation between illiteracy and criminal activity … an undesirable outcome for everybody.
- World wide puddle – Doc Searls looks at claims that the internet is addling our brain, and finds (as I do) that such criticism assumes that the internet, and our development and use of it, is already complete. Are there issues in the way it is used at the moment? Yes – but we're practicing still, and the "Internet" is far from a complete ecosystem (another of Doc's interests is an indication of this – VRM/personal data control are recognisably incomplete, as is identity management generally). Our tools evolve rapidly these days, and some of them are disruptive. Are we better or worse for that? Are we at the cusp of a different way of dealing ith information than has been the norm until now? It's a ride, and we're on it …
- Corporate directors: we're in the dark about IT – The argument for an architectural framework:
"companies shift plans for their product, market, and trading strategies at lightning speed as the environment alters. And every time a company changes direction, the gap between what it needs as an IT solution and what IT has been working to deliver grows disproportionately larger" … it's about agility – not "skating to where the puck is", but being prepared for the puck to be constantly in motion while not forgetting you want to put it into the back of the net.
- More Like A City Than An Army – There are no businesses in any way structured to be able to do this today (and probably very few individuals prepared to work this way right now, too), but it bears some further thought. This idea of "loosely-coupled" employment IS going to increase in numbers and value, taking the "virtual" or "Hollywood" corporation to a somewhat stranger extreme.