The Story Isn’t the Whole Story




People trust other people more than faceless institutions. As our faith in institutions, media, and increasingly businesses crumbles, relationships and connections with other people can help us rebuild. I meet wonderful people every week. Either through introductions, and based on common interests and values. 

Technology promises shortcuts to connection. And I wish it wasn't so tempting to believe those promises. Because they contribute to creating distrust and conflict. Together we are stronger: teams, cohorts, groups, communities can do amazing things.

But there are no magic wands. Collaboration and relationships are built through work over time. AI is no substitute for experience. 

Facebook's whistleblower Frances Haugen testified in Congress. Like many companies, Facebook is secretive about its research and the algorithm is at its center. Mark Zuckerberg posted a statement to employees on Facebook. His statement demonstrates a complete lack of understanding that his belief in the purity of the algorithm is creating the problem. (I would also recommend a different system configuration to avert outages.)

There are no magic wands in business. It takes work to build a company. Even when you consider network effects. High numbers are no substitute for connection. 

Ozy media continues to be in the news. What are a few small lies, after all? Buying traffic, likes, emails, followers; isn't that what everyone else does? give those investors and advertisers what they want: strong KPIs. Big distribution numbers is where it's at. The pressure is on to deliver, and quickly. Show you've built a sizable platform. Also, don't tell employees how things really are, lest they jump the boat with everyone else.

Aggregators list Conversation Agent on their media contact database to sell subscription that promise "access to 250k active Bloggers, Podcasters and Youtubers in 1500 niche categories." An algorithm scrapes active sites with the promise to get you backlink, or guest posts. AI doesn't read site policies on link sharing and contributed articles. Nor it reads blogs.

People looking for an easy hit don't, either, apparently. This makes for most bizarre pitches. And erodes the credibility of anyone reaching out this way.

The promise of scale
with little to no effort. 

There's AI to create marketing strategies and plans. Just fill out a quick survey, and you're set. They're not inexpensive, considering that you're still on the hook to execute. But they're easy money for the algorithm people. No conversations with stakeholders, including you. A quick assessment, pull modules from a canned strategy, and we can tell you everything there is to know.

Maybe they even throw in your horoscope

So many things are easier because of technology. There's no code software, 3D home printers, life-saving diagnostics tools, and the possibilities are wide open for many more applications: research, learning, making life easier for people with disabilities, understanding complexity. Innovation has transformed the world in a couple of generations. 

But we should be careful about the world we're building.

Short-term focus and risk aversion at best, divisive decision-making at worst have built a guarded, unimaginative world. Previous generations pushed knowledge to great frontiers. This greater complexity requires expansive minds, collaboration, and community to build a sustainable world made for humans.

Hence, start with “who,” then “what,” and “why.” (why is also the hardest to explain and transmit rationally, it's an emotional thing.)


Note provided context to this.

[Image by Prawny from Pixabay]


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