As previewed a few weeks ago, the new beta version of my crowd-sourced tweeple aggregator and tweet-reader "Futerati" is now online and open to all. Futerati is basically a curated site that displays my favorite Twitter people, presented in 20+ categories such as Futurists, Authors,Thought-Leaders, Bloggers, Visionaries etc. You can review all the latest tweets on one page, including the images and videos (much like the Power-Twitter plug-in for Firefox), and you can follow all of them with just a few clicks.
I quite like it - in fact, I am reading a lot of my Twitter updates via Futerati now, myself. Do let me know how you like it. I am still adding people all the time, btw, so... stay tuned!
You may have seen my first announcement on Futerati, back in July 2009. The idea was to list and display the latest updates from those Twitter friends that I like the most, thereby acknowledging how important they are to my work, and directing some attention back to them.
I have met some really great people through Twitter, and have already booked quite a few speaking gigs through Twitter as well - so the benefits cover the entire spectrum; and yes, they are monetizable (if you should care about that). Here is a screen-shot of the new Futerati:
After the initial launch of Futerati (see the old site, here), I was very fortunate to hook up with NZ programming wiz and Tangerine Works Founder Nick Taylor (via Twitter!) who offered to help us to make Futerati a lot more attractive by actually displaying the images and videos within each tweet, and by turning the whole project into a really fancy feed aggregator and powerful tweet-reader. Nick was joined by my designer and web-master Benjamin Blust (of B2Media) and a really nice, crowd-sourced effort was underway. Thanks, guys!
The new Futerati now features 20+ categories of personally selected futurists, visionaries, bloggers, journalists, authors, VCs, startups, entrepreneurs, thought-leaders, artists, film-makers, technology experts, social media gurus etc. Every single person that is listed here is included because I really value their contributions and because I read their tweets constantly, myself. You can ask to be included but there is no guarantee as to if and when I can add you; right now it's based solely on showing up on my own radar screen.
Because we are still testing quite a few features such as the automatic updates and the importing of images etc, we will provide the public URL on February 1, 2010; however, in the meantime you can request the beta-test link if you want to check it out right away.
Don Tapscott (whose voice eerily reminds me of Marshall McLuhan) is one of my favorite writers and thinkers. As part of the really cool 'Penny for your Thoughts'(PFYT) series, the FreedomLab people have just published a great video with Don's comments on what's really happening in this economic crisis - the headline is "Re-Industrialize the Planet". A quick summary:
The web is creating a global infrastructure for collaboration (which leads to disruption and confusion)
As a result, all of our institutions have come to the end of their life-cycle
The current recession is a crucial punctuation point in human history - the point where we said that we need to reset, the point where the industrial economy has finally run out of gas
This paradigm shift is creating a crisis of leadership
The Digital Natives are inheriting this situation - and they think very differently
Don Tapscott - the Wikinomics guy - is just a great speaker, with seemingly endless knowledge, and one of the people that constantly inspire me in my own work (check out the new Futerati.com for all the others...) This video has so many great pieces of wisdom in it that you'll just need to watch the entire 62 minutes! Thanks to Sander Duivestein at VINT / SOGETI for sending this my way. From the Vimeo site:
"The global economic crisis is a wakeup call to the world: we need to rethink and rebuild many of the organizations and institutions that have served us well for decades, but now have come to the end of their life cycle. The financial services industry, for example, does not just need fresh infusion of capital or some new regulations; it needs a whole new operating model — one based on transparency, sharing of intellectual property and global governance.
As the crisis has spread to other sectors in the economy and even other sectors of society, it is exposing structural weaknesses and modes of operation that no longer nurture social and economic growth. The recent collapse of many newspapers is just one storm-warning of more to come: conventional wisdom isn’t going to cut it for success in this century. We need to reinvent our institutions..."
I get this question a lot: what do you actually do? What do you spend your time on? What's your own business model? And, above all, of course: what in the world is a Futurist (this usually comes from the non-anglo crowds;).
Here is a simple answer: there are 2 parts to what I do:
Understanding trends, new ideas, shifts, changes, recent developments, people and cultures
Imagining and presenting future scenarios and 3-5 year fore-sights based on that understanding
So, Understanding and Ideas, basically.
Note: this video clip has been licensed via istockphoto.com and is subject to their copyright.
I recently started a brand-new project with my friend and fellow futurist Glen Hiemstra, entitled Where Is It Going (WiiG). The concept is simple: we are taking questions from anyone, via Twitter, on any future-related topic, and we will record 5-8 minute long videos of Glen and myself attempting to answer as many questions as we can, on a weekly basis. We will also add a few other futurists from our network once we have solved a few technical issues. We have also started discussions with a potential partner that will help us with producing better videos -stay tuned.
This is how you can participate in WhereIsItGoing (WiiG):
Tweet your futuristic questions to us, anytime, but be sure to use the hashtag #wiig (this way we can find your questions via Twitter Search, no matter if you addressed them to us or not)
If you want your tweets to be included on the live video of the twitter stream (#wiig) please be sure to tweet at 9 am PST / 12 noon EST / 6pm CET /12 midnight Singapore, and follow the live tweets via twitter search; we will publish the finished video on WhereIsItGoing.com soon afterwards. We will be on the tweet streams for at least 20 minutes.