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I wrote a post eight years back. So long ago it amazes me. Reviewing it, it made me realize the Amplified Individual is today seen in social media as the #influencer. At that time I had been reading a fascinating report compiled for Nesta entitled “Amplified Leicester- Impact on social capital and cohesion”, written by Thilo Boeck and Sue Thomas of De Montford University.
In that report it explores the intersection of difference, amplification and transliteracy the achievements of a city-wide experiment in Leicester, so as to grow the innovation capacity across the city’s disparate and diverse communities. It looked at social capital and uses emerging social media and provides a framework that allows for a diverse group to move towards cohesion and amplification.
Its relevance for me, today, is around the debate on how influencers are shaping opinion through social media channels
It took the emerging ‘amplified individual’ based on research conducted by the Institute for the Future, Palo Alto, California and other diverse strands to combine them in this project that seemed to yield some fascinating results. The link to the original report is regretfully broken.
What struck me was this amplified individual’s definition.
So what are amplified individuals?
According to the ongoing research they share four important characteristics: they are highly social; highly collective; highly improvisational; and highly augmented
- First, they are highly social. They use tagging software, wikis, social networks, and other human intelligence aggregators to supplement their individual knowledge and to understand what their individual contributions mean in the context of the organization, giving meaning to even the most menial tasks.
- Amplified individuals are highly collective, taking advantage of online collaboration software, mobile communications tools, and immersive virtual environments to engage globally distributed team members with highly specialized and complementary capacities.
- Amplified individuals are also highly improvisational, capable of banding together to form effective networks and infrastructures, both social and professional.
- Finally, amplified individuals are highly augmented. They employ visualization tools, attention filters, e-displays, and ambient presence systems to enhance their cognitive abilities and coordination skills, thus enabling them to quickly access and process massive amounts of information.
According to the Institute for the Future, an amplified skill set emerges from groups with these features:
“As networked amplification becomes the norm, individuals are developing new super-individual skills that enable them to thrive in an increasingly complex and collaborative work culture.”
I so much prefer Amplification against Influencers. In my opinion “to amplify” has a more sustainable future based on building a range of skills that focus on this “networked amplification”.
What do you think?
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