About this video
Grant Leboff explains the advent of the social era.
Video length: 4:59
Dave Harries: Grant I want to ask you now about something that really jumped out at me from the book. That’s about this idea, everybody has a channel. What do you mean by that, what exactly is the channel that they have?
Grant Leboff: Yeah, so the idea is that if you go back twenty years, maybe not even that long actually. People didn’t really have a right to respond, you know you watch something on television, you heard something politically, a friend made a comment. You might tell a few friends at work the next day around the coffee machine or in the pub that evening. You get board of it after a little while and that was it.
Today everybody has their own media outlets, so whether it’s Facebook, whether it’s Twitter, whether it’s Instagram, whether it’s Snapchat, it doesn’t matter. Everybody has the ability today to share what they’re doing, views that they have, comment on things that are going on and depending on the way they use their social platforms. They have the opportunity to reach quite a wide audience.
I don’t think of it in terms of broadcasting, because you think of the traditional broadcasters like the BBC. The reason it’s called broadcasting is they were broadcasting to millions, but I think of it as narrow casting. You may have a network of a couple of hundred people and you may just be narrow casting to those two hundred.
Actually amongst those two hundred that read your opinions, that understand them and they will resonate. People have the opportunity to touch a lot of lives in a way that they never previously had. That’s a world where everybody has a channel.
Dave Harries: How important do you think has been the technological changes that have happened in resent years. I’m think obviously of Broadband and the fact that most of us have assess to very fast internet connections now, but also perhaps more importantly the smart phone and things like that?
Grant Leboff: Yeah, so I think obviously it’s technology that’s driven a lot of this. The big game changes I would say is the World Wide Web itself. Which allow the internet to be used probably, so the first client server communication on the World Wide Web is December of 1990, with Tim Berners-Lee and that started things. The next big development was fast connections, because we all remember or many of us will remember when it buffered and you had to wait, what seemed like years to get anything up and you know…
Sometimes easy to grad Yellow Pages or something like that. Wait for the thing to load up, but once we got Broadband, then we had instant access and the final piece is the smart phone. What the smart phone did was it allowed us to be carrying this information with us 24/7. Where the smart phone really came into it’s own, is in the blossoming of social media. Although social media has been around longer then the smart phone has, it really was the smart phone that made social media useful.
If I had to go home or be in the office in order to connect or talk to my friends, it’s not so helpful is it? I might as well use a telephone, but as soon as I can connect and message my friends, wherever I am, because I have a smart phone, social media suddenly starts to become the communication mechanism of choice for many, many individuals.
Dave Harries: Of course there are now apps, social media apps that only work on smart phones are there.
Grant Leboff: Yeah exactly right and now of course what we have is the ubiquity of the messaging apps themselves. The WhatApp, the Facebook messenger and those kind of apps. Where for many, many people, I mean millions of people and growing in number all the time. That is their primary way of communicating, it’s their first point of call.
Dave Harries: We do think of this as social media as it were, so how does that apply to business. That’s a big question, but I mean can you tell me what are the obvious ways we can use it in business?
Grant Leboff: Yes, so the reason we call it social media. It’s very important to understand is the BBC is not social media in traditional sense, because it was broadcast. I had no right of response. I watched in my home, commented to my friends or whatever. Today it’s two way, so if I put something on Facebook, if I mention something then you could quite respond and the social bit is I should then respond back. It’s kind of rude if I don’t, because you’ve bother to read something I’ve written and I’ve just ignored you. That’s where it become social.
Where it’s interesting for business is this idea of social business generally, where we can have so much quicker access to suppliers, to prospects, to customers, to all sorts of people that we want to engage with. We can get fast response, we can crowd source response where we can get real good understanding of what people think in one go. We have really good way of engaging, communicating with people all the time. There are so many ramifications of that, for business and just in teams working. You think of global teams, teams in offices, teams in distant places, being able to form a group on any of these social platforms and collaborate easily and quickly as well. It has load of ramifications of business.