Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category


Internet Phases: Past, Present, and Future

9

Thanks to you, last week’s Report on the Collaborative Economy was readily received, and has been viewed over 26,000 times.  The media and bloggers alike have picked up on it.  As we digest what it means, it’s important to recognize that this is the next phase of the internet and the next phase of social business.  An interesting finding is that the second era (social) and the third era (Collaborative Economy) use the same social technologies but, instead of sharing media and ideas, people are sharing goods and services.  This is all part of a continuum.  We need to understand how our careers will progress as the market moves forward with us.

 

[Social technology enabled the sharing of media and ideas called social business --The same tools enable sharing of goods and services called the collaborative economy]


Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 5.53.45 AM
Internet Phases: Past, Present, and Future

Attribute Brand Experience Era Customer Experience Era Collaborative Economy Era
Driving technology CMS and HTML Social technologies Social technologies
Years 1995: Internet had 14% American adoption 2005: Business blogging disrupted corporations 2013: AirBnb, TaskRabbit, Lyft, gain mainstream attention
What is shared Vetted Information Personal Ideas and Media Goods and Services
Who shares Few Many Many
Who receives Many Many Many
What it looks like Brands and media talk, people listen Everyone talks and listens Buy once, share many, need to buy less
Who has the power Brands and publishers Those who use social Those who share goods and services
Who is disrupted Traditional mediums: TV, Print Corporations, governments Corporations, governments
What must change Media models Communication and marketing strategy Business models
How corporations responded Created their own corporate website Adopted social tools internally, externally Learn to share products, enable marketplace
Software needed CMS and design tools SMMS, monitoring, communities Marketplace, ecommerce, communities, SMMS, Monitoring
Services needed User Experience, Design, Content Social strategy, community managers, communicators Agencies that help with trust, customer advocates, ?
Who wins Those who adopt Those who adopt Those who adopt


What it means to your career, clients, and company:
Change in our careers is good.  It leads to new opportunities, growth, and even fun.  It often requires us to step out of our comfort zones and be prepared to adopt new paradigms.  With that said, here are three insights to remember as we enter into this next phase.

  • Prepare for the next phase in your career as we shift eras.  The internet continues to evolve and, with, that our careers do as well.  The mid 90s saw the blistering heat of the “dot bomb” era.  As the internet became a dominant force, it subsided with the global recession and industry implosion until we saw the second phase emerge.  We dubbed it “Web 2,” where information creation and consumption was democratized by all.  The next phase uses the same principals of sharing and democratization, but involves goods and services.
  • Take what you’ve learned in social business and apply it to the Collaborative Economy.  If you’re in social business, you’re in a good spot.  The same rules apply about letting go of control, shifting to engage, and connecting with customers.  Learning to listen for understanding, engaging with customers, developing programs where customers become your advocates, and applying scalability,  all topics I’ve researched deeply, will apply to this next phase.
  • Change is in inevitable.  Prepare for this next phase now.  The next phase has already begun.  Last week’s LeWeb received international acclaim, and funding to sharing startups is on rise.  Even cities like Amsterdam are opening up to the potential of companies like AirBnb.  Mainstream media is covering this movement.  We must prepare for the next phases of our careers now.  We can and will do this together.

I hope this graphic and matrix help to clearly articulate our next phase.  Save it, share it and activate on it now.  If you’d like to join me on a webinar to learn more and ask questions, you can register on this page.

 

Remember, those who adapt, win.

Why Social Business Headcount Decreases Before Radically Expanding

16

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 9.55.48 AM
Above Image: Headcount of social business (circled in orange) slightly decreases before large growth.

Social Business Headcounts Change as Programs Mature
Like the calm before the storm, your social business headcount is likely to decrease 10-20% before it radically expands.  Altimeter found through two independent surveys to enterprise class (Companies with over 1000 employees) survey respondents in different years that they both have a drop off in headcount at year 2-4.  We’ve survey corporations both in 2010, as well as in Q4 2012 to find out how social business programs are structured.  Much of the research was recently published in the report, the Evolution of Social Business.  So why this change?

  • After experimentation, unchecked programs get sanitized as a central body takes control.  Many companies I’ve seen inside of have often experimental programs occurring for the first 1-3 years.  Labeled skunkworks, rogue, or sandbox programs, this “wild west” grows out of control, sometimes causing stress or resulting in a social media crises.  Often corporate communications, marketing, blessed by an executive sponsor seeks to wrangle control of these programs, by anointing a working team to build a strategy.  In short, the wild wild west moves from unchecked teams in outposts to a new centralized model.
  • A core team consolidates, finds efficiencies in a hub and spoke model.   We often see companies emerge in a hub and spoke model, where a core team is serving the rest of the company in a coordinated fashion.  This leader, the Corporate Social Strategist, leads the charge, often reducing excess headcount deploying social and along with it, rogue efforts.  Interestingly, the data shows this happening in the 2010 early market at year 3-4.  Yet fast forward two years to 2012 and we see the consolidation happen much earlier, in years 2-3, as companies have gotten wiser from their peers.
  • Explosive growth occurs as team scales in “dandelion”, multiple hub and spoke model.  After the consolidation occurs in both program strategy and the headcount as illustrated in the above diagram, companies see explosive growth as the company “gets the social religion”.  If the core team has structured their program up for scale, they will have invested in social readiness, as well as have a strategy to avoid massive proliferation.

Social business follows a cycle expansion, contraction, then explosion before maturity. Two data distinct data sets helped to tell this story. Expect to see social business programs hit maturity to consistently spread across the enterprise in a safe manner after 5-6 years with proper care and planning. Watch the patterns in your company, after rapid consolidation and program efficiency occurs, be prepared for radical growth as the rest of the enterprise business groups start to adopt social, including their own social leaders in business lines, departments, geographies and product units.

Social Business Buyers Invest in Scaling

13

Spending Increase in Social Marketing on SMMS, Education.

Brands Focused on Managing Social Proliferation
For those that like to be where they money be, this data is for you. Altimeter’s research continues to survey buyers of disruptive technologies, and continues our coverage on social technologies. In our recent Q4 survey to enterprise buyers, focused on marketing business decision makers, which are global national corporations with over 1000 employees, we posed a series of questions in our survey battery. In particular, we wanted to find out where decision makers are bullish on investing and found the following trends on marketers with intent to increase spending:

  • To manage proliferation in enterprise, marketers purchase social media management systems.  Altimeter has been covering this software category since March 2010 (see all posts), and has published reports on how companies are managing social using software.  These social media management system tools, which allow brands to manage marketing, support, and employee interaction of social continue to spread throughout the enterprise (data). We’ve also seen deal size for this specific market on the increase over the past few years, some deals crossing over the six figure dollar range.  We’ve also found that companies are straddled with a number of social accounts (on average, 178 social media accounts) as social strategists struggle to avoid being constantly reactive in a role of social sanitation.
  • Insufficient tools means investments in education programs key for employee masses.  A solution requires a strategy, education, business processes, then with software to facilitate.  While most marketers realize that technology is a key method to achieving their goals, they know that education within an enterprise is required for social business success.  Marketers invest in educating various business units (departments, regions, and product groups) to ensure they properly know how to use these technologies and avoid risk.  Yet, in our previous research, we’ve seen that brands are eager to educate, they don’t put large dollars against this investment.   To help corporations solve this need, we’ve launched our own Academy offering, and are working with large brands, agencies, and consulting firms to roll-out.
  • Surprise! Marketers “volun-told” as system integrators of fragmented software.  The opposite of volunteering is being volun-told (credit: Zena Weist).  Marketers have been VolunTold that they are unwilling system integrators in the era of VC funded startups who’ve created clones serving similar use cases.  As a result, brand side marketers and their agency and consulting partners are investing in integration disparate software together to commonly share data, in order to manage a single customer journey, or obtain data on one persona or customer type.  While Oracle, Adobe, Salesforce, IBM, and others offer suites, don’t expect this trend to go away anytime soon, as the proliferation of new web tools means that brands will forever be rushing to catch up.

Summary: Companies seeking to scale social in their enterprise.
So there you have it, today’s buyers are investing their resources and time on scaling social within their organization before it spirals out of control. They’re deploying software, coupled with internal training, and then trying to glue together many pieces into one system. While I’m not going to provide insights to each one of bullets, here are a number of other trends from this data that we can discuss in the comments.

The Three Market Drivers: Causes for the Collaborative Economy

21

Temple of Poi 2009 Fire Dancing Expo
Above Image: Fire Dancers metaphorically ignite movement in Union Square, the center of SF commerce.

Your customers are trading products and goods –rather than buying them from you!  Do you want to know why?  We’re conducting research in a pragmatic method to find out why.  Then we will publish what companies should do to respond.  Below is a preview of the upcoming report.

 [Consumers don't need to continually buy from companies as they are sharing, renting and lending goods & services among themselves]

I’m knee deep in interviews for the upcoming report on this topic, the Collaborative Economy, which will answer how corporations can be part of this sharing movement and not be left behind.  In my previous post, I made the case that this is the next phase of Social Business.  I have probed 200 startups from the sharing movement and have compiled a list of brands that are already participating, like Barclays, Toyota, BMW, and Wal-Mart.

 

[This rising behavior is being caused by three major trends: social, economic, and technology drivers]



Three Market Forces Drive the Collaborative Economy
Analysis of Three Market Drivers: The Causes for the Collaborative Economy
In the research interviews, books, and content I’ve digested, I’ve found some patterns relative to the causes of the movement.  I don’t expect this to be a comprehensive list, and I request your additions in the comment section of this post. 

1) Social Drivers

Social Drivers

Root Cause

Example

Population Density While also listed in Economic Drivers, denser population enables sharing to happen with less friction. Zipcar took off in urban San Francisco, where owning a car is impractical.  Zipcar’s scattered storage lots give customers quick access to wheels, often walking distance.
Mindset of Sustainability Greening, Cleaning, and Sustainability have been hot topics for years.  This bolsters the need for economic conservation and long term thinking. Many of the startups we interviewed explained that this is about re-use or preservation of resources, rather than buying new products.
Lifestyle Trend among Youth In Shareable Magazine’s book, Share or Die, Neal Gorenflo writes that this sharing mindset is common among college students who have limited resources. For resource-strapped students, Chegg enables students to trade textbooks, rather than buy at high margin bookstores.  Social networking is part of their inherent behavior.
Altruistic Mindset In some cases, gifting or paying it forward are common in this movement.  See list of gifting startups. A recent UCLA poll found that over 75 percent of incoming freshman believe it is “essential or very important” to help others in difficulty, the highest figure in 36 years.
Independent Lifestyle We heard from Molly Turner at AirBnb that many renters of homes found this service empowering. Their own homes were revenue generators for their independent lifestyle. Similarly, TaskRabbit advertises that their rabbits are: “College students, recent retirees, stay-at-home moms, young professionals,” enabling those who may not seek a full-time position.  


2) Economic Drivers

Economic Drivers

Root Cause

Example

Increase in World Population China and India have population growth rates at 17% and 30%, respectively. America is at 22%. See Wikipedia. When I was born in the ‘70s, the world population was in about 4 billion; today it’s 7.1 billion.  It is estimated to be close to 9 billion by the time I am 75 years old (data here).
Strained Resources The interviews revealed a general sentiment that natural resources are finite and the cost to retrieve them is far greater than the potential return in revenue.  Those with less money are more inclined trade, and to activate their inventory for revenue by sharing. Recycling programs are evident everywhere, even in the sales offices and break rooms there are recycled plates, utensils and paper
Economic Disparities Where there is a divide fixed between haves and have-nots, these sharing systems naturally seek to shift resources. For example, we saw a boost in Bitcoin value as Cyprus was under severe economic strain.
Excess or Idle Inventory One of the root causes of this movement an abundance of idle resources sitting by the wayside that can be shared and often monetized. Rachel Botsman discusses in her iconic TED speech that the average usage of an electric drill is a mere 12 minutes per year.
Inaccessible Luxury Those who can’t afford something, can now rent it.  One successful Gen X banker told me that, “Access is more important than ownership” Why buy a $100,000 Lincoln Town Car, when you can rent an Uber for 30 minutes, saving money and headaches?
Influx of VC Funding Venture capitalists have already put billions into this market of fresh new startups.  Our research shows that there has been over $2 billion of funding across 200 startups. Category leader, Uber, has received nearly $50m of funding and AirBnb has received a whopping $120m. 


3) Technology Drivers

Technology Drivers

Root Cause

Example

Social Networking Technologies These technologies provide three key features:

  • Social profiles and reputations tracking,
  • Social graphics that enable people to connect
  • Transfer of information, in this case, need for resources or supply of them
AirBnb in itself is a social network.  They have seller profiles, and renters have their own reputation with verified IDs.  The goods traded are locations.
Mobile Technologies Access to people or other resources requires “portability” for a majority of these services, so mobile platforms and devices for transfer of information become necessary. Many of these startups are mobile-driven.  For example, Lyft has a thin website and suggests that users download mobile apps for this transportation site
Payment Systems In the end, this is a marketplace of goods and services.  Systems and platforms are required to broach the transactions that may use traditional ecommerce or new bartering methods TaskRabbit asks me to use my credit card, while other systems like Bittorrent are fueled by Bitcoins.


What it means: This is a long term movement, not a passing fad

So there you have it.  I see three categories and at least thirteen distinct drivers for the Collaborative Economy.  Like social was to us in 2007, this is a broader movement that impacts many aspects of society and, therefore, business.  If these market drivers are long-term (often social and economic ones are), then it means that this movement is likely to persist and to potentially increase in velocity.  If you thought social business was disruptive, this next trend will impact us at a much deeper level.


Related Resource:
I’m not an expert on this topic, so instead, I’m interviewing those who are.  Here are some of those who I interviewed for the upcoming report (full sources to be cited in report).  I highly recommend following them to learn more about the impacts of this movement.

Business Articles on this Trend:
For many, this movement requires blessings from trade papers before gaining the ears of executives. Here are a couple of articles I’ve found helpful:

 

Image Source: David Yu, creative commons license.

Meet the Investors of Social Networks and Social Media

14

Which VC invested the most frequently in Silicon Valley Social Networks? Surprise! They’re from NY! This is part of my continue industry analysis of the changing digital space (see all posts tagged VC), but probing which investors are most active –and are bellwethers for finding future growth companies.


NY Union Square Ventures Invested Most Frequently in Consumer Social Networks

Ever wonder who’s behind the backing of some of the fastest growing technology companies? To find out, I created tables and collected public data to list out the specific investors of each of the major social networks, and social media sites, and conducted frequency analysis of the investors to find out. This is part of my continued coverage of investors in the social business space, read the rest of my posts, analysis, and insights to this important group in our industry. One caveat, I’m not a financial analyst, I’m an industry analyst, and this data shouldn’t be considered for investment purposes.

Financial investment data of these social networking companies seems like it’s easy to get, but it’s very unstructured.    The data was all over the web, it was hard to find a single repository of information, common sources were press releases, wikipedia, CrunchBase, and corporate web pages.  It’s difficult to tell the specific amount each VC put into a shared investment round, even probing through the S-1 filings would not yield the specifics of each investor.

There was plenty of information about how much funding each startup received, but it wasn’t broken down by VC group.   This analysis is based of the public available data on investment funding of the following consumer social networks: Facebook, Groupon, Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitter, Zynga, LivingSocial, LinkedIn, Branch, Pinterest, Digg, Reddit, Instagram, Tumblr, Yelp, WordPress (Automattic), and Snapchat. Of these players, only a few had public available data that they’ve been funded. Then, we segmented the investments by individual round, then looked for pattern analysis on which VC firm had invested the most frequently.  Here’s the findings:

Variations on Investments Segments VC Strategies

  • Early Stage Funding Modest. Research found there were over 120 distinct investors, which includes about 50 individual investors or angels.  Among them, most investment rounds in A-X had multiple investors in each round.  A handful of angel and seed rounds had individual investors.   Seed round amount across the 17 startups was a mere $3m, yet the sum of the angel rounds grew to $863m, a big chunk of that amount is Reid Hoffmans multi million dollar investment into Zynga, which in some categories can be considered to be as large as some C or D rounds.
  • Later Stage Funding Balloons. Across this category of 17 social networks, the largest rounds of funding were within C and D, each over 1 billion. A Rounds across these startups were a sum of $85m, followed by B Rounds of $620m, C Rounds of $1,2b, D Rounds $1,7b, then a tapering off as E of $452m F of $376m and G Rounds of $110m.  As usual the later rounds had institutional investors, banks, and larger VC firms.  The amorphous term “venture round” (a sum of $2.5b) in this space was often a late stage growth round, which, in my opinion, was used to bolster valuation before a startups material event.
  • NY Union Square Ventures Leads the Way, Frequency Wise.  While this doesn’t account for total size of investments, we found that NY based Union Square Ventures invested in many deals, and had up to 14 investments in social networks over the past years. Like most rounds, they were involved in multi-investor deals, and frequently was involved in majority of A and B rounds.   This investor, placed many investments a early A, then came back for B through C after they saw traction.

 


Data: Frequency of VC firms who invested in consumer social networks
1. Union Square Ventures invested in 14 distinct investments:
Partial investor in Foursquare, Angel Round ($1.35M)
Partial investor in Foursquare, B Round ($20M)
Partial investor in Foursquare, C Round ($50M)
Partial investor in Twitter, A Round ($5M)
Partial investor in Twitter, B Round ($15M)
Partial investor in Twitter, C Round ($35M)
Partial investor in Zynga, A Round ($10M)
Partial investor in Zynga, A Round ($5.03M)
Partial investor in Zynga, B Round ($25M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, A Round ($750K)
Partial investor in Tumblr, B Round ($4.5M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, C Round ($5M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, D Round ($30M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, Venture Round ($85M)

2. Greylock Partners invested in 10 distinct investments
Partial investor in Facebook, B Round ($27.5M)
Partial investor in Groupon, D Round ($950M)
Partial investor in Gowalla, B Round ($8.29M)
Partial investor in LinkedIn, B Round ($10M)
Partial investor in LinkedIn, D Round ($53M)
Partial investor in Digg, A Round ($2.8M)
Partial investor in Digg, B Round ($8.5M)
Partial investor in Digg, C Round ($28.7M)
Partial investor in Instagram, B Round ($50M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, Venture Round ($85M)

3. Spark Capital invested in 9 distinct investments
Partial investor in Foursquare, C Round ($50M)
Partial investor in Twitter, B Round ($15M)
Partial investor in Twitter, C Round ($35M)
Partial investor in Twitter, D Round ($100M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, A Round ($750K)
Partial investor in Tumblr, B Round ($4.5M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, C Round ($5M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, D Round ($30M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, Venture Round ($85M)

4. Andreessen Horowitz invested in 8 distinct investments
Partial investor in Groupon, D Round ($950M)
Partial investor in Foursquare, B Round ($20M)
Partial investor in Foursquare, C Round ($50M)
Partial investor in Zynga, B Round ($15.2M)
Partial investor in Pinterest, B Round ($27M)
Partial investor in Pinterest, C Round ($100M)
Partial investor in Pinterest, D Round ($200M)
Partial investor in Instagram, Seed Round ($500K)

5. Bessemer Venture Partners invested in 8 distinct investments
Partial investor in LinkedIn, C Round ($12.8M)
Partial investor in LinkedIn, D Round ($53M)
Partial investor in LinkedIn, E Round ($22.7M)
Partial investor in Pinterest, A Round ($10M)
Partial investor in Pinterest, B Round ($27M)
Partial investor in Pinterest, C Round ($100M)
Partial investor in Pinterest, D Round ($200M)
Partial investor in Yelp, B Round ($5M)

6. SV Angel invested in 8 distinct investments
Partial investor in Facebook, B Round ($27.5M)
Partial investor in Foursquare, Angel Round ($1.35M)
Partial investor in Foursquare, B Round ($20M)
Partial investor in Gowalla, B Round ($8.29M)
Partial investor in Twitter, A Round ($5M)
Partial investor in Zynga, A Round ($10M)
Partial investor in Branch, Seed Round ($2M)
Partial investor in Digg, A Round ($2.8M)


Highlight: Digital Sky Technologies
While not a frequent investor, Russian based DST (I’ve had a dinner with Yuri to hear his strategy), when they did invest, it was large sums, and large amounts, their current investments include:
Lead investor of Facebook $200,000,000
Partial investor of Groupon $950,000,000
Partial  investor of Twitter Round  $400,000,000
Partial Investor of Zynga  $15,200,000


Concluding Remarks: At first, it’s surprising that the most frequent investor of silicon valley social networks is NY based Union Square ventures, but if you look at the pattern, they placed early bets, saw growth, then double and triple downed their investments. While frequency doesn’t account for total fund performance, it demonstrates the specific strategy some VC firms are playing. On the other hand, Russian Based DST places few bets, but when does, places them big and strong, after seeing growth. Both investment strategies are needed for emerging markets, both for initial catalyzing, then followed by acceleration, then increased in valuation. These patterns help to define the market maturity of a space, and you should use them to identify maturity stages in the markets in which you’re acting.

 

Quest for the Digital Fountain of Youth Awakens “After Life Technology”

21

Apple WorldImagine your great-grandchildren interacting with your likeness on a daily basis, all derived from your Facebook media, Vine videos and your personality from your Tweets.

Humans, both poor and rich have continued to seek out the greatest quest since the dawn of mankind; how do we stay alive in this world?  Fortunately, (or not fortunately) new technologies are emerging both now, including some fascinating developments by leading think tanks, including Stanford.


[After Life Technology emerges to store, replicate, and even reanimate the deceased based on the digital data we're emitting every day]

Whether you find it creepy, narcissistic, or a thoughtful way to connect with future-generations, this is a choice we’ll all be forced to reckon with. Should we shutter accounts? Allow them to be memorials, with or without comments? Allow data to be used to digitally reanimate us? There’s even impacts to corporations, as employees who are public in social channels who will eventually leave this plane, and a communications plan will need to be erected to deal with both the grief at a human way, but also how their personal, or hybrid (work/personal), or corporate social media accounts will be used.

[Even employers need to plan an after-life policy for employees using personal social media for business purposes]

Scenario Matrix: Deceased Employee used Personal Social Accounts for Work Purposes
Currently, Altimeter has found that there are hundreds of employees in many companies using personal social accounts for work. We also find that corporate accounts blend and merge with personal accounts, making the blue between personal and work, sometimes indistinguishable. The following matrix breaks down some likely scenarios that could occur:

Scenario Details Ramifications
Family of deceased mandates content to be removed IP created at work is owned by company, yet employee may have used personal social accounts IP created at work is often owned by company but now as people use personal social accounts, who owns?
Deceased employee has content set to publish on timer Deceased employee has content on timer, set to publish in coming weeks, potentially conflicting with announcement strategy, messaging and general confusion. Does company have ability or right to alter settings or access login credentials?
Digital reanimation efforts on former deceased employee A digital reanimation company seeks to activate likeness of former employee, including using content created around workplace IP ownership at question, including potential monetization of reanimate likeness
Family requests social media accounts The family requests access to social media accounts, except they were created at work, and span both personal and work life Questions cause legal action due to IP, personal information rights, privacy, with variations at every country
Family has access to corporate social media accounts Using Lifelocker, the deceased has turned over access to social accounts that deceased employee used during work. Ownership is not clear, as the account spans personal and professional usage.

While immature, there are several impacts to society, business, family, law that should give us all pause to consider, here’s a running list of what I’ve observed:


Impact to Society

Impact to Individuals
Impact to Family
Impact to Employers
  • Corporate Social Media Policies Post-Life: While I don’t see much online, companies must also develop social media policies on how hybrid accounts (personal accounts that are branded with company, like (LionelAtDell) will be used, or not used.  Could public social media content created at work be used by third parties including the family, or future digital reanimation companies?
  • Most employment contracts indicate that all content created at the company (on company networks, or software) is owned by the company. What right does a company have to use that public facing social media content, after an employee passes on?
Impact to Social Networks
Future Tech: Digital Reanimation
  • Future: I visited the Stanford Virtual Reality lab last month, and was able to hear from the Professors who have a simulated lab that they’re already starting to experiment with aggregating Facebook photos to recreate faces.  They could easily do this for the deceased.
Technology Providers
  1. Legacy Locker:  Allows for the loved ones of a deceased to manage the social media accounts, ecommerce accounts, banking accounts, and more, through a one-stop management tool.
  2. _LivesOn:  Slated to launch soon, this tool would provide Tweets post-life for deceased to communicate with those around them based on analysis of your existing twitter content and behaviors.
  3. Microsoft Research is conducting an experiment called Life Bits and is capturing an individuals full life on digital record, to understand how to use this technology in a number of methods
  4. LifeNaut.com was created to help people build a rich profile of information that preserves their essential, unique qualities for future generations and family members.

A New Industry Will Slowly Emerge to Digitally Reanimate The Deceased
Expect a new industry to emerge that offers the following services:  Estate planners factor in social media accounts, and blogs and websites, as part of the estate.  New software emerges to allow people to opt-in to have themselves digitally communicating with their future kin for generations. In a few short years, expect new virtual reality and simulation software to aggregate and analyze a deceased photos/videos from social networks, and replicate their face, mannerisms, in a way we are most familiar with.  In the not-so-radical future, expect that future generations will be able to have the capability to replicate you in a virtual manner, based on the digital trails we’re leaving behind by the gigabyte.

Assume technology will advance to digitally reanimate us, individuals, families, officials, employers must plan for this inevitable future now.

(Photo Credits used under Creative Commons by Raffaello)