Core skills: searching for the best you

If I had to search for the best person to work with me on a new project. I’d look for the following core skills:

  • Initiative or leaping attitude.
  • Discipline.
  • Self-awareness.
  • The ability to lead when everyone is hiding.
  • Decision-making capacity on highly changing environments.
  • The capability of staying human in and out of the Internet.
  • Artfulness for learning anything faster.
  • Being obsessive about small details.

These are the best core skills I know, by far.

This economy begets for core skills, dexterity, real and mind-blowing facts, projects (successful and not so) that get the attention to make a connection. And making a positive impact.

Why are you focused on learning digital marketing or business development if you can’t control the core skills that will bring the best version of yourself? Worth reminding over and over.

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How to Create Human Relations with your Online Community

You can’t create a community without strong, cohesive human relations (regardless of whether these are online or offline). Without them, it won’t be happening. If you don’t have an emotional tie, forget about creating a community; people just won’t show up!.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen overnight. As you must already be aware of, this takes time and, rather than time, it requires creating solid relationships that help you shape such a community. Relationships are based on trust and such trust must be believable, valuable and loyal.

human relations online community

Adding value can take many shapes. You need to learn how your audience views the world, what they like, how they think, what they don’t like, how they perceive you and much more. Value could come in the shape of social objects: videos, photos, graphic work, etc. There are endless ways in which we can add value in this connected economy we’re living: answering questions, speaking of the people who’re doing a great job, returning influence to those who deserve it (those under you); remember, your  words and actions can lead to a great change in those people.

Think of your audience, take care of them, listen to them and then do something. Create human relations.

Transparency

Say who you are and why you’re here. Establish a purpose and communicate it to your audience. Even if you’re here to sell something, we want to know your true intentions. Otherwise, we won’t come near you! No relationship is possible without honesty. People populating every community are increasingly smarter; so, be careful: they’ll smell you out like a rat!

Consistency

You need consistent communication and marketing; not only from you but from anyone in your company who may be in contact with your social media sphere. There’s no break here; you’re under the spotlight every day, consistently. Alignment is a key concept: you can’t talk about one promotion in a newsletter and a different one on Twitter. Keep things simple and don’t confuse people!

Don’t Sell Blatantly

Resist the temptation of endlessly posting about your products or talking to your community about everything you do, how great you are, the great results you’ve achieved, the excellence of your products, how great your company is and all the good things they’re missing. We’re sure that’s the case but there are other options out there that aren’t you. You’re here to share experiences, to connect and resonate and to create interactions that will hopefully lead to people discovering all of the abovementioned. Give them something they didn’t have.

You’re marketing products, not people.

Appreciate the Attention

Attention is scarce. Whether you’re creating a Pinterest board about your brand, writing a review in a post, recording a video testimonial or sharing pictures, you should understand that your audience has more important things to do than to talk about you. Gain people’s attention by telling stories that can help them, improve them or stories they can benefit from. That will make them interested in your brand and that means getting their attention.

Do something

This never fails: don’t wait for your community to do something for you; do something for them first. That will set the difference because, basically, no one’s doing it. We all wait for a recommendation, a post that talks about us or a video-homage. Keep waiting!

Photo credit: SFBBO click off photo contest.

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Human Media, Talking about People and Human Relations on the Internet

Implementing the Human Media approach means that you’re talking with people, not software or technological devices. I know, it should be obvious, but it really isn’t. Believe me. Implementing the digital-human approach means that you remain human despite information technologies. This is quite different to what is taking place in Social Media; especially nowadays, focusing on the relevance of social platforms and tools and how they use people. This seems odd, but that’s how it is. Just take a look at Facebook or Twitter and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. We all seek to be connected and emotionally “touched”, we seek to connect with what we love, with whom we love. To that end, one must be believable, transparent, true, close, active, emotional, seek commitment and connect with the other side. All of this would indicate that we have to be human. Even across the Internet.

Contact Between People

The paradigm of all this could lie in channelling and using the resources of the Social Media universe (channels, media, platforms and tools) to make human relations happen which emotionally connect companies and people with an approach focusing on results and true ROI. That is, to make use of “human business interactions” to build interactive bridges between brands and communities through human contact; that is, between people, favouring a communication that is original and non-intrusive as part of continuous feedback processes.

No software can resist coming into contact with its users. That’s why the Internet is so fascinating. A relationship is worth, at least, 1,000,000 times more than a click or making an impression. It is also more difficult to achieve and involves much more than brands and companies are willing to give. It all boils down to how you monetise and create this interaction. Here’s a tip: humanise your processes and pay more attention to human relations. Think about it.

Photo credit: mlive.

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The Opportunity of Social Media Remains in the Human Relationships

remains on the human relationships - Isra GarcíaDuring all this time I have realized that we pay to much attention to concepts – perhaps – too abstracts, such as the times you interact with the audience or how many visits have our blog or youtube channel. Ok, it might not be as abstract as we may think, at the end, it’s our day-to-day job (bonus: you can also buy it on the Internet) No, it’s really abstract when we compare with staying human.

The Meaning of Staying Human on the Internet

We talk about experiences, not concepts. We talk about feelings, not about promotions. Emotions and not services and most importantly, we don’t talk about our business, we do it about stories, stories that create resonance. We align people with people.

Are we truly social? This is quite weird, sometimes we forget the word “social” and owe just focus on the word “media” or “marketing.” Businesses lose their authenticity and brands turn themselves into robots – and remember that they won’t flirt with you – looking for more and more robots like them, so they can easily automatize processes and content that get lost in its way to nowhere, in its way to the auto-promotion, mediocrity and silence of the ego-system. However, there’s a new offer that rewards the credibility, authenticity, engagement and alignment. In other words, the opportunity remains in the connectivity created by human interactions.

Where’s the Opportunity?

We don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, who knows? What Human Media means for us?

If you are a business that intends to use the Social Web in a meaningful and thoughtful way, my advice is that you may focus on experiences that happens in your community, connect with people within your community and decrease the noise by creating more conversations – this starts by listening – this conversations could happen beyond your community, you should be there too, engage personally with every customer – not a fan – and really make use of the human interactions through the Social Web. I do think that brands, companies and organizations should embrace the fact that, in this 2012 – 2013, connecting first by staying human is the key for a sustainable business model as a result of building a foundation among your community. Then more and more brands will approach Social Media from a human perspective (Human Media), then business will create relationships, and this will stay longer than sales pitches.

If you are a business using the Social Web for creating connectivity with your customer, my advice is that focus on interactions and execute them with brilliance, you should go beyond counting fans, followers and likes. There’re some ways to do that, but it is no as easy as create a Facebook page or a Twitter account and waiting for results to come soon. Create content that matters to your audience, offer different ways for them to connect with you, allow them to have a voice in your framework, allow freedom of interaction and relationship inside your business, answer clearly and quickly and in the most human way possible.

The opportunity remains in the human relationships.

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Human Media Metrics – Measuring Human Interactions on the Web

Human media ROI - isra garciaThe pulse for social media has grown over the last year, social media is a reality that should be in almost every marketing campaign. But, How good could be the efforts in new media if you don’t analyze its human impact from a target-oriented perspective? Surprisingly, since the campaign hype starts (see Gartner hype cycle), the launching and all the “social blah blah,” some marketers forget the essential part: identifying human marketing metrics. These will allow you to track the progress and measure the human ROI – both of them are vital parts for the success when applying Human Media.

Luckily, we can use a bunch of analytics tools that are already in the market to do so. Popular measurement systems such as Google analytics, awe.sm, Sysomos, Radian, TrackUR, Techigry, FlowTown or Brandschat, we all know that they help you to track leads, conversations and real numbers, but they also offer an opportunity to gather human information. Then, what areas should we paying attention to so we can measure human metrics?

Here you have some essential aspects for monitoring Human Media.

Human Metrics

Human Business: make use of tools such as awe.sm so you can track human activity that can be turned into profits. Any human interaction that resonates with a business generates a connectivity effect that should end in getting closer to the customer: newsletters, subscriptions, new members, pre-orders, adding an item to a wish list, online budgets, etc. Ensure that you follow every single interaction and study if it creates behavioral patterns.

WE-B Activity: everything related with your command base and yourself – business – as part of the ecosystem core. You can include here the number of times that you interact along the day, subscriptions from each platform – blog, web, facebook, RSS. Bear in mind that for a successful activity you should generate multi-dimensional conversations across the platforms, communities and users (the best way is measuring comments and responses) search if your blog or site it’s being referred by other sites or platforms too. Identify what human patterns happen.

Engagement: every community interaction, it doesn’t matter if it’s through blog comments, facebook likes, foursquare tips, linkedin recommendations, retweets or Pins on pinterest and so on, they are extremely important, mentions are too. You should track positive mentions as well as negative and then compare and contrast the quantity and its quality. It may occur that you would get key insights in terms of human branding, and an understanding of the relationship of your brand with the market.

– Connectivity leads: how many people connects with your content? How it affects them? how many of them say “I have to share it with my friends”? put the distribution of your content in chunks and have a look to the statistics. Is there any brand sentiment through these interactions produced by the content? What is the most engaging action? What methods I use to connect? Where? How? Who does it? Consider what you can do to create closer ties with your community.

– Network: Who do you connect with? Discover the people behind the numbers, followers or fans – and why they are exposed to your content – How do they interact? Do they interact in a community way – among them? What does inspire them? What could you do to inspire them?

– Time: Once they arrive at your platforms. How human do you appear to them so they can stay longer? Time is not the most important thing, but how you use it, think about quality vs quality (not quantity) What do they look for when they come to you? How can you help them as fast as you can?

– Human Activity: Broadly speaking, how many people interact with your ecosystem? Take a look at your active database and compare the response rates and thus leads, with your active community. You should be able to develop campaigns to improve human interactions. Regularly, you may want to make a comparison and always try to reduce the ratio of passive interactions.

It’s not About the Tools

As you probably have observed in all these metrics, it is not about the tools, but what’s behind them, people and their interactions. Still, with so many tools available, there is no reason to not monitoring the human side of communication and the marketing that happens on the Internet.The information you get, it will help you create a greater connection with  people in your community, resolve any problems with them, identifying patterns, and then successful processes – and the one that don’t work –  and this will drive your efforts and resources to where it has to end up, creating human business interactions.

The new marketing is not about social media, complex technologies or last-generation software, it’s about human relationships, resonance and alignment with people. Although, I’m not saying anything you don’t know already.

Photo credit: transprism.

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Adding a Human Touch to the Social Web through Human Media

human media - isra garciaI’m not talking about re-inventing the wheel, but to make the wheel working for us. The media revolution it isn’t about what the platforms or tools can do for us, I think it’s more about how human interactions can change the outcome for business, people and the environment.

Human Media

It changes the point of view, refocus your strategy, it takes you far from the social platforms and talks plain about them, it’s just a simple means of expression neither more nor less. Human Media means paying attention to what truly counts, people and their interactions and also, how their abilities, competencies and skills plays an important role in this networked society.

The Reality

Have you ever felt in love with a laptop or even with Facebook? Have you ever thought in Twitter whenever you have experienced joy, happiness or nostalgia? Do you prefer going on a concert with your best friend or perhaps with your iPad? Whenever you have felt defeated, who was the one that was by your side, LinkedIn or a relative?

Then, why do we put so much emphasis on Facebook, Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Google reader, Foursquare, Pinterest, Instagram, and so on? Don’t you see that information technologies, last-generation software, devices or APPs are relatively nothing without the human component? Without human interactions and thus, relationships we never won’t be able to reach our customer and touch their heart, soul and mind. Social media it’s a emotions, abilities and interactions catalyst.

Human Art

Social Media is a means of expression capable of creating change that changes people in real and meaningful way. If so, then Human Media is the brush that allows you to draw in the canvas of media and marketing, so you can create human relationships.

The Human Media challenge lies in identifying the human part of the Internet, as well as persons and emotional part of businesses – I would dare to say that even the interpersonal part. It’s not about programming tweets, post content as if there’s no tomorrow or overwhelm our audience with excessive promotion and intrusive marketing, nor even share for the sake of share, no. We’re talking about transmit what we are, people who can add real value to the mission of businesses or individuals.

Back to the Past

Human Media demystify the web 2.0, it takes as it’s principle the change from 2.0 to 1.0 empowering the human relationships through the vast possibilities that we can harness, the potential is endless.

Up until now, we have seen how social media grants power to the artificial thing, the flip side is that Human Media tries to take the marketing back to human nature, where it should be, among people.

Changing the focus and how people see the online landscape won’t be easy, but it’s necessary. Technology and social media won’t change the world, people will, so why not constantly focus on that?

Photo credit: workingtropes.

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Use the Web-Utensils to Create Human Relationships

isra garcia - social webThe Social Web and the Internet allow us to scale human communications and harness the power of human business interactions. Tools such as MakeMeSuite, Storify, Scoop.it, Socialmention, GetSatisfaction, ThinkUp, MultiMi, Transfluent, Formsly, Trunk.ly, Arkaine, yiid.it, SocialBro, etc. or platforms such as Google +. Pinterest, Path, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. are just a small piece of the cake that feeds the big Web. In other words, they’re just “utensils” that help us leading and driving our business in a very strategic fashion, making easier than ever connecting and interacting with the audience, which at the same time, facilitates business performace in the current online environment.

Build Experiences

Place your energy where it should be placed, in connecting and creating resonance with people. Save your passion, willingness and time for learning how these “utensils” urge and inspire creating human interactions and thus, how these could be used in order to build different types of customer experiences.

Make an effort for authentically connecting with people and then, technology and Social Media will make real sense.

¿How would you use the online platforms and tools that the Social Web offers us to align people, empower business transactions and consolidate business relations?

Photo credit: Jerseyboy.

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Human Media Practices

human media tactics - isra garciaA fundamental shift is needed in the way we communicate, market and do business, this shift relies on the convergence of people, human interactions and the Social Web.

Here you have some practices that help to explain the phenomenon of Human Media and how it leverages the Social Web through Human Business Interactions.

Human Media Works

– Human relationships are the core: When I started in New Media, it was early 2008. At the beginning, I didn’t care about making a sale or doing business. What mattered to me was becoming known by a lot of people and it doesn’t mean just introducing myself, if that is all, how many people can you meet on the Social Web on a daily basis?

I started building relationships with people I have things in common, sharing information and thoughts, reading contributions from other people and commenting on them, highlighting people who were doing work that I thought mattered. All of this brought me closer to them, then from time to time I was reaching out to these people to see how things were going. Suddenly, among other things I found myself working on a New York Healthcare company’s social media project, being appointed social media adviser, for a London-based agency, blogging for the number one social media resources site and being hired to speak in countries such as Mexico, Australia or the US. It was simple, I just did one thing, being and remaining human on the Internet.

– The new thing It’s about people: When we launch an online strategy we must look at people, feelings and behaviors and not figures, numbers or stats. Everybody wants to make a quick sale and leave, that’s not how it’s working today. First we must connect creating resonance and then building a relationship based on trust, care, credibility and commitment, then people will not only buy from you, but they will also tell their friends that they should buy from you.

– Human Business rather than Social Business: Businesses are not people and people are not businesses. When we work in projects as for example we worked on Amnesia Ibiza, we don’t focus on the transactions – they happen eventually – we focus in how people interact with the people who is making the engagement and most importantly we focus on how people react when is in the club, then then only thing we do is connecting with them in persona and using the social platforms to take them where they want.

– Electrify the interaction: When you interact with people, connectiveness should arise. The best way to make this happen is giving total freedom to your staff to connect. Guidelines are ok, but are ok just for platforms and tools procedures, no human interactions, don’t be a robot.

– Human simplicity: Look at IBM, Apple, Google, Zappos or Starbucks, they keep connection and interaction simple, accessible and authentic because they know that this is the key.

– Human Branding: Brands such as Coca-Cola show and demonstrate how a brand can be humanized. The emphasis on values and feelings such as happiness, nostalgia, joy…not only this, but they share their successes as well as their failures, which undoubtedly fosters community and makes them more human and appealing.

– Human Leader: I spend more than 60% of my time interacting with people, answering emails, responding tweets, connecting and expanding relations on linkedin, commenting on other blogs, also answering comments on my blog, through Google + and of course, taking the relationship to the real world. The more I interact and connect with people, the more “lucky” I am. I confident for going throughout the 70%.

Thoughts? Do you have more Human Media practices to add?

Photo credit: ChristIAM blog.

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Human Media Fundamentals

Now it’s time for everything to be placed on a map and coherently drawn – thank you Luis Calabuig. These are the Human Media Fundamentals, the concepts which define the way to a new form of communication, one that represents the end of the Social era in its pure state of art.

Human Media goes deeper than 3.0 and makes it possible for a company to offer products or services that meet the clients’ expectations. How? Simply because the clients realize that they have someone to connect with at the other end of the channel, they find common means to communicate and be listened to.

This is your opportunity to connect people and communities, build relationships, generate loyalty and be involved in human interactions, all this on the base of gaining great relevance and reach. Doesn’t that sound brilliant?

First of all, let’s define the fundamentals of Human Media. There are 10 fundamentals, which most of the times are interrelated, complement or support each other. They are presented in a chronological order, so as for you to easily identify the relationships between them.

The Human Media Fundamentals

human media fundamentals - isra garcia - odosdesign

Social Media…

…is the root of Human Media. This might look like a reversed process, a paradox, as it is generally known that social communications should derive from human interactions. Maybe this has been the mistake: using technology and social media means of communication to select, categorize and label communities. The connection should be made based on human values.

Allow me to point out that when you listen, understand, respond, build relationships and connect emotionally, you are being human, not social. The social media challenge is take back to the human nature.

Disrupt Media

The interaction between Social Media and Human Media has started here and now. We live in an world of information overload and this saturation is already reaching the Social Media environment; not because there are too many people using it, but due to the way they are using it. The hype, the “social media experts”, “Community Manager Seniors” and other products saying “we-are-the-solution-to-all-your-problems” have transformed the opportunity to create connectivity into a “bla, bla” movement.  Noise, many messages sent in the same direction, intrusive messages, “non sexy” robots and predetermined users is what I call disruption media. The eruption of social media as sales pitches, with the wrong goals, which are artificial and strictly commercial have generated a new Social Media breach, which is what once happened to conventional marketing, only with this there is more awareness regarding the matter.

Welcome to the disruption era – this gives us the opportunity to make use of the new media to transmit our values, abilities, emotions and knowledge through the Internet. And this opportunity is Human Media.

The good news is that we’re no longer accepting these agents…what has taken them there won’t get them here, that I know for sure.

New Media

Human media wouldn’t be possible without New Media, which is revolving our everyday lives. As an example, we are almost not using the telephone anymore. Instead, we use Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Google Plus, Foursquare, LinkedIn, in different ways for different reasons.

The New Media is more than an evolved type of communication, as it’s located at the connection point between people and information/innovation technologies. I can’t call it the revolution of communication either, even though it has broken most of the traditional broadcast models – can’t even mention the TV, newspapers or radio here, as they are not a means of communication. How could they be, given that they never facilitate an interaction, feedback or any type of expression rights from the message recipient? New Media is the re-evolution, as it is an evolution that has revolutionized the ways of communicating both between people and businesses.

New Media converts us into authors, publishers, protagonists, leaders, affiliates, connectors and information exchange points. New Media offers us a blank sheet where we can draw the lines of our personal brand, the way we want to communicate and market our company, the business strategy of our Startup or the actions that will take our small business over to the next year. New Media is only showing us that everything we do depends on us.

Human Conceptualization

We are now thriving to make every interaction as human as possible. The key now is to stay human while still making use of the Internet. The human conceptualization of the processes helps us better understand the online platforms and tools in order to generate the WOW! effect. This is part of the Human Media strategy: create credibility, trust and resonance. By simply understanding the key concept – stay human – we will be able to create a fundamental change in the way we relate to other people within interactive environments.

Human Integration

This is the tactical part of Human Media, how to stop being a robot, advice, recommendations and experiences that will help you to emotionally connect.

Human Branding

The brands’ focus is radically changing, now brands are like us, act like us, dress-up, eat, criticize, complain, have fun and connect like we do. Nowadays, brands are more human than ever, they undertake a process called Human Branding. This is translated into a new type of communication: Human Media.

The human side of brands will be soon reaching a tipping point: we’ll stop talking about brands, but people, feelings, emotions, histories and abilities.

Businesses have finally understood who are their most valuable assets: the people. This is why their efforts are concentrated towards generating positive emotions, both internally and externally.

In the case of companies, the way to integrate this change into their business model is called Human Business. In order to be able to interact through Human Media, the way of connecting/thinking/functioning must suffer a great change. It’s something imminent, though you are welcome to simply stick to your Social Media strategy and only change when you have no remedy left; though it will then cost you more time, money and effort.

Human Leader

This concept refers to all the people who use the web in order to add a human touch to their business and lead communities with transparency, honesty, resonance, charisma and authentic relationships. Human Leaders (HL) understand the importance of this change and use it to build a sustainable future.

The HL inspires and leads through the web. He’s not a robot, he’s a vivid human being.

We’re basing this idea on years of experience as hybrids made of analogic and digital components, combined with the understanding of the people and the business. We can tell you how and what to do, but you would still need to make an effort to apply the formula to your business.

We’ve discovered that people who understand how to build relationships through the Social Web, know how to make businesses work by using the same knowledge.

The Human Ecosystem

This is where the inertia comes into action. The Human Ecosystem is aiming to create an area of relationships and human interactions on the web, taking advantage of the resources, benefits, peculiarities and profiles of each participant.

– Channels: PPC, SEO, SEM, SMM, SMO, SM, Web Development, Design, Innovation, Community, Tech, Entrepreneurship, New Media…

– Platforms: Twitter, Soundcloud, Foursquare, SCVNGR, LinkedIn, WordPress, Google +, GetGlue, Yelp, Stumble Upon, Slideshare, Ustream, Flickr…

– Tools: Workflowy, Timely, Scoop It!, Storify, Badgeville, Let’s Lunch, Prezi, Skype, Flowtown, TrackUR, Posterous, claim.io, Social sharing, Radian 6…

– APPs: Boxcar, Evernote, Instagram, Bump, Whatsapp, Latitude, LiveShare, Notepad, Pulse, Google APPs…

– Media: Online and Offline. Precisely, this is the way: interconnecting both realities.

Human Business Interactions

The process of creating interactive bridges between people and brands as a result of taking the online warmth to the offline relationships also works the other way round: the business model based on emotional touch points. The Human Business interactions make use of all the Social Media resources (Human Ecosystem: channels, media, platforms and tools) in order to apply the emotional side of relationships on to the business framework.

This is one of the most important Human Media fundamentals, the way that Internet is backing-up the human relationships in order to generate business opportunities.

Your mileage could be different

These are the Human Media fundamentals, where human interactions, people, Internet and businesses start to make sense. I am confident that the concept will build-up, expand, generate ne concepts, but still, this is where it starts from. Some of the fundamentals might be useful to you, some not. Don’t worry, we are in a permanently reinventing state, take advantage of it.

Human Media is the way to understand how people make use of the information technology and interact on the Social Web.

Why wait for someone to award you permission? Implement Human Media into your strategy today, simply do it. [Read more…]

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Launching isragarcia.com: Building Human Media Interactions

isra garcia- human mediaI’m finally launching my International blog: isragarcia.com.

I’m working with Oana Damian (Occasional guest posts and fluency quality control), Vicente Mora from Pim Pam Estudio (Design and creativity) and Dámaso González from Circulorojo (Web development, integration and implementation) A bunch of worldwide professionals will also join me along the path, it will be an exciting experience! Thanks to all of them for bearing with me.

I’ll be focusing on New Media, Human Business Interactions and what’s beyond Social Media and the Social Web, I’ll be talking about Human Media and how brands, people and organizations thrive harnessing the power of human media.

I had something to say to the entire world, this is why I’ve created isragarcia.com. I’ve built this platform for helping people and businesses to understand Human Media: The New Media. Thus, how human interactions are the key for the future success of businesses and brands.

I started following a map years ago – and I’m very happy to see where it has brought me. All is connected and has to do with my new role as international advisor.

The meaning lies where’s no sense.

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