What’s the legacy of your everyday?

Through my business, Digital Media Academy  I support leaders and their teams evolve sustainable digital wellness and consent practices @home @work @school @play through m-learning.

What is M-Learning?

Mobile learning (m-learning) occurs when Australians have access to information anytime and anywhere via mobile technologies. DMA is a 24/7 digital mentor that enables Leaders to support their team through real-world problem scenarios and learning moments, without being by their side or in the room.

Why?

I’ve always believed access to information enables understanding and facilitates new perspectives that can lead to constructive strategic critique and ultimately improved systems architecture at all levels of an organisation – whether government, corporate or small business.

Now in English please…

When you know how stuff works, you can proactively manage associated risks and introduce refinements to process, practice and platform that develops equity throughout the business.

So are you a Risk Manager?

Yes. Because if you’re online, YOU SHOULD BE TOO!

Are you screaming at me?

Emphasising 😛

Why?

At this point in time, there is NO POLICED LAW that protects Aussies online.

There are laws in the making, but no existing law that actually protects Australian citizen’s private and personal data from being ‘sold back’ to them.

But isn’t that a good thing for business?

No, because it’s actually costing them opportunities and revenue.

What do you mean?

The internet – and in particular the social networking giants – know the loop holes and are saddling up more steeds to ride shotgun through the Wild Wild West of the global media industry – simply because they have scale.

Scale, that our love of convenience gave them when we started giving our behavioural data over for free when they gave us a platform to ‘connect’ with acquaintances, family and friends in a way that we could ‘showcase’ our everyday lives.

So you hate Social media?

Of course not. But when I look at the platform I look at its development from inception.

For instance, Facebook started out as an AI experiment and ‘launched’ in Australia – as did Twitter – as an Advertising solution.

They both had ‘sales’ offices here, one operating out of the Central Coast but customer service was non existent.

Australia was Zuckerberg’s proofing ground.

A fact, Zuckerberg has never denied, but WE have conveniently and continually ignored.

So you’re saying social media, from the outset, was misrepresented in market BY THE CUSTOMER not the organisation?

Yes! WE as a market, attributed the democratic ideals of the internet to the commercial enterprise that existed to study our every day behaviour.

We did freely because of the novelty of it.

Simply by typing, connecting and being on the social media platforms it gave us all publishing capability that dimmed the divide between professionally researched content and user-generated content.

There’s always going to be a difference in quality of productions even amongst the professionals and anyone can see that by looking nightly at the various free-to-air news bulletins or morning television shows.

However, platforms like Facebook were granted ‘media’ status, simply because of the messaging created for market.

As the fastest growing brand and the only known brand to be actively promoted across ALL industries for free (via the facebook page logo on advertisements) it’s odd to me, that our politicians (and legal fraternity) were stunned when Zuckerberg dared to challenge the Australian Government (as he did last year) by cutting access to content – including our Emergency Services pages.

So if Australian Law doesn’t protect us, what do we need to do?

‘Techno Bable’ in the boardroom has mitigated Executive level interest ever since Y2K in Australia.

For the better part of 25 years Parliamentarians have FAILED to activate a change towards more protection for our private and personal data in step with tech advances in mobile computing.

Firstly, from the banks release of personal data offshore in the interests of ‘cost cutting efficiencies’ and then through an inability to harness the Media Giants, like Zuckerberg by focusing on paying the Australian media companies!

That’s why Zuckerberg was celebrating with his colleagues and congratulating them on the win.

The Australian Government was not looking at the bigger picture. Instead, they were leading with vested party interests in the face of an upcoming Federal election.

I remember when I first started really looking at the impact of social media on strategic corporate communications back in 2010, and it was the legal eagles who were confidently dismissing the need for dedicated reforms for social media and social networking sites.

Confident the law as it stood would manage any related issues.

Even in the recent Federal election, the advertising ‘blackout period’ for political parties only pertained to BROADCASTERS. Online services and print media could still publish election ads during the blackout period.

The inconsistency of application and lack of drive to reform these anomalies is why when some argue it’s already too late. I simply don’t agree.

Why?

Little considered, consistent and measured steps through the quagmire will ALWAYS produce better outcomes because they are informed, targeted and relevant.

The motivator to action for me, was when I kept seeing media reports and news releases claiming hundreds of millions of dollars being redistributed to NSW Department of Education. Then receiving updates from The Smith Family claiming nearly 60,000 students in Australia receive sponsor support for their school needs (books, uniforms etc..) and that 1 in 5 students in New South Wales don’t have a computer or tablet that was connected to the Internet!

And quite frankly, I was horrified.

No matter which way I cut the numbers, I couldn’t see how the available funds weren’t solving the equity issue, especially given my understanding of the associated costs.

Then I deep dived a little further, I saw the anomalies.

No business is sustainable when inefficiencies are embedded in their systems architecture.

The fault doesn’t lie with the hardworking people at the Department – unless they’re not addressing the anomalies.

The system designs need the rework.

Until there is genuine intention to acknowledge, address and resolve those inefficiencies, the State – no matter which side of the political spectrum is in charge – will continue to throw good money on band-aid solutions and inequity as the embedded norm for another generation.

So how do we fix the problem of Equity of Access in New South Wales?

For the last couple of years, I have been prototyping a multi-platform whole of school solution that reduces reliance and embeds efficiencies for school administrators, teachers, students and their parent community.

I’ve scaled up and scaled down as market needs and funds dictated, and in doing so, discovered the pathways to digitally-savvy and sustainable.

What are they missing?

Digital Spaces are pitched as marketing but are really advertising and sales arenas, where the priority is to create, disseminate and nurture your WANTS under the guise of being NEEDS.

Yet, most Australians don’t realise they are actually telling the organisations what to sell to them through their personal daily digital interactions via text and voice search. Which is why we must finesse our Habit of Connectivity

Our habit of digital connectivity and mobility is embedded across perceived ‘prosperity’ in our local, regional and national socio economic structures – ensuring participation is prescribed rather than selected.

But before we get into the future challenges, let’s look at how we got to where we are today.

In 2020, as we waded through a global pandemic towards the 25th anniversary of the (public and commercial) internet, the era of disruption was suitably over.

Digital transformation and refinement should be the norm and an understanding of best in practice – specific to the role internet-based revenues and communications plays within the modern organisation.

Unfortunately, businesses still tend to lean on ‘Next-Geners’ to ‘bridge the gap’ between organisational need and perceived digital capability.

Historically, we’ve let the advertising overshadow the data capability.

We’ve focused on how others appeared to engage with us and redefined cut through to suit existing tech capability, rather than demanding the reverse.

In 2010, futurists were looking at if, how and what social networks were being utilised by individuals and its impact on the community.

In 2012, early adopters were asking, how can we harness these new technologies to connect / market/ sell to consumers existing and new?

In 2016, the questions around digital transformation should have been:

  1. SALES FOCUSED – Do we have the systems in place to ensure our customers and community members actively participate with our business to the point of purchase?
  2. CUSTOMER-CENTRIC – Are we maintaining said engagement through contextually relevant integrated interactions to evolve our customers into brand and product evangelists?
  3. SECURE – Are we effectively mitigating the risks (i.e.: reputational, security) associated with this new style of business…?

In 2018, if your business communications weren’t sales focused, customer-centric and secure, it might have been ignoring the fundamental challenges, opportunities and risks associated with digital communications with an audience of over 2 billion global citizens.

In 2019, it was time to stop road testing, and start leading, across the complete marketing mix, because unlike previous iterations Social is just another pay-to-play platform within a broader traditional and digital marketing mix.

In 2020, Content integration was still key, although a refined approach where even in the award-winning cases, is often times fundamentally lacking.

In 2021, it was still about agility, but leaning into the knowledge-base ie: understanding the implications and cost of ‘performing’ on ‘borrowed’ community spaces and making S.M.A.R.T decisions around engagement and procurement.

In 2022, as we start waking up to the importance of strategic choices within platforms and data centres (again), we run the risk of failing to harness the synthetic at the expense of the human.

It’s time to create your multi-platform future artfully.

What does that look like?

A digital waste free zone where connection of the physical/digital is morphed knowingly and not dictated or disguised.


I believe no matter where you start, or where you find yourself you can go anywhere you want to, with a little helping hand.

So… if times are a little tough at the moment – fear not.

I donate a couple of sessions a month to helping Australian’s of all ages ‘find their feet’.

I call these my Pay It Forward sessions.

These sessions are for individuals – mums, dads, small business owners or former leaders who might be doing things a little tough at the moment and just need a helping hand rediscovering confidence in their ability and regaining their commercially-savvy footing.

‘To Pivot or not to Pivot’ personally and / or professionally is tough.

It is something we’ve all struggled with at least once in our life’s learning journey.

The need to be online Vs the knowledge to get there with the right digital tools can add a whole new level of stress to what is sometimes already a multi-million dollar process.

There are two things you now need to do:

  1. Smile, I see you and you are able.
  2. When you’re in a position to ‘pay it forward’, give someone else a reason to smile.

Because we all benefit from the power of lifting each other up… now imagine if that was the approach they took in Federal Parliament 😛

Register here for Pay It Forward Session