Category Archives: New Security Challenges

Getting (back) on the Digital Leadership horse

I recently asked a friend (and former colleague) for feedback on my newly minted CV. It’s been a while between interviews.

After 20 plus years in corporate, relaunching brands and working with some of the leading individual, team and organisational brands in the world, I’d turned my focus towards balancing my corporate experience with academia as my biological clock ticked louder than it ever had.

Returning to study mid career, I discovered I was really good at this thing called academia.

It sparked synapses I didn’t know I had and finally my laser focus, flamboyant musings and random questioning was mainstream.

Okay maybe not mainstream but my pondering about whether platform intents, advertising-led solutions and citizen rights were aligned – found its logical place to dwell and be nurtured.

When the person who marked my master’s dissertation asked me to teach for him, I discovered a joy of knowledge production I’d been avoiding – despite being a 7th generation educator.

But when I stepped back towards the corporate world (ironically when I was pregnant), I didn’t leap back in…as at the time, nothing really grabbed my attention as being ‘next gen awesome’.

Mothers in the workplace

Instead, I balanced a burgeoning social media and marketing consultancy (which ironically grew out of word of mouth rather than any social media influencer activities) with my sessional lecturing at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Matrasence is the process of becoming a mother and when I was four months pregnant I decided to blow the dust off my research and build a resource around social media marketing and social networking platforms to help everyone who hadn’t dedicated the last five years to upskilling in this new communications tech, like I had! 🙂

A decade later, when I recently zoomed with a potential employer for a position promoting safety and privacy around social media platforms on behalf of the government, he declared optimistically, ‘We’re not first to market with this, but we believe we can make the proportional difference’ and I didn’t disagreed with him, although instantly I saw him making the same mistakes I had a decade ago… talking about doing it rather than building it.

First to market doesn’t ensure success

I’d been first to market with How 2 Social and the industry in Australia was so under-developed in it’s thinking about social tech that on more than one occasion business leaders, agency leads, media law academics alike told me straight-faced that social media was a fad, it would never have any real impact in organisational marketing communications and existing law would cover whatever the latest new media trend threw at it. Back then I didn’t code, so I couldn’t build my solution.

The Regulator arrives 25 years later…

Twenty-five years on from the commercialisation of the internet and a healthy 11 years after Facebook launched in Australia, the federal government is only just getting around to attempting to regulate the space.

Why?

Because they do not own the hardware, nor do they have the blanket capability to monitor, assess and act on the multitude of abuses the misuse of technology provides to individual members of the global digital citizenry to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting.

When I raised concerns over the need for attention to systems design and ownership review of our telecommunications and cable networks I cut myself out of the running for that particular gig, but it does raise an important question…

How much do you know about the safety and security of your data service? Do you know where your private information is stored?

What I can tell you is rarely (if ever) are the answers to these questions ‘In Australia’.

In 2020, when I jumped back into solution-building for my own start ups with the mission to introduce equity into law and education for Australians, I created digital spaces from scratch to ensure they were Australian owned, built and born – from content to website, to app and every data point in between. After all, shouldn’t our schools own their own data? And shouldn’t the Judiciary operate as it was intended across all levels – lawfully?

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Stop Nurturing Your e-Brand on social

If you do this…

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And that’s okay, if you understand how the digital ecosystem works.

Since 1920’s Australians have been encouraged to consume. Initially through the power of print media, then radio and television. 

Convenience has driven consumption of products and services for a hundred years, but somewhere in the last decade,  you and I became the product being sold, under the guise of community and human’s inherent (or learned) desire for connection.

Social media and technology platforms have so expertly distracted us from realising our digital selves are a mirror of our most vulnerable selves, disguising itself as a free solution to building our networks.

However, social technology and mobile media doesn’t connect us, it ‘distracts’ us and from it new daily habits and new norms formed.

Not sure, what I mean…?

Imagine there is a black out for 24 hours. Your phone has just run out of battery and there is literally no way to charge your devices. Even if you could, there is no internet connection.

You’re officially (and without warning) disconnected with no control over when reconnection will occur.

Think about that.

As an individual, How will that impact your mobility, your connection with your partner, children, local community, friends, extended family? How will it affect your earning capacity, ability to be on time (or even know the time), your access to money…?

Can you thrive, your way, in your everyday without being ‘plugged in’?

For most, the simple loss of electricity, paralyses our ‘normal’ everyday routine.

If you’re a small business owner paying ‘influencers’ to do this:

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Ask yourself how sustainable your approach to the market really is.

Social media nurtures a public profile for all to exploit.

It doesn’t organically provide you with community and opportunity or knowledge, merely access to information curated by an algorithm that it thinks you should like… and so you do.

The operational cost of participating is not just your privacy. It’s your intelligence. Now this is nothing new and you probably have felt very comfortable handing over your personal and business data to the AI-driven bots of the Big 7 for years.

But in the absence of legal protections and faint attempts by the ACCC to protect the business interests of media organisations above and beyond the actual human right to privacy for all Australians, your data will continue to be sold back to you, to increase your consumption of mobile and social platforms, because you continue to ride them.

Why do we capitulate so easily to being ‘dumbed down’ as both individuals and society?

The tide needs to turn and although an ethics discussion has been simmering, it is falling largely on deaf ears, possibly because of our collective apathy and the economics of a challenge seem unviable.

Civilisations have crumbled repeatedly throughout the history of man. Why?

Maybe it’s because we fail to recognise the patterns of history do apply to the living and rather than seek to amend our ways intelligently, sustainably and purposefully we default to the convenience of consuming the information provided to us, rather than proactively seeking what is in our collective best interest.

Do you care enough about yourself and your loved ones to seek out a future where your daily actions are your own, or don’t you feel your privacy is worth anything anymore…?

This week’s Challenge: Remove your social media platforms from your phone for a week and see what you are really missing out on.

Is Email the Darth Vader of Modern Business Communications?

In a world where instant communications and engagement is rapidly becoming the norm, email is taking on all the traits of a dark lord in the making.

Electronic mail (e-mail) started out as a powerful and useful tool that brought speed and (for the most part) brevity to industrial and corporate communications. However, it is rapidly transforming into the disgruntled Jedi of communications.

Email is a dark art in workplace solutions. A habitual norm. Administratively heavy, it sucks precious time and resources from your everyday.

and yet… for all its operational inefficiencies it still seems to work for the majority.

Mobility has ensured access to the dark lord of ICT communications. Smartphones have ensured access to webmail a standard… in effect minimising the mobile digital divide, by giving cross-generational comfort on these new platforms and devices.

In this form, email is the connector. The access point for new media platforms and devices.

Convergence can only occur where comfort resides.

For the first decade of ‘social’ it has been email, but what’s next…? 

What’s able to fill the void? Is SMS or IM enough? or is non-regulation the biggest obstacle here…?

Non-regulation, poor regulation and the non-specific zones of the internet environment are our biggest foes.

Not just for business, but for governments and citizens as well.

There are no robust legal structures in place that currently nurture nor protect the individual online, let alone small business.

In over a decade there has been very little movement towards reform as monetising the internet remains the priority.

LinkedIn – the largest professional network where people have been putting their personal information for free for the last decade is now owned by a multinational corporation in Microsoft.

I find it strange that no one is questioning the personal cost of such a merger… perhaps for the majority of us, we’re not switching on to the reality of the evolution of the social networking platform that profiled, connected and enabled market transfers in human terms…. at what cost are we willing to earn a buck?

Let’s hope someday in the not too distant future we all start thinking about and directly addressing the cost of how we ‘settle’ the wild west of the internet.

What are we really willing to relinquish in order to earn a buck?

If so, what is the true cost to the individual, team or organisation… society?

Sadly, it’s a question very few are willing to articulate, let alone address with a view to answering

Why?

Because in order to do so, we’d have to acknowledge and address not only email as the Dark Lord of the internet, but the deeper, now embedded commercial practices of digital decadence and the new norm of dumbing down and relaxing acceptable standards of entertainment, operations and performance.

Let’s stop being happy with average and strive for great and the impossible again.

 

 

When cyber stalking finds you

I woke up to this today…:When social stalking finds you

and when I checked the backend user/ visitor stats of my blog for over the weekend, I was unnerved to find it had been a repeat search.

The good news for me, is of my weekend visitors, there are only 10 countries on four different continents where my cyber stalker may dwell!

But just in case… there’s now a record.

Use this as a timely reminder to remove ALL personal contact details from any apps you use on mobiles, iPads, iPhones, Samsungs, Macs.

Don’t post a picture of your child in their school uniform or worse still with a certificate in hand.

Be cautious, be clever by remembering that your friends already have all your details.