Billions of people are now creating and sharing massive amounts of data with one another (C2C), with businesses (C2B), and even with the world (C2W). Disappearing barriers to producing information and interacting with other people have started the Social Data Revolution.

Historically, the technology to transport energy led to the industrial revolution and changed the way we produced things. Then, the technology to transport bits led to the information revolution and changed the way we produced knowledge. Now, the ease of data creation and global sharing has led to the social data revolution, changing the way we view ourselves, interact with each other, and make decisions.

: to share is human :

Sharing is central to humans. We eat together, learn together, play together. For the first time in history, everyone can share on a global scale. We share what we bought, where the best noodle shop is, and who we are excited about. This global playground enables a collective intelligence where people constantly improve upon existing information to generate relevant, current and increasingly useful knowledge. In addition, our thoughts and emotions are now digitized and broadcast to the world in real-time with nothing more than a few clicks.

: the need for attention :

While the amount of data created by each person doubles every 1.5 years, the amount of attention doesn't. Companies and individuals thus compete more than ever for the ultimately scarce resource: the attention of their audience.

The social data revolution is a shift in the mindset of customers. They are beginning to expect more in exchange for their data.

Companies increase satisfaction and loyalty by enabling customers to make better decisions. Furthermore, companies improve their products and services by leveraging the social data revolution to align their objectives with their customers'. Successful companies start by defining the relevant problems, create a data strategy, and provide a platform where customers give and get attention.

: from e-business to me-business... :

In the 2000s companies shifted from e-business to me-business, from a company-centric to customer-centric perspective. clearly understood how to incentivize customers to create data beneficial to both parties.

: ... to we-business :

Now, successful companies shift from me-business to we-business, moving towards a relationship-centric perspective. The focus is now on the community and the network, not on the individual or the company. Socializing data about our relationships with individuals, places, products, companies and brands drives this revolution.

: the future of social data :

In the 1990s search technologies helped us to find data; in the 2000s social technologies helped us to share data. Now, mobile technologies are making it trivially easy to create and access data. The ultimate goal remains to help people negotiate the scarcity of attention.

We already socialize an unprecedented variety of data, including geo-location and mood. What will happen when we also socialize biometric data gathered from instrumenting our bodies?

Andreas Weigend discusses the Social Data Revolution at international conferences and corporate workshops. He also teaches courses on SDR at Stanford, and directs the Social Data Lab with research on the impact of the Social Data Revolution on people, business and society.

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