Systems of Awareness

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Last September, around the time when the brand marketers of the world renewed the discussions around the definition of Social CRM, I came up with a post titled “Social CRM: Hiring the right definition” in which I tried to look at Social CRM from many perspectives : Systems, Organization structure, Economics and Jobs views.

That was an important post for me, and seems it was useful to many more too, since it has fast become the top 5th post in my blog since blogger started tracking the views. It was very important to me because I finally brought together many of the concepts I had been reading & thinking about. It was also very important because I was building upon a new concept that I called the “Systems of Awareness”. This concept builds upon another concept of mine called the “4? Steradian view” of the business ecosystem which combines how businesses look at their ecosystem as well as being aware of how their ecosystem looks at them.

Systems of Awareness: Helping humanity understand itself better, via computers.

Simplistically, the “4? Steradian view” or “4? view” or even “4pi view”, is nothing but the combination of 360° view of customers, ERP, HRMS, etc. that lets us form a picture of our customers, resources, employees, etc., and social media monitoring, VoC, EFM, etc. by which we try to get insights into what others think about us (please see the mind map above). Nothing Earth shattering in this concept. All these systems exist already, and since I am an engineer who is beginning to grasp Psychology/Sociology, I wanted to come up with a term which would describe that key capabilities of humans that makes us separate from other animals – being able to understand how others perceive about us and thus change our behavior. Let us say, a sense of Morality?



So while “4pi view” is a combination of how we view others and how we think others view us, “Systems of Awareness” tries to encapsulate a few more that is developing in computer sciences. There are Self Awareness algorithms in Artificial Intelligence. And there are Context Aware & Location Aware systems too.

With the growing ubiquity of Smartphones (India is crouching right now, ready to leap and unleash cheap smartphones for its millions of mobile users) it is becoming easier to understand how people interact with each other in physical space, not just online. This is where Reality Mining comes in. If there were proper measures to take care of user privacy, this could help businesses understand their consumers and even employee behavior.

Talking of understanding human social behavior using digital technology, Living Analytics is another area which looks quite promising from a business stand point since it allows marketers and organization management people to observe, analyse, experiment and see how human interactions change when certain stimuli are given. Which means, that a marketer can pilot a campaign and immediately see if it impacts consumer behavior. And that a team manager can see if the changes suggested are positively impacting team dynamics.

So, we are now at a stage where computers are aware about themselves, but most importantly, help us be aware:

  1. about others,
  2. about how others perceive us and
  3. about how others perceive/behave with each other.

And hence I term them all together as the “Systems of Awareness”. And which eventually, I hope, I wish, would lead to “Systems of Morality”. 🙂



What do you think? Am I hallucinating or am I talking sense?

P.S.: I am releasing these concepts and the mind map under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license which allows you to build upon these concepts, share them with others, but you must always give me credits as the originator and not use the post/image for commercial purposes.

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