Global 'Occupy' marches show reach of most unlikely consumer revolution ever

Corporate America: Customers have conquered your social nets, demanding more than disdain and dismissal

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The spread within the U.S. and widespread, largely benign recognition of the movement and its goals are good indications it will continue in other guises even after the Occupations themselves are over.

I hesitate to keep writing so frequently about OWS and its various spinoffs because, despite the important role Anonymous played and the important ways OWS' use of social media is changing the environment for political discussion, it's not purely a technology oriented topic. It's not even primarily technical.

It's primarily concerned with justice and honesty, which are rarely more than mouth music to major corporations, but which mean a lot to the customers who have to deal with them, and to the politicians who have to ask those customers for a vote.

That's where the push toward corporate financial-reporting regulations came from, and the resulting impact on IT.

I'm actually hoping OWS has a similar effect, even though the result for IT people may be more work as they try to create systems that meet new requirements for financial reporting that will ferret out more about the sequence of decisions behind financial decisions about finance, lending, borrowing, hiring, laying off and other C-suite issues.

Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

It's likely those systems will trace the meta-data behind major decisions much farther down the totem pole than they do now.

Changing the way customers talk to corporations, and making them listen

They will also expose far more individuals within corporations for decisions that result in grossly unjust policies or decisions that just piss off customers.

OWS is changing what is considered a "normal" level of communication for both customers (the mob) and corporations, encouraging the kind of grass-roots strength-in-numbers approach to policies customers really hate, but rarely so much that they create their own blogs or sites specifically to express that hatred and gather others of like mind.

It is making far more acceptable expressing the kind of anger sparked by customer-exploiting decisions like those below, not to mention give them a framework, examples and opportunities to do something about them.

Think about how OWS-influenced customers might respond online, through social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a host of others, to outrages like the following assaults against customer rights and finances:

Photo Credit: 

Reuters: Heino Kalis

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