Ethics in Autonomous Corporations, Investments in Human Community, and the Strategic Value of Social Media: Three Good Twitter Conversations This Week

Last weekend I started what I’d like to make a regular series of blog posts rounding up some of the most interesting conversations I was fortunate enough to have over the previous week on Twitter. Here’s last week’s about blockchain, news algorithms, and people discovery.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 11.39.46 AM
Above: thinker @LAPrice, CMX community summit founder David Spinks, and marketer Dave Ewart. Three men, but I also got to interact a little with Margaret Cho this week, which was awesome!

This week’s highlighted conversations, which I welcome you to join me in or just check out from your own vantage point, include the following.  If I mischaracterized what anyone was saying, please do let me know. 😉

I’m @MarshallK on Twitter and would love to chat with you, too.

Ethics and the Autonomous Organization

An incredible but under-reported thing happened this month when an organization called The DAO raised $120 million in two weeks (now almost $150m), all from people buying into what’s called a Decentralized Autonomous Organization.  As Wikipedia says, “A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), also known as decentralized autonomous corporation (DAC), is an organization that is run through a set of business rules that operate within computer code (smart contracts).”

The DAO platform will allow shareholders to vote on proposals for financial and technical resources to be deployed in some really interesting ways.  I’ve heard of decentralized autonomous organizations more and more lately and the easiest example of one to wrap your head around may be an autonomous taxi that drives passengers around, but isn’t owned by anyone in particular, it just caries out a set of rules its been programmed to follow, and makes money, which then goes to the shareholders who funded its creation.

Stan Higgins writes a good overview of some pros and cons of The DAO on Coindesk this week.  My Twitter buddy LA Price puts it differently, though.  “The skynet kickstarter just made it’s first milestone?” he quips, “I wouldn’t be at all certain that the DAO is an unalloyed good thing.”  Thank you for saying that!

I ran a Little Bird analysis to see who in the world of Blockchain (the broad medium in which the DAO will operate) appears most interested in Ethics, and found author Don Tapscott, @BigPrivacy, EtherumLabs, philosopher Melanie Swan, and Michael Parsons at the top of the list.  Good to know.

One Cool Community Building Hack

I posted this poll this week and thought the results were real interesting.

David Spinks replied, which led me to visit his profile which led be to his pinned Tweet – which I absolutely LOVE.

When The Chips Are Down, Social Media!

I was marveling at how few people had wrapped their heads around the great ideas articulated by Chris Boudreaux and Constantin Basturea of EY in this post where they explain just one of countless examples of ways that listening to the social web offers tons and tons of value to people throughout any organization. Why are we just now figuring that out?!? One of my co-workers told me they thought it was because social media is still being staffed as an entry level position. So I asked in a couple of Twitter polls.


My favorite response to all of this? Dave Ewart’s words: “In other words: ‘Would you give the most visible role in the company to most junior hire?'”

Well said, Dave! When you put it like that, the missed opportunities here seem all the more egregious.

See also: Influential Women in Smart Cities

I had a great time researching this blog post this week and people seemed to really dig it.  It’s much more interesting stuff than I thought when I got started.  Sustainability, money, gender – high stakes.  Check it out.


  • David’s tweet is just about the best tweet I’ve ever seen. People throw around the word “community” all the time in the wrong contexts. Few actually understand what it requires.