Social Media Roundup: New Frontiers in Self-Regulation

New economic advancements open up a new set of possibilities for regulation—and that could be a good thing. Plus: What emerging technologies are grabbing attention and investment?

Regulation isn’t always a dirty word, and it isn’t always carried out by the government. When new industries emerge, new problems emerge, and it’s worth remembering the role associations play in combating them.

In today’s Social Media Roundup, find out why you should put some faith in the “sharing economy”:

Self-Regulation’s Role

If you build it, regulation will come: In Arun Sundararajan’s piece “Trusting the ‘Sharing Economy’ to Regulate Itself”, the New York University professor speaks to the vital role of self-regulation that many associations play, providing pivotal oversight when government is either too busy to thoroughly monitor or would burden an industry.

“The National Association of Realtors and the American Medical Association, which emerged organically from a need to self-regulate, are perhaps the best examples. Bar associations guide the behaviors of lawyers in each state,” Sundararajan writes. “The historical roots of industry consortiums for self-policing go much further back, perhaps to the merchant guilds of medieval times. The idea has been around and worked for centuries.”

Sundararajan argues that the “sharing economy,” represented by companies like Airbnb and Lyft, could be a vibrant, valuable new sector of the economy, and are more than capable of some self-regulation. Airbnb already has an advocacy group fighting for its causes in Peers, which we’ve previously profiled. So it’s likely only a matter of time other groups follow suit.

Interest vs. Investment

Putting your money where your interest is: Management consultant Meredith Low brought our attention to this interesting study by Altimeter, which polled digital strategists on their firms’ degree of interest in new technologies and how much they’re looking to invest in them.

All in all, plenty of firms are interested and investing in things like gamification, social TV, and mobile payments, but they’re paying notably less attention to wireless power and 3-D printing.

“The top 5 categories in terms of investment activity all reflect a desire to touch customers throughout their journey, in ways targeted to their behavioral, technological, temporal, geographical, and buying preferences,” Altimeter’s Jessica Groopman wrote.

Many of the top technologies have implications for the associations space—imagine what effective gamification could do to improve your membership drives or how helpful hyper-local mapping technology could be when tied to a conference. Plus, it’s always worth knowing where enterprise-level interest and cash is flowing.

Which emerging technologies do you think are the most interesting, and has your association dabbled in such domains? Sound off in the comments below or hit us up at @AssociationsNow.


Morgan Little

By Morgan Little

Morgan Little is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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