Joshua-Michele Ross

Joshua-Michele Ross

Josh has spent over 10 years consulting on digital business strategy. His focus over the last four years has been on applying Web 2.0 principles to deliver competitive advantage (from new business model development to customer engagement and communication strategies). Mr. Ross has been a guest lecturer at Harvard University and has spoken at conferences related to technology and digital strategy around the world. Past clients include Washington Mutual, Accenture, Best Buy, Autodesk, and Polycom.

Joshua holds a degree with honors in Chinese Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Joshua-Michele blogs at:



Social media’s 2.0 moment: Responsiveness beats planning

April 24 2013

In 2004, O’Reilly Media delivered a counter-cultural (at the time) message: The dot-com bubble had burst, but the web was here to stay as an economic and social force. The meme they coined was Web 2.0, and their manifesto was … read more

The blurring line between speech and text

June 14 2011

Recent social media gaffes show that our definitions and thresholds for speech and text must evolve. A third category has emerged: Internet-based updates that marry the ephemeral nature of speech and the archival permanance of text. read more

Why speed matters

April 26 2011

We live in an ever-accelerating world and the competitive terms of business are built upon achieving speed for many reasons. Here's a look at how speed shapes a variety of domains and experiences. read more

Democratic technology and unintended consequences

February 01 2011

As the Egyptian government throttles information flow and citizens fight to maintain access to communications, we are seeing the contours of a struggle that will shape political and policy changes. read more

The economics of gaining attention

November 01 2010

As our social, economic and political lives are increasingly mediated through a few consolidated technologies such as Facebook and Google, software exerts a profound influence on the way we engage with one another. read more

Architecture is Destiny: A Tale of Two Cities and Lessons for the Social Business

March 20 2010

About three years ago my wife and I made the rash (and wise) decision to buy a 17th century home in Southwestern France . Puy L’Eveque is a 13th century medieval town situated on a hill overlooking the Lot River. Its narrow streets all lead upward to the summit -… read more

Roger Magoulas on Big Data

January 15 2010

From Google to Walmart, managing vast information flows is becoming central to how you run an effective business. Beyond the technical developments that are allowing for new possibilities in managing Big Data there are also new roles emerging within companies large and small; data scientists, visualization specialists etc. In this… read more

Understanding Social Business - Webcast

January 07 2010

The term, "Social Business" has been gaining currency over the past year among influential thinkers such as Stowe Boyd, Jeff Dachis, Peter Kim, and Jeremiah Owyang. At its broadest definition Social Business describes the systemic challenges and new opportunities social technologies present to organizations. I have been writing for some… read more

Airline Security and Proportional Response

January 02 2010

I am flying to London this coming week on business. I have no idea if I will be able to use my laptop, emerge from my seat during the last hour of flight or be required to wear my underwear inside-out during the security check-in. Do I believe that any… read more

Video: Roger Magoulas on The Next Device

December 02 2009

I recently sat down with Roger Magoulas, Director of Research at O'Reilly to talk about what he is paying attention to these days. I thought we would do a single, quick segment for Radar. I was mistaken. I have broken out the interview into several parts and will release them… read more

Three Paradoxes of the Internet Age - Part Three

November 07 2009

The myth of personal empowerment takes root amidst a massive loss of personal control. Social technologies are cloaked in a rhetoric of liberation (customers are in control, the internet fosters democracy, social technologies propagate truth etc.) that tend to obscure the fact that never before have we handed so much… read more

Three Paradoxes of the Internet Age - Part Two

November 05 2009

Individual perception of increased choice can occur while the overall choice pool is getting smaller This gem from Whimsley makes the point - with extensive statistical modeling supporting the argument - that our algorithm-obsessed, long tail merchants are actually depleting the overall choice pool despite the fact that as individuals… read more

Three Paradoxes of the Internet Age - Part One

November 04 2009

In the circles that I travel the Internet is often breathlessly embraced as the herald of all things good; the bringer of increased choice, personal empowerment, social harmony...and the list goes on. And yet, as with any powerful technology, the truth of its consequences eludes such a singular and happy… read more

Participant Sensing -An Interview with Deborah Estrin

October 30 2009

While the iPhone doesn’t ship nearly as much as its humbler brethren - the iPhone opened up many minds about the potential of phones to do a whole lot more than talk. In that regard it is a peek into the future. The iPhone is a rich portable computer with… read more

John Hagel on The Social Web

October 24 2009

I am releasing my conversation with John Hagel in three segments. In the first segment we discussed the real-time web. Here we discuss the move from the information web to the Social Web. John makes the point that the rise of the Social Web feels “a bit like Back to… read more

Abandon Stocks, Embrace Flows - A Conversation with John Hagel

October 23 2009

John Hagel spoke yesterday at the Web 2.0 Summit on the panel, Web Squared and the Economy of Work... read more

Abandon Stocks, Embrace Flows - A Conversation with John Hagel

October 23 2009

This interview covers three “Big Shifts” that have dominated 2009 (1) The move to the real-time web, (2) the move from the information web to the Social Web and (3) the rise of mobile. Since John co-chairs Deloitte’s Center for the Edge I wanted to get his take on each… read more

Only Connect - Should Broadband Access Be a Right?

October 17 2009

This week gave us two reasons to reconsider the state of broadband connectivity in the US. First, Finland has announced that it will guarantee broadband access as a right for all its citizens: Starting next July, every person in Finland will have the right to a one-megabit broadband connection, says… read more

A Conversation with Dr. Walter Scott of DigitalGlobe

October 17 2009

Dr Walter Scott founded Digital Globe - a company you are likely not familiar with though you probably interact with their satellite imagery on a regular basis via Google Maps, Bing and others. It is only recently that mapping technology and production has been driven by mainly commercial interests especially… read more

Real Time Search with Wowd: A Conversation with CEO Mark Drummond

October 13 2009

During last year's Summit I had the good fortune to interview Kevin Kelly (see Technology is the Seventh Kingdom of Life). In the interview Kevin made the case that we have only scratched the surface on how to coordinate group activities on the web: there must be hundreds of effective… read more

Google Analytics for the Real World: A Conversation with Sharon Biggar of Path Intelligence

October 12 2009

In preparation for the upcoming Web 2.0 Summit I am posting a few conversations with attendees that embody the Web Squared Theme. Path Intelligence uses sensor technology to understand shopping behavior in retail spaces by detecting and tracking the RF signals from mobile phones. As Sharon Biggar, co-founder, succinctly puts… read more

Google Analytics for the Real World: A Conversation with Sharon Biggar of Path Intelligence

October 10 2009

In preparation for the upcoming Web 2.0 Summit I am posting a few conversations with attendees that embody the Web Squared Theme. Path Intelligence uses sensor technology to understand shopping behavior in retail spaces by detecting and tracking the RF signals from mobile phones. As Sharon Biggar, co-founder, succinctly puts… read more

Stop Giving the Newspapers Your Advice - They Don’t Need It

September 15 2009

Speculation about the demise of the news business and advice about what they should do about it is everywhere. It makes for great, self-congratulatory sport but it won’t help the news industry. Why? Because the news industry doesn’t suffer from a shortage of ideas or possible revenue models, it suffers… read more

The Productivity Myth: Step Away From the Twitter - Get Back to Work

July 31 2009

Ever since I posted a how-to on establishing guidelines for social media in the workplace, the issue that has generated the most energy concerns productivity. Employers it seems are very worried about lost productivity due to social media usage (Facebook, Twitter etc.). I can’t really get my arms around it… read more

Amazon, Zappos and Buying What You Can’t Compete Against

July 24 2009

Amazon bought Zappos. At first I was a bit surprised. Like an aging celebrity going to the “big theater in the sky” it is unexpected when you first hear about it - but upon reflection not surprising at all. It smacks of inevitability. Amazon has consistently displayed a genius for… read more

AmaZappos or ZappoZon? Amazon, Zappos and Buying What You Can’t Compete Against

July 24 2009

Amazon bought Zappos. At first I was a bit surprised. Like an aging celebrity going to the “big theater in the sky” it is unexpected when you first hear about it - but upon reflection not surprising at all. It smacks of inevitability. Amazon has consistently displayed a genius for… read more

In Defense of Social Media (At Least Some Of It)

July 02 2009

Scott Berkun just posted a great rant titled, Calling Bullshit on Social Media. I suggest everyone read it. Berkun raises good points - and I agree the hype around social media warrants taking a critical look. Despite being in general agreement, there are a few areas I can't abide, starting… read more

“Silicon Valley’s First Phone Company” -A conversation with Ted Griggs

June 27 2009

Ribbit bills itself as “Silicon Valley’s First Phone Company.” Recently I sat down with Ted Griggs, Ribbit’s CEO to talk about that tag line, Ribbit’s business and what’s behind their recent acquisition by British Telecom. It will be interesting to see how the telecommunications industry is going to handle the… read more

Social Science Moves from Academia to the Corporation

May 21 2009

This is the latest of a series of posts addressing questions regarding social technologies. These topics will be opened to live discussion in an upcoming webcast on May 27 with a special guest to be announced. In order to control a thing you must first classify that thing -- and… read more

The Digital Panopticon

May 20 2009

This post is part three of a series raising questions about the mass adoption of social technologies;. Here are links to part one and two. These posts will be opened to live discussion in an upcoming webcast on May 27. (special guest to be announced shortly) In 1785 utilitarian philosopher… read more

Captivity of the Commons

May 19 2009

This post is part two of the series, “The Question Concerning Social Technology”. Part one is here. These posts will be opened to live discussion in an upcoming webcast on May 27. In January 2002 DARPA launched the Information Awareness Office. The mission was to, “ imagine, develop, apply, integrate,… read more

The Question Concerning Social Technology

May 18 2009

I am an evangelist of social media and an active participant: on Linked In (business), MySpace (music) and Facebook (increasingly my online identity), I blog on several sites and I am a daily user of Twitter. I also make my living speaking to companies about the value and operating principles… read more

Radar Interview with Clay Shirky

February 16 2009

Clay Shirky is one of the most incisive thinkers on technology and its effects on business and society. I had the pleasure to sit down with him after his keynote at the FASTForward '09 conference last week in Las Vegas. In this interview Clay talks about The effects of low… read more

Stimuluswatch.org; The Falling Cost and Accelerated Speed of Group Action

February 14 2009

Stimuluswatch.org is a great example of how easy it is today for people to, as Clay Shirky says, “organize without organizations.” Stimuluswatch.org began after Jerry Brito attended a mayor’s Conference and posted this request: "Let’s help President-Elect Obama do what he is promising. Let’s help him “prioritize” so the projects… read more

Security in the Age of Social Networks

February 06 2009

Over the past four years we have seen an explosion in the volume of personally identifiable information (PII) online as social software and user generated content have allowed millions of people to create, manage and share their data in the cloud. While the rewards have been pretty clear (lower barriers… read more

What Does It Mean To Be An Internet President?

January 21 2009

FDR was our radio president, JFK was our television president and Barack Obama will be our Internet President. Quietly at noon yesterday, as the world was fixated on the televised inauguration of Barack Obama, some obscure IT managers flipped a switch (metaphorically) and transferred Change.gov to Whitehouse.gov... While the inauguration… read more

Work On Stuff That Matters: Video Interview with Tim O'Reilly

January 15 2009

Over the past few months I have been interviewing various people that are "on our Radar" so to speak. It recently occurred to me that we had never done a video with Tim. So last week Kirk Walter (bless him!) grabbed his camera and Tim and I took a walk… read more

Seeing New Possibilities in Existing Technologies: An Interview with April Allderdice of MicroEnergy Credits

January 10 2009

This interview is with April Allderdice, CEO and cofounder of MicroEnergy Credits. MicroEnergy Credits has developed a mechanism using microfinance institutions and GPS cell phones to allow carbon credits to reach small households in the developing world. Until now the relatively high transaction costs involved in set up and verification… read more

Software for Civic Life: An Interview with Mike Mathieu of Frontseat.org

December 30 2008

In this interview Mike Mathieu, founder of Frontseat.org, discusses how he is helping to build “software for civic life”. Using publicly available data and web services (many of their applications use S3 and EC2) Frontseat creates simple, highly functional tools like Walkscore (rating neighborhood walkability) and Countmore (helping students in… read more

Zappos: If You Are Great at Something - Let It Go... (Or Resell It)

December 22 2008

I am fascinated by what I see as Zappos' ongoing evolution from a simple, online retailer to a leading online innovator. A few months back I wrote about Zappos pioneering what I called “Experience Syndication" with their Powered by Zappos (PBZ) service. In brief, PBZ syndicates the end-to-end value of… read more

Catch 22: Too Big To Fail, Too Big To Succeed

December 08 2008

Hat in hand the U.S. Auto Industry lined up for their slice of government aid and it appears as of this posting that they will get the money they are asking for. These titans spent years hiding behind the “free market” shibboleth when convenient (the market wants gas guzzling SUV’s)… read more

“Technology is the 7th Kingdom of Life” - A conversation with Kevin Kelly

November 24 2008

Kevin Kelly doesn’t need much in the way of introduction to Radar readers. He is a big thinker looking at the intersection of biology, technology and culture. Kevin gave a great High Order Bit at the Web 2.0 Summit and I caught up with him afterward. This interview covers: The… read more

Online Communities: The Tribalization of Business

November 12 2008

Recently I spoke with Francois Gossieaux of Beeline Labs about the role of online communities in the enterprise. Francois has been evangelizing the learning gained from his recent study “The Tribalization of Business” (see here for the Slideshare presentation). The interview is broken into three parts. Francois is a great… read more

Technology, Politics and Democracy

October 21 2008

Recently I spoke with Jascha Franklin-Hodge, CTO and co-founder of Blue State Digital about how technology is affecting politics and democracy in the U.S. Blue State Digital was born out of Jascha's experience helping Howard Dean’s seminal run for the White House in ’04. and is the technology and strategic… read more

Wikitecture - Radical Collaboration in Architecture

October 16 2008

Many of the precepts that began with Open Source (collaboration, shared IP, crowdsourcing etc.) are migrating from software development into a series of ever more surprising disciplines. Today old-school institutions like Proctor and Gamble go outside of their own R&D teams to innovate new products while Best Buy opens APIs… read more

A Star is Born? NY Times syndicates outside blogs but that's not enough

October 07 2008

Recently the New York Times announced that it will be syndicating content from three well-known blogs, Read/Write Web, Giga Om and Venture Beat. The New York Times is using these blogs as an extra-sensory organ; they can dial into what is happening in the tech sector (and particularly the West… read more

Customer Service is the New Marketing: Interview with Lane Becker

October 02 2008

The Internet changes the power relations between companies and customers. Social technologies like blogs, social networks, ratings and reviews etc. allow customers to share experiences; good and bad to the 1.4 billion people on the Internet. Zappos exemplifies the positive benefits of extraordinary customer service while Comcast shines a light… read more

Getting Web 2.0 right: The hard stuff vs. the harder stuff

October 01 2008

I had a powerful conversation recently in Europe with one of the top executives of a major industrial company. They have 100K+ employees in over 50 countries. When he joined five years ago their business was struggling and in need of major transformation; their stock was at two dollars a… read more

Open beats Closed: Best Buy’s new APIs

September 23 2008

Welcome to Joshua-Michéle Ross, who joins the Radar team with a focus on how Web 2.0 is affecting business strategy - Sara Winge Best Buy is a pioneer when it comes to unleashing the talent of their own staff; from the Loop Marketplace that allows employees to submit ideas for… read more

Recent Posts | All O'Reilly Posts

Webcast: Creating Your Social Media Policy
July 30, 2009
This webcast will review guidelines for corporations considering how to responsibly integrate social media in the workplace. After delivering the framework, Joshua will open the webcast to a Q&A discussion.

Webcast: Reconsidering Social Media
May 27, 2009
This webcast will be highly interactive; a short explanation of Joshua-Michele Ross' points as detailed in his four-part article series on the Radar Blog - followed by open Q&A and Debate.

Webcast - The Evangelist's Toolkit: A field guide to bringing social technologies into your organization
September 30, 2008
While it has become cliché to talk about how much the Internet and the Social Web have changed business, what has been less well explored is how traditional (meaning non-Internet native) businesses successfully adopt new technologies such as social...

Webcast: Success Factors: What traditional business really needs to know about Web 2.0
July 21, 2008