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The Business of Influence: Reframing Marketing and PR for the Digital Age by PHILIP SHELDRAKE

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Mobile and Other Things

We have a framework with Six Influence Flows, but what are these flows exactly? From an analogue communications perspective the flows are information exchange processed by human minds, and from a digital perspective the flows are data moving between things on the network which are easily processed and archived by information technologies for indexing, searching and statistical analysis, and may also, ultimately, form information processed by human minds.

Until the turn of the century the Internet was generally considered to be a network of computers, where computers could be the servers operated by large organizations and hosts, massive desktop things in our homes and offices, and portable things called laptops. That changed with the widespread adoption of the smartphone, a phone that by definition has data connectivity capabilities and usually some sort of powerful operating system and capable Web browser. And if we’re talking époques, then the history of the smartphone may now be considered to consist of the pre-iPhone and post-iPhone (2007) eras, given the step change in our expectations of a smartphone following the iPhone launch.

The data constituting the digital element of influence flows is sent and received by servers, desktop computers, laptops, mobiles and, as we shall see, other things. But let’s dwell for a moment on the phone.

Phones are the most personal of consumer electronic devices. They rank with keys and money when going out. They become ...

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