The Future of Social Data Starts Now

We first announced the formation of the Big Boulder Initiative last June to build the foundation for the long-term success of the social data industry. We’ve made a lot of progress since then.

Last fall, we held a series of small workshops in four cities to discuss the future of social data and the challenges we all face in creating the future we believe is possible. Across all of the workshops, participants – publishers, brands, solution providers, analysts, academics, public sector, finance and more – represented a range of perspectives. We achieved two key outcomes from these events: we identified six high-level topic areas to address, and we elected a board of directors.

This year, the board has gone to work. We established the Big Boulder Initiative as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. We refined and focused the topic areas identified in the workshops. We developed a working draft of a code of ethics for the the social data industry. We created a structure and definition for what it means to be a member of the Initiative. And last but not least, we pulled together the 2014 edition of the Big Boulder conference.

Today, we’re releasing several items so we can drive the discussion forward with the entire industry. First and foremost, our draft Code of Ethics is now available and open for discussion. Stewardship and appropriate use of data is a key topic that we’re planning to address, and the Code of Ethics is the foundation for this discussion. Second, you can now sign up to be a member of the Big Boulder Initiative. We have memberships for companies, academics, nonprofits and individuals. Third, we’re launching a new website for the Initiative. This includes membership information, this blog, and a forum where members can discuss topics we’re addressing. And finally, we’ll kick the conversation into high gear with the start of the Big Boulder conference tomorrow morning.

I’m thrilled to see us take this big step forward with this Initiative. I hope you’ll consider becoming a member to take part in defining the future of the social data industry. This is the beginning of something big.

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