Sense Making: Use the Social Web to Find Meaning in Today's Fast-changing and Complex World

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There is too much going on and it is pushing people out of their psychological comfort zones. "But people don't want more information they want things to make sense," says psychologist and business strategist, John I. Todor, Ph.D. During a public talk at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on March 10th he will describe how people can use free Web 2.0 tools to reduce information overload and the uncertainty and confusion of rapid change. He will also discuss how businesses can gain committed and loyal customers by becoming a credible part of the social media conversation.

John I. Todor, Ph.D., managing partner of The Whetstone Edge, LLC, will be speaking at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, CA on March 10, 2008. His presentation is open to the public. The topic of his presentation is How Web 2.0 Can Enrich Your Business and Your Life. Todor contends that people are confronted with too much information, too much stress, too much complexity and too little time. As a result they have a reduced sense of predictability and control over the external world -- they are pushed out of their psychological comfort zones.

"When this happens," says Todor, "people become more indifferent and closed-minded which reduces their emotional engagement and ultimately reduces the quality of their lives. This is not a happy situation for people and it is not good for business either. Indifferent customers tend to shop on price and convenience and are inherently not loyal."

In his presentation, Todor will offer what he calls a Social Media System, a way to help people to make sense out of complexity and change by harnessing free Web 2.0 tools. Using a parallel system, businesses can become a credible part of the social media conversation. Businesses benefit because customers become more emotionally engaged with their products and this leads them to make purchase decisions based on value not price. There is a long-term benefit to both parties. By helping customers make sense out of the world they earn trust and credibility and this leads customers to want a long-term relationship.

People benefit in two ways. When they use the Social Media System they gain more predictability and control over the external world which enable them to have more emotionally positive and meaningful experiences. For example, they find out how to sort through the complexities taking care of their medical needs -- like getting the most appropriate care and getting the maximum coverage from their health plan. Or, they could learn how to choose a cruise that best suits them, how to buy it and how to get the most out of the experience. Secondly, when they find businesses that support them in this quest, customers gain a way to simplify and enhance their lives.

The Commonwealth Club is the nation's oldest and largest public affairs forum. John Todor's presentation will take place at their headquarters which is located at 595 Market Street in San Francisco. A reception starts at 5:30 and the presentation begins at 6 p.m. on March 10, 2008. For more information go to the Commonwealth Club web site (

John I. Todor, Ph.D. is the managing partner of The Whetstone Edge, LLC ( a consulting firm that applies research on human behavior to buyer-seller dynamics including customer loyalty, trust, retention, customer service, CRM, customer relationship management, customer experience management and marketing strategy. Customer care, acquisition, and client relationships are profoundly affected by the underlying psychological principles that lead to customer satisfaction, trust, loyalty, and long term, high lifetime value. They offer clients insights in how to use Web 2.0 technologies, social media and consumer-generated content to strengthen customer relationships. They offer workshops and consult on these topics.

His latest book is Addicted Customers: How to Get Them Hooked on Your Company.



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