Right now entirely new business models and industries are being built around social networks like Twitter and Facebook. The emerging Social Economy is big and booming. And booming economies create new jobs. Here are some examples of cool new jobs or business ideas I imagine might be off the next few years (if they haven’t already.)
Before I kick off, I should clarify that I am not talking about the web designers, programmers, data-analists, marketeers and many other professionals that are needed to develop the social networks and keep them up and running. I am talking about new jobs that could arise within the Social Economy.
1. the Social Baby Sit
Who’s going to keep you kids safe on facebook, youtube or whereever they go online? Online bullying as well as more sinister activities are a serious concern for many parents. Pulling the plug and revoking internet access may seem a tad excessive.
Why not hire the Social Baby Sit? The SBS can monitor all your child’s online activity and protect them from bullies and predators alike.
2. the Online Gardener and Digital Dog Walker
Like their real life equivalent: many online farms, and pets require a player’s regular attention. But what if you have an exam coming up? Or a honeymoon? Or a pedicure? What do people do who own a real garden or a real dog when they are short on time? They hire other people to do it for them: gardeners and dog walkers.
The same could be true for your virtual pets and gardens. You can go and get that pedicure while your Online Gardener and Digital Dog Walker are giving your darlings all the tender love and care they deserve!
3. the Social Stylist
Let’s be honest: we’ve all used facebook to secretly check up on our former high school crush. It’s a pretty safe bet to assume that they’ve been checking you out as well. The same is true for future employers. A google-search is the first thing I usually do when a job applicant’s resume lands in my inbox.
We all want to make sure you look your best to past boyfriends / girlfriends and future employers alike. Professional, stylish and living the good life.
Step in the Social Stylist. He or she will give your online profile that long overdue make-over, making sure only the good pictures of your last trip make it online and removing any suspect Facebook followers and comments.
4. the Photoshop Surgeon
You have a Social Stylist making sure your social network profiles show you living a nice, healthy and wholesome life. What if looking your best isn’t good enough? You may have gained a little weight or a pimple of two that could use a little ‘smoothing over’.
Enter the Photoshop Surgeon. Instead of using knives these specialists use their photoshop skills to give all your online pictures a perfect tan, slim waist and wrinkle free faces. Thanks to the Photoshop Surgeon all of us can look 10 years younger and 20 pounds lighter.
It’s like real plastic surgery except that it’s even more fake!
5. the Digital Doorman (or the Social Butler)
Anybody who has over 500 twitter followers or facebook friends has experienced this problem: whom do I follow back and how do I greet them? Who’s cool enough to be a member of my club?
Obviously at some point even a social media addict can’t do this all alone. Like any good night club you could hire a Digital Doorman. He decides who gets to get in, who gets the VIP treatment and if need he can send those highly personalized “thanks-for-following-me” to new twitter followers or “cool-to-connect-how-have-you-been” messages on Facebook. A particular good Digital Doorman could take this one step further: he could actually pretend to be you for a longer period of time: that’s the next job on the list.
6. the Social Stand In (or the Digital Body Double)
Of course there may be times that you simply want to get away from it all. You don’t want to be connected, post cleverly worded status updates or do whatever it is you do to impress your friends, colleagues and social stalkers.
Here’s the solution: the Social Stand In. Your Social Stand In will live your entire online life for you, posting pictures, updates and tweets.
Imagine: you could be eating stale pizza in your basement while your social you is pressing like-buttons, going on exciting diving trips, and brokering peace deals between warring Amazonian tribes.
How awesome would that be? (Of course at one time Facebook may end up crowded by Social Stand Ins having pretend conversations and living pretend lives….)
7. the Virtual Job Agency
Need a Social Baby Sit? Or a Photoshop Surgeon? Given their nature the best candidate for these jobs could easily come from Bangalore or Manilla. All it requires is the right set of skills and an internet connection.
So how are you going to find and hire the best of them? Why not pay somebody to do the selection and hiring process for you: the Social Job Agency. For a modest fee the Social Job Agency will find the best candidates for any Social Job openings. They’ll even send a replacement if one of them is hit by a rickshaw or calls in sick!
You wouldn’t even have to know.
Eric Schmidt paid $ 1 billion for Youtube and considers this a steal. Linked-in and Youtube are valued at $ 4 billion and $ 7 billion respectively. The present king of the hill Facebook is worth at least $ 50 billion (and possible $ 100 billion according to some analysts).
As inflated as you may think some of these figure may be; you have to agree that the Social Economy is big and booming. The Social Economy is creating jobs. Jobs that are worth real money: some of them probably already exist. It is also safe to assume that my short list of cool new jobs is anything but exhaustive.
What cool new jobs can you think of?