“Innovation Foraging” on Social Digital Mediums


In the science, technology worlds, there is a category referred to as “technology foraging,” or the searching for smart ideas and emerging technologies that may exist already in research institutions of found in patents to fill gaps and offer new solutions.  Technology foraging has been an engine for the technological transformation now taking place in society.  It has served as a catalyst for discoveries of many products brought to the marketplace.

The foraging process is often conducted in research centers by national labs, universities, and in government & corporate innovation hubs. It has expanded commensurately with the rapid pace of innovation in our new era of exponential digital transformation where humans and computing devices are intertwined, and data is more accessible. Please see my article Technology Foraging for Cybersecurity Solutions Technology Foraging for Cybersecurity Solutions | AT&T Cybersecurity (                                                                                                                 

Digital transformation combined with tech foraging of the 4th Industrial Era has led to significant jumps in innovation of technologies. This includes, for example, emerging tech such as big data, artificial intelligence, IoT, smart cities, 5G wireless, virtual & augmented reality, nanotechnologies, robotics, self-driving cars, 3-D Printing, cybersecurity, quantum computing, predictive data analytics, Biometrics and wearables, self-healing materials, bioinformatics, genetic engineering, and a new world of medical applications. 

The digital transformation It has also impacted communication mediums, especially social media where research, ideas, analyses, and opinions are cultivated by open sharing and interaction. The networking and information sharing on digital mediums can be viewed as a foraging process. The pace of digital expansion and change is happening so rapidly that it can be quite overwhelming just to try to keep up.  But social media does offer a pathway to do so via innovation foraging and collaborative information sharing.

For example, my career passion revolves around searching and reading about topics in cybersecurity. Using social media, I can keep abreast of the latest news and events. A case in point is the recent Colonial Pipeline breach. Almost immediately after happened, detailed descriptions of the breach and surrounding issues such as ransomware were posted on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other digital mediums. There was a potpourri of expert perspectives available, including posts on technical analyses, and posts on geopolitical and economic implications. Forging through posts you can also develop your own knowledge to explore remedies and policy frameworks that may apply digital impact to your own professional or business circumstances.

From my perspective as cyber security & technology strategist, the extensive resources of LinkedIn combined with their supporting analytics provides a great platform to communicate, educate and promote. For me, LinkedIn groups, including the dozen groups I created, serve as the most optimal social media digital offerings for foraging. Research on LinkedIn is significantly amplified by the myriad of specialized information security LinkedIn groups that I can pull insightful and timely data from on a regular basis. 

Several years back I wrote an article for LinkedIn called Why LinkedIn is an Indispensable Medium for Security Professionals Why LinkedIn is an Indispensable Medium for Security Professionals | LinkedIn Marketing Blog  In that blog I noted that” LinkedIn has become part of the fabric of how I (and a majority of my peers) communicate, operate, and conduct business. For me, LinkedIn groups serve as interactive, informative forums. Many of the members in my groups are security professionals who have important roles in government or industry, including CISOS, CIOs, CTOs, or members of the C-Suite who possess deep subject matter knowledge.” I also stated that for thought leadership on homeland security and cybersecurity issues, that “LinkedIn is a real force for digital influence. It is an effective platform for educating, evangelizing, and promoting discussion of the cutting risk management issues.”

The value of LinkedIn for evangelism and marketing goes far beyond immediate connections.  The extensive resources of LinkedIn combined with the intrinsic marketing capabilities based upon intelligence analytics provides a ready platform to communicate, educate and promote. In my major areas of interest, cybersecurity and emerging tech, I am very active in interchange of news and innovative ideas with groups, and also with my 70,000 direct follower connections. It facilitates keeping up with cybersecurity and emerging technology trends that I can share with others across digital media.

With 18 years under its belt and a membership globally of over 800,000 users, LinkedIn has become increasingly valuable as a forging resource and influence platform for branding people and companies. Twitter offers good avenues for networking, and often is starting point for interesting links that spur more foraging on other media sites. Both platforms offer users measurable metrics to track effectiveness of content and interactions.

For employees at a company or organization, foraging (and info sharing) on digital mediums as a corporate strategy can help drive collaboration between often aloof silos comprised of the c-suite, marketing, legal, and sales. A social media platform can also foster company awareness & relationship, cultivate business networks, and can even be used as a research tool for due diligence. For both companies and individuals, social digital platforms can serve as a resource and enabler for innovation by sharing important data derived from foraging among informative posts. 

Chuck Brooks, President of Brooks Consulting International, is a globally recognized thought leader and subject matter expert Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies. LinkedIn named Chuck as one of “The Top 5 Tech People to Follow on LinkedIn.” He was named by Thompson Reuters as a “Top 50 Global Influencer in Risk, Compliance,” and by IFSEC as the “#2 Global Cybersecurity Influencer.” He was featured in the 2020 Onalytica "Who's Who in Cybersecurity" – as one of the top Influencers for cybersecurity issues. He was also named one of the Top 5 Executives to Follow on Cybersecurity by Executive Mosaic. He is also a Cybersecurity Expert for “The Network” at the Washington Post, Visiting Editor at Homeland Security Today, Expert for Executive Mosaic/GovCon, and a Contributor to FORBES. 

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Chuck Brooks on Twitter:   @ChuckDBrooks

By Chuck Brooks

Keywords: Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, Innovation

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