If you are a pensions person and use any form of social media-linkedin, Facebook,twitter blogs like this, you are probably aware of a thing called Mallowstreet.
Of my 900 connections on LinkedIn, about 150 are on Mallowstreet and you may be one of them! As most of my connections are eligible to be on Mallowstreet and as I think Mallowstreet is a bloody good thing, this blog is an invitation to the 600 or so people that I know through LinkedIn to accept my invitation and use me as a portal to get into Mallowstreet. If you are in any way connected to pensions, even if you know nothing of me then please read through this and if you like what you here, contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to help you if you’d like to know more.
So what’s this Mallowstreet thing? It’s an online community of pension managers, actuaries,consultants and contributors who have a common interest in sharing information, meeting, learning from each other.
Sounds pretty airy-fairy? Well that’s not been my experience. Since I joined in November 2009 I’ve met a whole load of people who have helped me to develop new business for myself, deepened my technical understanding and allowed me to sound off about certain things which has helped my “personal and business development”.
So why do you want me to join? The people who run Mallowstreet can only sustain their business model by growing its membership with the right kind of people basically the kind of people who like to give as well as take, who aren’t so cynical that they aren’t prepared to explore new things nor so gullible that they want to pay extraordinary amounts of money for information and experiences that they can get without charge.
Sounds too good to be true-what’s the commercial angle? Mallowstreet is a commercial enterprise into which a lot of money has been sunk. That money came from Redington Partners initially. To recoup their investment and run Mallowstreet, the investors charge the Solutions Providers- law firms, asset managers and ratings agencies an annual fee in exchange for which they can advertise their solutions and commune with the buy-side of Mallowstreet who get a free ride. I am not part of the Mallowstreet enterprise but I understand that the business side is going very well. The benefit I and other free-riders get is based on people like me using the site and encouraging others to join and do the same.
Sounds like a lot of spam! That worried me before I joined and I guess the temptation will always be there for Solutions to be rammed down your throat. It hasn’t been like that so far and I’ve found the Solutions Providers to be a source of information rather than a pain in the neck-so far so good!
So maybe I’m interested ..what do I have to do? Mallowstreet is a regulated place and it’s run along strict rules. Nobody joins Mallowstreet without going through a joining procedure. This ensures that the site isn’t contaminated by low-life scumbags, peddling their own agendas to the annoyance of the rest of us. If you are a low-life scum-bag you will not get into Mallowstreet. But if you are a decent pensions person then you should either contact me as above and I’ll make an introduction or you should go directly to www.mallowstreet.com and apply directly.
So why are you bothering to do all this Henry? Purely selfish reason I want to continue to use Mallowstreet and know that it will only meet its aims (pretty ambitious) if it increases its membership over the next few years to be inclusive of the entire pensions community both in the UK and further afield. Without achieving growth there will be no Mallowstreet and I will be the poorer for that.
Not quite so selfish reason I do believe you get out of life what you put into it. I could work all my life on my own and not achieve what I could achieve by sharing with others in a couple of weeks. The point of social Media is that it brings together people who share common experiences creating the “wisdom of crowds“. The NAPF and PMI have done enormous things in doing this over the years and will continue to do so. However the opportunities presented by the internet technologies that Mallowstreet uses really (rather well), are such that I genuinely believe it will be as powerful and popular within five years.
Final reason I am genuinely fascinated by interacting with others and recognise the enormous diversity between people with different talents, different ways of engaging and different objectives. Mallowstreet allows all types of pension people whether they are passive or active in their participation, to improve the quality of their professional lives.