Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Web Secret #199: Social Media Is Transforming

One way to keep a blog fresh and relevant is to invite a guest blogger. Risky too, what if they write a lousy post? But when you invite the perfect guest - well that's another story

Blogger Jeff Bulla scored a perfect 10 when he asked socio-cultural anthropologist Lisa Galarneau to write a post.

She sucked me in by embedding the following sensational YouTube video:

Her main point was that social media is transforming the world by "...leveraging the power of six degrees of separation. Uniting in common purpose and effort..."

These are the examples she used:

1. Social Media Allows Us to Challenge the Status Quo
We can reach out to anyone on the planet, building things, creating things, connecting with each other, and self-organizing around important issues. Does anyone think the Arab Spring would have occurred as swiftly without Twitter?

2. We Are Being Changed by Exposure to Diversity
We can pay attention to the small details of the lives around us, delight with them, and cry with them. People are connecting and being exposed to diverse perspectives on an unimaginable scale.

3. We Can Learn More from Each Other
You can find everything from make-up tips to sophisticated research projects on YouTube, and numerous other platforms.

4. We Are Exposed to Crowd Sourced Wisdom
Share our knowledge, wisdom and experiences.

5. Creativity and Inspiration is Unleashed
We share our creative ideas and inspirations.

6. Truth is Exposed
We haunt Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks waiting for a cause or idea to support. We use these powerful tools, and the signals cannot be easily stopped - even with government censorship.

7. Anyone can Contribute

So back to that YouTube video. 350,000 people from all over the world uploaded their cover of the Adele hit "Rolling in the Deep.

One person culled the 71 best tracks and "wove them into a mash-up... in perfect synchrony."

Power and unity beckon.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Web Secret #198: the Point of No Return

There is a point in time, when new technology moves from being used by a small number of early adopters to being widespread.

It is fair to say that in the 21st century, the time span that separates a new technology from universal acceptance is becoming much shorter.

However, everyone has a personal point of no return.
  • The Apple Macintosh computer may have been introduced in 1984, but I did not have my own computer until 1996.
  • The cell phone may have been introduced in the late nineties, but I didn't buy one until 2003.
In most cases, I have to be convinced that a technology is absolutely essential before I jump on that band wagon.

Sometimes, however, my conversion is immediate.
  • Color TV? Needed this ASAP.
  • The first music CD? Listened. Bought a CD player within an hour.
  • GPS for my car? I can't find my way out of a paper bag. Got that puppy pronto.
Other gear, I had to ponder for a while.
  • Smartphones? Never had a Blackberry. It took the iPhone 4 to move me.
  • iPad? Had to play with one owned by a friend before purchasing one, and honestly, I didn't "get it" right away.
Some tech and social media innovations - I still don't own or use.
  • Blu-ray - yes, the picture is sharper, but I just don't care enough.
  • Google+ - why? Why do I need this?
  • Facebook - use it for work. Don't care to spend my personal time there.
Sometimes, I resist the latest version of something that didn't need improvement (in my opinion.)
  • Happy with iPhone 4 - don't need to upgrade to iPhone 4s.
  • Latest version of Gmail - no.
  • Latest version of Blogger - no.
What is your point of no return?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Web Secret #197: Social Media Will Disappear

We make a distinction between old media (TV, Newspapers, Radio) and new (aka social) media (Twitter, Facebook, blogs.)

In fact, not only has the media changed, but the media delivery system.

Consider this, 30 years ago:

If you wanted to watch TV, you sat in front of a television set.

If you wanted to read the newspaper, you bought a newspaper.

If you wanted to listen to radio
, you turned on a radio.

In 2012, if you want to watch TV, read the newspaper or listen to the radio, you only need one device - your smart phone or your iPad.

In fact, from just one of these devices, you can access both old media and new/social media, including music, videos, GPS, the weather, Twitter, magazines, blogs, games, etc., etc.

The implication is simple. Old media and new media are converging, and will merge, to become, well, just media.

It's happening sooner than you think.

Thank you Jeff Bulla, for another inspiring post.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Web Secret #196: Disruptive Technology

We are living in an era of disruptive technology.

"A disruptive technology... is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network... displacing an earlier technology."

The term was coined by Clayton M. Christensen in his 1995 article "Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave."

The classic example is the Ford Model T.

"...the automobile was a revolutionary technological innovation, but it was not a disruptive innovation, because early automobiles were expensive luxury items that did not disrupt the market for horse-drawn vehicles. The market for transportation essentially remained intact until the debut of the lower priced Ford Model T in 1908. The mass-produced automobile was a disruptive innovation, because it changed the transportation market. The automobile, by itself, was not."

What's it to you?

Well, when Mr. Christensen wrote his article, the thinking was that disruptive technology would take a few years, maybe even decades to, well, disrupt.

But in the 21st century, that is no longer the case, is it?

Disruptive technology can happen in a few months, possibly even faster.

Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride...