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Who cares what you had for breakfast?

June 17, 2009

I’m 61 years old. So how come a 20 something daughter of mine thinks it’s lame that I have both a Facebook and a Twitter account?

Mind you, until I mentioned it, she had neither, but in a rather ironic twist of the fabric of the cosmos, I find myself advising folks who could be my children about Social Media and how it can be a significant piece of tomorrow’s communication methodology. Damn, life can really throw some great curve balls.

Social Media? Yeah, I know, another in-crowd term that most of us sheepishly walk away from. But this is very important, very relevant and it isn’t going away. Social Media is that group of communication platforms that exist because of the internet and the wonderfully innovative people who whould rather play there than on a basketball court. It includes such things as Facebook and Twitter and many other “networking” applications whose only reason for being is to permit people to congregate on-line and share whatever personal or business information they may have to offer. It is the worst of times ….it is the best of times.

I’ve been involved in a lot of “networking” schemes over the past 25 years. Starting with luncheons, cocktail parties, on-line “meetups” and formalized information sharing networks (whatever that means), but in the past few months, I have have seen something that seemed like the ugly sister of the social media family morph into Snow White. The Iranian elections of 2009 have revealed the astonishing power of simplicity …. a 140 character limitation that may set a nation free.

The awesome power of the Iranian government was able to shut down every news reporting agency in the world … but not a simple little cyber gremlin known as Twitter. Because it exists today, the truth of what’s happening from moment to moment in Tehran and throughout the country is streaming live around the globe.  Video clips from cell phones in Freedom Square are being viewed in Kansas and Liverpool and Berlin and Rhone … in the same instant. Geeks around the globe are ganging up on the Iranian government’s techno-nazis and playing a remarkable game of cat and mouse to keep the tweets tweeting.

None of us can know how this will play out. But all of us will be able to watch it in real time because of this crazy beautiful technology. This afternoon in a small pub in NY, I scrolled through tweets on my iPhone to see what was happening. On the TV over the bar, Wolf Blitzer was on CNN apologizing because none of the video they were showing could be confirmed. Their correspondents had been shut down by the Iranian government. He commented, “Social Media (Twitter) has become our only source of information.”

Who cares what you had for breakfast?

I do.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Riin Rio permalink
    June 17, 2009 10:38 pm

    I’m sold ! I think it’s a broadly held cultural myth that the young lead in all things technological. They do often pick up the new toys and do things with it that are less serious than what they were designed for; turning an academic and defense communications platform (the internet) into Craigslist and World of War but the geezers put these cyber legos into their hands. Another thoughtful piece, Cris. Cogent, perceptive and a delight to take in.

    • Developmentczarina permalink
      June 19, 2009 1:52 pm

      Q: Are you really poo pooing Craigslist? They are almost single handily responsible for the obliteration of ad revenue from the the world of print newspapers.

      I think social media offers a access to an unparalleled, intimate, real time level of connectivity that exists in almost no other media. For people who are interested in this level of connectivity, who have the time to invest in learning the tools and using them appropriately it can have tremendous benefit.

      Personally I also have deep respect for those people who have taken a look and chosen to opt out for the time being.

      My opinion is Twitter, Facebook et al. are powerful tools when used thoughtfully and a complete waste of time when they become vehicles for ego and play.

      I am part of the under 35 crowd and willing to accept that my prospective made not be shared by all.

  2. April 20, 2010 5:54 pm

    Great blog! If you haven’t seen the latest statistics about who’s online, you might be interested in knowing that a December 2009 survey showed that those aged 50-64 made up 70% of online users.

    http://www.pewinternet.org/Trend-Data/Whos-Online.aspx

    Keep up the great blogging!

    Twitter: KMbKTEAM

  3. cejesq permalink
    April 20, 2010 8:07 pm

    I’m constantly amazed. The developmentczarina who commented {above} is one of my daughters. I think, with due respect, that she missed my point. I thank you for the comment and I take the encouragement from your post to redirect some energy to expressing the feelings that sweep through my mind daily in a more concrete form.

    Blogs are funny things. Nobody reads them? Well you did. Thanks for the comment.

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