Monday, July 5, 2010

Social Technology - what do you do with it?

As someone who grew up without the internet, I believe I had a fulfilling life before it existed. So, as it has become part of our everyday lives I have watched it and subconsciously compared it and all of it’s potential (good and bad) to life before it. I’ve watched it completely decimate the music industry, which has always been a big part of my life. I’ve seen the television market become less lucrative to the networks and subsequently watched the quality of shows and writing go south. And I’m seeing the United States Postal Service lose revenue and consider reducing it’s delivery schedule (same thing for newspapers) simply because e-mail is cheaper and faster.

However, there are many upsides to the internet as well, global audiences and global content providers. Unlimited resources in every area of interest, I can find websites on guitar tones forever. And the entire business to business supply chain model that has increased efficiencies and options for everything from raw materials to niche service providers.

The social technology side of this which includes; Youtube, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and all ‘blog sites (you can add more if you’d like) at first has looked to me to be a colossal waste of time. Hey, I enjoy searching YouTube as much as the next guy, you can find some informative things there, but I also see things that are so stupid or even dangerous that I can’t help but believe they wouldn’t be in existence if the internet didn’t give them their 15 minutes of fame.

Researching Twitter, MySpace and Facebook and finding the number of people that have accounts – 100 million, 12 million (see number of friends Tom has)and 400 million respectively; I have to believe that there is some value to these technologies. I suspect that value is different for different people and most importantly different demographics. But what is that value? And how do you leverage it?

I’d like to understand how these technologies are shaping the way we communicate and what role they will serve moving forward. I suspect that they really aren’t colossal wastes of time and I’m betting people use them in ways that really improves their quality of life.

So, what do you think?

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