Social media impact: Us Now and an hour well spent


One of the roles I’m really enjoying as I dive into my new position as HKDP‘s (a.k.a. Hill & Knowlton/Ducharme, Perron) Director, Social Media and Digital Communications is going out to meet the firm’s clients and introducing them to the fascinating world of social media. Thanks to coverage by traditional media, they’ve all heard of platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but they’re not always sure of how social media can be applied to business … and to their business in particular.

Part of my presentation focusses on tools, and on case studies that show how platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are being leveraged by brands. But, in my mind, the most important part of my presentation is an attempt to communicate the power and potential of social media. An attempt to communicate its sociological significance. I believe that an understanding of these concepts will lead to an effective .. and, yes, hopefully  ethical … application of social media by big business.

This 60 minute video does a really good job of that :

Should you choose to invest an hour of your time to watch this video .. and I obviously encourage you to do so .. you’ll hear Clay Shirky and other thought leaders speak about the impact of social media. You’ll hear about truly intriguing case studies like Couchsurfing, Mumsnet, Directionless, Ebsfleet United, Linux, Zopa, SliceThePie, ThePoint .. and even Canada’s Green Party. You’ll hear fundamental truths about society … any society … that come to the fore with social media. Concepts like the fact that people trust people like them. They trust them more than any governmental body, health organisation or faceless bureaucracy or business. Concepts like crowdsourcing and the wisdom of crowds. Concepts like the trust economy.

I really connect with what Clay Shirky says about the 20th century being an anomaly (at 14:00) in that, as a society, we’re now reverting to a ‘common and deep human pattern’ of mutual assistance for any one of a number of reasons: because we like one another, respect one another, or because we’re interested in building our reputational capital. Being more than just a number. The era of passive consumerism is waning, if it isn’t already over.

So sit back for an hour, enjoy the documentary and don’t forget to listen for Ride of the Valkyries.

Hat tip to Karine Vezeau, who in turn hat tips Baptiste Roynette.  One of the great things about discovering a new (for you) blog (through a #FF mention on Twitter, no less) is when it leads you to gems like this. Karine’s blog is full of them. Pull your French-English dictionary off the shelf and check it out.

3 réponses à “Social media impact: Us Now and an hour well spent”
  1. Avatar de Serge Lachapelle

    Great post Michelle,

    It is an anomaly we are in for sure. The isolation that came from our accumulation of consumable goods, our pile of things…our consumption kingdom…has also brought in a Trojan horse of sorts…the computer. How it is changing the world by creating communities is inspiring. The revolution however has been predicted for a long time and is just starting, I think, to show its head…I wonder why it took so long…

    If we reverse the focus for a minute at not what the internet is doing to the world but look at what its doing to us also helps us get the complete picture. I truly enjoy Douglas Rushkof series A digital nation on PBS as it also reverses the view and looks at how its affecting us individually and globally…I believe that the key to understanding how to use this new medium passes by this understanding of the humanity behind the keyboard or the phone and not just by the possibilities brought forth by the technology. Its easy to get carried away.

    A quick look at ThePoint shows how little focus the internet crowd has with regards to engagement. They come, they see, they comment and then they forget…and onto other things they go…Now that aspect is the one that is troubling me and one I think Douglas Rushkof is trying to put his hands around on A digital nation…There is still something funny about this thing…Maybe Bubbe (in part 6 of the digital nation series), the cooking grandma has a few interesting pointers on that subject…

    Changing the world requires engagement, not just the means to engage. One of the byproducts of this socialization without the requirement for engagement might be that we are slowly loosing the ability to focus on one thing and getting it done…How do brands not also fall victim to this hero of the second syndrome?

    These are interesting times…

  2. Avatar de Guy Versailles
    Guy Versailles

    Great stuff Michelle,
    Merci beaucoup de le partager. Avant d’y réagir je dois réfléchir. je suis inquiet d’unaaspect en particuleir et c’st celui de la Théorie des communs. En vetu de ctte théorie, chacun utilise les ressources communes à son avantage maximum car cela ne lui en coûte rien et que s’il ne les utilise pas c’est son voisin qui va le faire. C’est une autre forme de « pas dans ma cour ». Je ne suis pas encore convaincu que ces nouvelles formes de collaboration permettront de passer par-dessus ce phénomène.

    Si quelqu’un a des idées à ce sujet, I’m open for discussion.

  3. […] Liens a explorer: Entrevue par Frontline de Shirley Turkle A digital nation de Frontline Michelle Sulliven nous propose un documentaire intéressant sur son blogue. […]

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