Friday, 16 November 2012

Social Media Redefined

As you know, I follow the universe of social media, monitoring the popularity of various venues in order to encourage my readers to use these appropriately.  I’m an avid Facebooker, occasional Tweeter, YouTuber and LinkedIn member.  What’s happening in the Israel right now reveals some strange new truths about social media. 

The military's live spin about the strike, and Hamas' response on a separate Twitter feed, have been called an unprecedented use of social media. BuzzFeed wrote that it "may well be the most meaningful change in our consumption of war in over 20 years." It's raising questions about the ethics and implications of live-tweeting a violent conflict. And it's calling into question the democratic, everyone-has-a-voice nature of Twitter, which is known more for giving a voice to protesters and civilians than military spokespeople.

The full CNN article comments on Facebook and Twitter usage as “giving a voice to protesters and civilians”.  Maybe the lesson is that we should be using these social media venues as one of the masses.  Maybe we should be rallying our readers in common causes related to our markets and our industry.  Rather than instructing and promoting we might need to comment and voice concerns.

That’s likely why LinkedIn sucks (in my humble opinion.)  You can’t get a group of business-people to engage in meaningful dialogue when most seem hardwired for self-promotion.  LinkedIn users might feel they’re above the masses so that rather than fighting against “the man” they believe they are “the man” (pardon the gender bias of this ‘60s hippy-reference.)

If there is resentment to military captains and captians of industry using social media for propaganda and promotion, then maybe we should avoid it too.  We could start thinking like our market, and take a good hard look at our industry.  Social justice, environmental impact, fair trade, ethical business practices.  Who’s with me?

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