Posts Tagged ‘sociology’
In 2007, I wrote an article entitled, “Social Media is About Sociology Not Technology.” It’s a statement that after five years (and counting), I thankfully continue to see shared every day on Twitter. As time passed and experience matured, I amended that statement to now read, “Social media is about social science not technology.”
Why did I change such a powerful statement? I believe that it is not only stronger now, it is also truer.
The question seems premature or perhaps over dramatized, but I ask it with all sincerity. Whether the answer is yes or no or if the answer is not yet within grasp, think about the question at any level you wish and try to answer it. It is the process of thinking through the strengths and weaknesses of Facebook and Google Plus where you discover what each network means to you and why and how you will divide your time and focus in each. Or, you may uncover reasons to jump from one network to the other or pull the plug all together. It’s a healthy exercise to help you find balance and reconnect with your core values that drive productivity and fulfillment.
There’s an old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Twitter is a paradox that redefines that old saying to, “If it’s broke, don’t fix it, because it works.”
For all intents and purposes, Twitter shouldn’t work, yet 200 million people (and bots) have created accounts in this thriving information egosystem. Now, news no longer breaks, it Tweets. Celebrities use it daily to connect directly with fans and also augment their income streams. Politicians and governments use Twitter to communicate with constituents and one another. Everyday people rely on Twitter to find information and share experiences. And for those more “influential” Twitter users, connectedness pays off in the form rewards, recognition, and compensation.
Time is always limited, but in these historic times, I wished to add perspective in the hopes of moving this important conversation in a productive direction.
Malcolm Gladwell continues his march toward dissension with his latest installment in the New Yorker about social media vs. social activism. Honestly, Gladwell is more than welcome to share his thoughts as it is a democratized information economy after all. I do find it alarming however, that he is wielding his influence through an equally influential medium to spin intellectual and impressionable minds in unrewarding and pointless cycles. Is he not listening to opposition or consulting existing research?
From my new book…The End of Business as Usual
Several years ago, Mollie Sterling shared a picture of a classroom at her alma mater, The Missouri School of Journalism. The picture eventually went viral and in 2008, Apple used it in a press conference announcing a next generation Macbook event.
In 2010, we were introduced to the important distinctions between monitoring and listening. At the same time, we observed an emerging dichotomy between the social graph (your personal and professional connections) and the interest graph (those who share common interests, goals, and concerns). For business strategists, publishers, and marketers, windows into the world of customers and influencers were finally jarred open to reveal the people who define online markets.
There’s an old saying that I think about more and more as I study technology and its impact on behavior…technology changes, people don’t. But nowadays, I’m not so sure. I think technology is indeed changing and us along with it. Whether it’s through social networks or digital lifestyle products such as iPhones and Kindles, we are adapting and perhaps evolving as a result.
2010 will be forever commemorated as the year Twitter matured from a cool but undecided teenager into a more confident and assertive young adult. While there’s still much room to mature and develop, Twitter’s new direction is crystallizing. With a new look, Dick Costolo as the new CEO, and an oversold new advertising platform, Twitter is growing into something not yet fully identifiable, but formidable nonetheless.
Twitter is not a social network. While Facebook is the digital equivalent to your online residence, Twitter is your window to relevance, a network where individuals connect through fleeting interactions yet rooted in context and interaction. How we embrace and invest our persona in this paradigm says more about the future of digital culture and ourselves than we might imagine. And, it’s only increasing in its societal prevalence.
- More than 100 million Tweets fly across Twitter every day.
Rather than let this interesting discussion sink to the cavernous depths of my inbox, I thought I’d share it with you here.
1. You’re known as a visionary of future media as well as a trendspotter… what drew you to this position?
Not sure that they’re as much professions as they represent a labor of love.
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.