Investing & Markets

Make better decisions with investing tips, technical analysis, market commentary, and more

Personal Finance

Make more, save more, spend smarter, and keep more of what you earn

Business News

Stock market news & analysis

Personal Finance

Using the Social Media to Drive Ideas

By Kevin Mercadante on 09/05/2010 – 3:42 pm PDTLeave a Comment

By Kevin M

Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Digg, Stumbleupon. When we think of the social media, we often think of it as mostly a toy to be used to connect with others and to entertain ourselves, or as a place to peddle income producing wares. But what about using it to drive ideas that are important to us, even if they won’t win us any friends or earn us any money?

For the same reasons the social media is effective in enabling people to connect with others or sell products and services, it’s also an outstanding venue in which to promote ideas. What kind of ideas? How about politics, faith, health, environmental concerns, legal issues, public debates—you name it. If you can tweet, text or blog about your social and private lives, you can do the same about issues with wide public appeal.

The mainstream media have conditioned us to assume that all the great ideas will come from the appropriate “they” or “somebody”—as in “they” should do this, and “someone” should do something about that. The social media has opened up the field, and now WE can participate in the formation and promotion of ideas.

What happened to talking over the fence?

There was a time when people actually knew their neighbors! They spent time “talking over the fence”, an expression that meant sharing the details of your life and community with the people who lived closest to you. Neighbors weren’t simply people who lived in adjacent properties, but people you knew and who knew you and you relied on each other. If you had an idea you wanted to put out there, your neighbors were a natural place to start.

But how do we do that in an increasingly disconnected world? The social media is providing that outlet. We may not be connected directly with our neighbors, but our own little worlds are getting bigger as we connect with people in different communities and even in different countries. An idea put out to a few friends or acquaintances on the social media has the potential to go viral and circle the globe.

The “grass roots media”—21st Century style

There are basically two ways any of us can get noticed by the mainstream media: pay the steep price for ad space or do something so humiliatingly embarrassing (or shocking) that they come to us. Most of us won’t do either.

The traditional or mainstream media seems to be concerned with two things (apart from ad revenue!): getting our attention, and performing some sort of gate keeper function making sure we get some types of information but not others. TV news programs are degenerating into sensationalist tabloid formats while the print media is failing at what ever it attempts. It isn’t just in decline, but a steep decline at that.

The social media is increasingly replacing the traditional media as a source of news and information and it’s growing exponentially while the traditional media sinks. Why?

Some of it is easy, cost free entry. Some of course is related to changes in technology, but I also tend to believe that much of it is because the traditional media has less regard for what the public actually wants. While they focus their formats on an increasingly narrow section of the population, the majority is simply moving on to other sources that are more relevant

Pages: 1 2

Tags: , fence, , mainstream, mainstream media, public debates

Related Articles:

  1. For car companies, social media is the new TV
  2. Grand Challenges of the 21st Century — Your Ideas Welcome
  3. The White House Asks: What are your ideas to end childhood obesity within a generation?
  4. Into social media? Like what EDF does? Intern with us!
  5. Your Healthy App Ideas

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.