It’s easy to get bogged down in the minutiae of new social media technologies like Twitter, Blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, Squidoo or whatever the service dujour. However, from time to time it’s good to take a step back to fully understand how everyday people are using these tools to redefine and sometimes replace cultural institutions we once took for granted.
For example, social technology is obliterating old assumptions about who creates media and who consumes it. It turns out we didn’t necessarily want or need journalists, editors, publishers, producers or media conglomerates to create and filter content for us–they just happen to have the capital required to distribute it in a meaningful way.
Today, social tools are eliminating that bottleneck with free distribution channels on a previously unimaginable scale. They’re also blurring the lines between the “professional” and everybody else. I think the downsides are obvious for some, but the opportunities for the rest of us are truly remarkable.
During my presentations I challenge executives to see themselves as the writer, editor, publisher and printer of what I like to call “The You Chronicle.” It’s about seeing social media technologies as distribution channels to promote your ideas and to do the same for others that share similar objectives.
That means you don’t need Welch’s book deal or Trump’s reality show to create a massive audience for your business ideas. Today, we can bypass traditional gatekeepers and have the opportunity to create and consume information as we see fit.
As always, with great freedom comes great responsibility. And while taking the initiative to understand social media may differentiate you today, tomorrow you will be judged by your ability to maximize the opportunities they present.
Ready or not, you are the new media. How will you deliver?