The true value of social media

by Sarah Blue | Culture

With yesterday's Twitter and Facebook interruptions, we're faced with asking ourselves some difficult questions. There's the "What do I do all day?" question that you'll have to answer on your own. There's also the "What is the true value of these social media tools we use all the time?" question. What do we miss most when it all goes away?

Timely news on current events

Situation: John Hughes died and I didn't know about for at least six hours after the fact.

Impact: Arguably negligible - 6 hours?  Does this effect daily life in any way? No. In fact, when news hits me in a steady as-it-happens stream the importance of it gets lost. I can tell you every detail about where I was when I heard of Princess Diana's death years ago. I can't really remember any details about where I was for Michael Jackson's death last month.

Making evening plans

Situation: There's a cool band in town and I didn't hear about it.

Impact: Light - most restaurants, bars and clubs have their own promotions machines. While Facebook events make it really easy to distribute the message, without it I just need to stop in and grab a local events listing to be comparably informed.

Increasing your network

Situation: One of the great things about social media is you don't have to be physically present to know what the conversation is. A quick search on any topic yields hundreds of qualified leads.

Impact: Moderate - Every company has a website and searching the Internet is a breeze. However, static websites and no indication of presence makes this situation less than ideal.  It is difficult to judge the quality of a lead.

Chasing Tail

Situation: Offensive? Hardly. Social media is all about making human interaction easier. Including the difficult stuff like asking for digits, then worrying about making sure your voice doesn't crack while you're cracking jokes.

Impact: High - First contact, a phone call? Socially awkward teenagers everywhere cringe at the thought.

So there you have it. What gets hit the hardest when our beloved social media sites go down? The chances of lining up a date for Friday night. Long live Twitter.

Cambrian House
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Launched in 2006, Cambrian House began as a crowdsourcing community using a wisdom of crowds based approach to discover new business and technology ideas. Today, Cambrian House equips other enterprises to adopt open innovation using its Chaordix™ crowdsourcing platform. Chaordix is the global standard in crowdsourced market intelligence. Chaordix uses the power of crowdsourcing to help the... more

San Francisco, California, United States

Twitter is a privately funded startup with offices in the SoMA neighborhood of San Francisco, CA. Started as a side project in March of 2006, Twitter has grown into a real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices. In countries all around the world, people follow the sources most relevant to them and access information via Twitter as it happens—from breaking... more

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Sarah Blue

Sarah Blue

Sarah is currently in charge of community outreach for Cardinal Media Technologies. Cardinal is a music participation and insight platform that lets users share what they're listening to, discover new music and friends, create ad-hoc location-based networks, and influence what's playing at 'Cardinal Powered' venues. Sarah has partnered with startup and community leaders to educate... more

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