Not too long ago, Jacob Morgan tweeted the question “If you could choose one word to describe 2008, what would it be?” to which I replied “Revolutionary“.
Need proof you say? Very well. All the responses can be found here.
While 2008 could probably be considered revolutionary for a number of reasons, my response is in reference to media and communications. The traditional methods of communications and marketing are changing in ways that are unfamiliar, making many uncomfortable, and some just refuse to embrace it. On the other end, there are the revolutionaries who strongly believe in the value of social media and are exploring new ideas to lead the way into a new age of communication.
Businesses struggling due to the economic downturn had to either suffer great losses, or embrace new ideas, grow, and survive. Many have found their answer in Twitter, the micro-blogging service that is becoming more popular by the day. Others businesses like Nike created their own social networks, finding success by communicating with users in an entirely new way.
Within the last few months we’ve seen other highly publicized examples of the social media revolution.
- The Israeli government set a precedent bypassing traditional media and connecting directly to real people on twitter and youtube to discuss the events in Gaza. See Story
- President Elect Barack Obama communicated with the American people throughout his campaign through social media on his website and on Twitter , helping him win the election to become the first U.S. African American President.
- During the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, anyone with an internet connection became a reporter, allowing concerned friends and family members to find answers quickly. A simple search for #mumbai on Twitter Search provided you with constantly updated news, images and information coming from everywhere in the world. On the darker side of the use of social media in the events in Mumbai, we also saw the use of new technologies by the terrorists, who used google maps and other web tools to coordinate the attacks. See Story
It’s an exciting time that I feel very fortunate to be a part of. What innovations and applications to social media will 2009 bring? How far will the revolution go? Will you be a revolutionary?