Social media, social media, social media. Hear it all the time, now don’t we? Twitter, YouTube, blogs, podcasts, RSS feeds, Yelp, Google Reader, Stumbleupon. . . Oh yeah, Facebook and MySpace.
We’re using it right now. You’re reading. I’m writing. American Express has created this site to connect us. You invest your time and comments, maybe even your reputation with word-of-mouth talking about this site. Well, you do if I or the other authors here write something meaningful … something worth talking about.
Pick up the newspaper. Oh wait, log on and visit your favorite news site. We’re not lacking for meaningful topics, things worth talking about, things worth putting our reputations on the line for, nor places to find them. We live in interesting times.
Woven ever deeper into our interesting times is this thing called social media. We use it to be witnesses to these times; we use it to participate in these interesting times. We use it to. . . connect with others, often strangers first and over time we become close friends and confidants, sharing the same experiences, observing, participating, struggling for answers.
Now, we do this together. Now, we decide what we want to read, to hear, the stories and information that helps us with our needs, reach our goals, deliver the tips and resources we need, authors and experts who can help us create strategies to reach the future we can create. We decide because we read it, or not. We write it, or not. We record it, mash it up, throw it out there; our community does the same with it, their community takes their creation, makes it theirs. . . or not.
We own it. It. Right now, it. . . is today. What is. What is is today. That’s a good start to create a future we want to live. Erika Andersen talks about it in her book Being Strategic. The first step in creating a future we want is to pull the lens back and look at what is. Social media is the lens that can do that. Sure, excesses abound, even in denial. Sometimes, they’re fed by social media. But its, sometimes harsh, clarity is most efficient at correcting excesses of any persuasion.
What about the future? It’s a little shaky right now, maybe. Whole lotta shakin’ and changin’ going on. See areas where this isn’t happening? Me, neither. . .
If I depend on traditional media, then it’s misery I read. Misery sells in their business model. Solutions and help and resources. . . stories of inspiration and success… not so much.
But that’s not what we want to read. What we want to read are stories of hope and success, tips and resources to live a better life, grow a business, how to innovate, share, create, hire more effectively, keep our cash-flows moving high and to the right, be healthy, find solutions for our healthcare.
And what an opportunity, a perfect confluence of events, we have now to create a future we want. Millions of people forced out of jobs, forced out of their retirement, their homes, forced to be entrepreneurs or contractors, to start up companies, to take ownership of. . . their future, collectively now our future.
Too many global brands, the corporate giants, that promised security in return for passion, a cubicle for our imagination, health insurance for our dreams. . . failed on their promise.
Millions of others are already on this path. They are the first citizens of the new ownership society. They claim ownership of their future. And it’s built on their greatest talents, skills. That’s the ability to create. Create and communicate.
At the same time, swirling only in the parlors of think-tankers, ideologues and demagogues, of all persuasions is the conversation of ‘what’s the role of government and our tax dollars’? Should it, shouldn’t it. How much, how little? What are our principles worth? Can we look in that gift horse’s mouth, first?
No one pays attention. No one who’s busy articulating their dreams, setting goals for their future they want.
The irony is all of our futures will be found, materialized, realized. . . by us. Not by government, not by business, not by ideologues and demagogues. You and me, baby. It’s our time, now. We, as new entrepreneurs and new startup founders, volunteers or conscripts, we will find the tools and resources. . . we need. Or we’ll create them. And we’ll share those tools and our stories with each other, too.
Social media, folks. Like the Internet in the 1990’s where unimpeded innovation and conversation and ideas, successes and failures exploded on the scene creating thousands of companies, millions of jobs, social media is where and how this much larger conversation will take place. Take place faster, easier, with more people.
What perfect timing.
And everyone (politicians of both parties, economists of Keynesian and Friedman persuasion, radio show hosts, entrepreneurs, bloggers, podcasters, community forums, tribe members, mommy bloggers, leaders quiet and loud, those who fail and serve to educate us, schools, scientists, Al Gore, Rush, Newt. . . ) will take credit.
And we should.
Because everyone working together, openly and transparently, trading ideas, creating the resources we need, sharing them, sharing our stories. . . OUR stories and dreams. . . helping each other with social media as the barrier-removing catalyst. . . creating a future we want to share. . . will have earned the credit and the future we built. We’ll build it together.
I gotta get back to my blog.
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About the Author: Zane Safrit’s passion is small business and the operations’ excellence required to deliver a product that creates word-of-mouth, customer referrals and instills pride in those whose passion created it. He previously served as CEO of Conference Calls Unlimited. Zane’s blog can be found at Zane Safrit.