Monday, November 24, 2008

Social Media

What is social media?

It's media you catch from other people.

When I was about four years old (It was the 1963? NY World's Fair) I grabbed a hold of my parents' home movie camera and recorded what I saw. It's like my kids jumping on a computer and hitting the keys till the right thing happens – or till something that makes them happy happens. Or picking up one of our digital still cameras and clicking their world. Life is happening all around us. Right now. And that life is reflected in my kids' eyes. By what they see, hear, record.

But then it's put onto a hard drive, uploaded and shared. And it is part of that great exchange of ideas and perspectives. Interchangeable with others.

What we do as creators of social media is to drive up the value of the exchange. We create a context for the media to keep it from being a random act of sole observation. We connect one person to another.

That's social media.

Amelia and Midnight by Miles

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bald Guy on Climate Change 020

A new day for Bald Guy? You betcha. Cause today's climate change solution is votin'.

Monday, November 3, 2008

New Media & Social Media

Is it New Media or Social Media?

Both work, but in our media the social aspect makes much sense. Our media is about people and how they relate to larger structures. We are our culture; and our culture is us. They're in a dance, both individual and societal.

Have you received a web video recently? Have you clicked on it? I did. I was brought (or I went) to the donation section of the Obama site, and then to the video. In this case it was a behind the scenes look at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

The important point is that the video is related to the cause and the DNC and Obama teams are leading in a vital way. Leading with stories. And leading by connecting those stories to data (like my email, address...).

The same day I received an email from Michael Moore talking about how vitally important this election is and how his message is going out to 1 million people, and how that million can reach 5 each... That's the story of social media. A simple message can be passed one to another. I've got to bet his "free download" of the profile of the 2004 election, SLACKER UPRISING was and is a big part of that list of a million. He gave it way for free and got one huge load of emails. Now he's using that power.

And all this is social.

And not just us pinko, whacked out radicals. Many of them are foaming at the mouth Fox-fed radical anti-radicals.

It's social and we better realize who we're talking to and how we're talking to them.

What the Obama folks (assisted by many including MoveOn) have done masterfully is presented stories – long and short (though clearly more short than long) and tied those stories to more than one indivdual and what drives them. They've linked those stories to us. And created an internconnected social web of interests.

It's what we need to do – what we're beginning to do – in regard to climate change, human rights and the many daunting issues that need us to see the world in a new way.

That's the promise. I'm with Obama's network of change. I'm a fan of public financing and public TV. But there's a new model of social networking and social media. It's a powerful force.

The NYTimes ran a story this morning about Obama, tired, at the end of a day, end of a long campaign. He's seen in his plane, taken from outside through a round window, he's on his cell phone. And in the dark on the outside of the plane is a portion of the text: It's powerful force.