By Justin Goldsborough | October 9, 2008
Justin case you were wondering…it really used to get on my nerves when people described social media as a fad, extracurricular or playing around. But now when I hear someone describe it that way, one workd comes to mind…opportunity.
I went to my first Social Media Club breakfast last Friday. Between coffee and bagels at First Watch, one of the attendees brought up a presentation he’d seen recently by Don Tapscott (check out his books Wikinomics, Growing up Digital and Grown up Digital) on the digital generation. He relayed Tapscott’s theory — the digital world created a generation that thought, played, and related to their world in a way radically different from that of their parents — and one thing stuck out in my mind: Members of this generation have grown up with social media. Sure, it may not have been prevalent when they were born, but they grew up with it in high school, college and now in their first few years as young professionals in the workplace.
Why is this important? Because it takes that whole “social media is a fad” idea and turns it on its head. To the digital generation, social media is a way of life. They blog, friend and tweet just as they eat, drink and sleep. That’s how this generation communicates and its members aren’t going to change so that we can continue to feel comfortable controlling our messages, setting up our processes and parceling out information to our employee base. We’re the ones who need to change.
Visualize your team. It’s likely that you work with members of the digital generation on an everyday basis. And those numbers are only going to increase. To those DG’s (not the sorority, people ), social media (Web 2.0) is the Web.
Think about it this way. Back in the early 90′s, Web 1.0 was the Internet. There were a few people saying it was going to change the way we communicate, but most people were hesitant to commit. Now fast forward to today. People are saying the same thing about Web 2.0. And once again, people are hesitant to buy in.
Now, let me ask you this: What would you say to someone today who told you the Internet, Web 1.0, was a fad, extracurricular or just a place to play around? You’d call them crazy, wouldn’t you?
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