Marshall Lager is the founder and managing principal of Third Idea
Consulting, LLC. We've hired Marshall to provide his perspective on
the CRM industry, Sage news, and the state of customer/company dialogue
The other day, I retweeted a short Social Media Today entry by Maggie McGary about some of the major effects social media are having on our lives. In it, she cited an accurate prediction and a side-by-side strategy comparison of Massachusetts’ senatorial election result; a report
on how social networking is helping to save lives in Haiti; and news
articles about how major brands are altering or outright abandoning the
infamous 30-second spot during the Super Bowl broadcast in favor of
social marketing. Now I’m going to add some opinion (about the first
two things, at least; I love Super Bowl commercials and will miss them
if they fade away).
The effect of social media on politics is
nothing we haven’t heard before. Bloggers were important in swaying
opinions during the 2004 U.S. presidential election, and Brent Leary
and David Bullock’s excellent Barack 2.0
reveals how our current President made effective use of the immediacy
and intimacy of social media to win a hotly contested race. The idea
that the incumbent party could lose its Senate seat—despite a long
history of success combined with sympathy for a fallen statesman—smacks not only of overconfidence but of ignorance.
technology has made it easier than ever before to spread word when
disaster strikes, and to coordinate immediate relief efforts. Where it
once might have taken weeks to arrange donations of money and
essentials, motivated people and groups got it done in a matter of
days—sometimes hours. Time saved equals lives saved when something as
devastating as the Haiti quake hits.
In both cases, the
technology is an important indicator and enabler rather than a deciding
factor of its own. In both cases, technology is waving a great big flag
that says, “This is where the people are!” Paying attention to that
flag can have tremendous positive effects, whether in terms of
electorate swayed, lives saved, or just business generated. Ignoring it
means being ignored in turn. Social media is changing the world, my
friends. It may evolve, but it’s not dying out any time soon.