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Does Social Media Matter?

By October 21, 2009 8 Comments
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey
Image by JOE M500 via Flickr

Just wanted to ask that question, because it’s timely to me for two reasons:

A. I just returned from BlogWorld Expo

and

B. Justin Kownacki wrote this post entitled, When Social Media Will REALLY Matter where he asks where the real change has come from since social media has been around.

side note ~ I toyed with the idea of copying and pasting Justin’s entire post on my blog and trying to pass it off as my own, but thought better of it after reading this post of his…

All kidding aside, I love Justin’s post and think that he is right on. I have been keeping track of the “John Mackey Situation” after he incited a large portion of his Whole Foods customer demographic with his ideas on health care reform.

For a quick update of that ongoing saga: organic food has grown to make up a whopping 3% of total U.S. food sales and the Whole Foods stock hit another 52-week high this month…

In essence, people made a big deal about a blog post and nothing happened.

So Ask Yourself The Question

I think it’s a legitimate question that we should all be asking ourselves:

Does social media matter?

if it does matter Then show me the counterpoint to the point of Justin’s post. Where has social media made a real change in society that was previously untouchable? I know that social media has made a lot of small differences, but where is a big one that could not have been made without the use of social media?

if it doesn’t matter Then how do we make it matter? How do we utilize social tools on-line to band together and truly make a large positive impact in this world?

What Do You Think?

Isn’t real change what we all want, anyway? Isn’t that what this is all about? Please let me know what you think in the comments below. I’m really into this debate… it needs to be debated.

8 Comments

  • Peter Kim says:

    Well now Chris. Don't you know it's dangerous to actually look up into the sun when an industry is flying so close to it?

    So far, we know social media is good for individuals. But companies haven't yet figured out how to create and capture value beyond having their own individuals participate.

  • Peter Kim says:

    Well now Chris. Don't you know it's dangerous to actually look up into the sun when an industry is flying so close to it?

    So far, we know social media is good for individuals. But companies haven't yet figured out how to create and capture value beyond having their own individuals participate.

  • Hallicious says:

    I think that's the crux of the dilemma, Pete. Social Media is good for individuals, or small groups of individuals… but large groups of people have not yet been able to organize and come together to enable large scale improvement with it.

    Helping large organizations figure out how to make it work will be where the significant change comes from, IMO. I think we see the same future. 🙂

  • SteveFulton says:

    I would agree that big business is where we are struggling to make that impact heard around the world. However, I do believe big business should be congratulated for continuing to make attempts. Take the Coke campaign for example that recently launched, Adobe has invested a lot of time and energy along with IBM and Nike among others. Worst case scenario they have raised awareness which is worth it's wait in gold. Keeping in mind many SocNet tools are used by few (considering) and it will take a long time for many to hear and more importantly listen. Let’s keep the ball rolling!

  • Peter Kim says:

    Well now Chris. Don't you know it's dangerous to actually look up into the sun when an industry is flying so close to it?

    So far, we know social media is good for individuals. But companies haven't yet figured out how to create and capture value beyond having their own individuals participate.

  • Hallicious says:

    I think that's the crux of the dilemma, Pete. Social Media is good for individuals, or small groups of individuals… but large groups of people have not yet been able to organize and come together to enable large scale improvement with it.

    Helping large organizations figure out how to make it work will be where the significant change comes from, IMO. I think we see the same future. 🙂

  • SteveFulton says:

    I would agree that big business is where we are struggling to make that impact heard around the world. However, I do believe big business should be congratulated for continuing to make attempts. Take the Coke campaign for example that recently launched, Adobe has invested a lot of time and energy along with IBM and Nike among others. Worst case scenario they have raised awareness which is worth it's wait in gold. Keeping in mind many SocNet tools are used by few (considering) and it will take a long time for many to hear and more importantly listen. Let’s keep the ball rolling!

  • […] That’s not to say that fearing the unknown isn’t a perfectly acceptable behavior. It’s healthy to respect the unknown, just as long as that fear does not paralyze progress. So how do you tell the unknown from the benign? I would say that social media is benign, for the most part. […]