I woke up June 30 to find out that I apparently missed the memo on a new holiday –Social Media Day. I wasn’t the only one either. Apparently, Pete Cashmore, the wildly successful founder of Mashable, a phenomenal internet news blog with over 7 million page views a month came up with the idea. I follow Pete and Mashable on Tweet Deck, and his site is a must follow for anyone who wants to know what’s up and what’s next in the SM world.
Given his influence, it comes as no surprise that if he declares a virtual SM holiday, people will listen. And so it was. My Twitter and Facebook feeds were full of notices of Social Media Day gatherings.
Now, Pete isn’t pretentious enough to proclaim that he invented SM, and Al Gore hasn’t stepped up to claim so either. But, Pete took the bull by the horns in trying to get people to connect personally – like face to face – through their SM connections. To this simpleton it seems just a bit ironic. Get people connected digitally, and then create an “event day” in the hopes that people will actually engage in face to face communication. What goes around, comes around it seems.
It seems just a little pretentious to me. There is no doubt we are in the midst of a communication revolution, as predicted by Alvin Toffler in his 1980 book “The Third Wave”. This book was required reading for one of my final college courses in 1981. He coined the term “information revolution”, a movement poised to produce sweeping cultural, economic and political changes similar to the impact of the “industrial revolution”. Without going into detail, mostly because it has been 20 years since I’ve touched the book, it seems to me that his predictions came true. Money still rules, but controlling information moves the money (and power) around; hence the power of SM.
OK, enough deep thought. I guess where I am going with all this is the reality that SM is not new. It started with the telegraph, continued with the telephone, took a quantum leap with email and is now being helped along with free phone apps on cool mobile data platforms. We simply continue to move down the path predicted in 1980 – figuring out new ways to connect people with common interests, beliefs and passion. Next thing you know, Alvin will be writing about the “Mashable revolution”, and yes, I’ll read that book too.