If you’ve never used social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter you may wonder what the hubbub is all about. Or perhaps you’ve started using one of these sites to stay connected with family and friends, play games, or watch videos and you think that’s they are kind of cool but not that big a deal.
But social networking is changing media. Social networking is changing business. And so social networking is changing the world.
There were several examples of that just in the past week which I think we can learn from as we adapt to this changing world.
First, you’ve got Susan Boyle’s stunning performance on Britain’s Got Talent. Had you ever seen the show before last week? Ever even heard of it? I had a vague awareness that there were American Idol-like shows across the pond, but that’s about it. Now more than 100 million have seen Susan Boyle and Britain’s Got Talent on YouTube.
Perhaps you can dismiss that as just entertainment. She got her 15 minutes of fame and next week it will be someone else.
This morning I saw this report of 3 stories where bad press went viral on Twitter.
Someone posted a video on YouTube showing two Dominos Pizza employees laughing as they prepared food in an unsanitary manner. That video exploded on YouTube and Twitter and Dominos had a PR nightmare on their hands. Dominos countered with their own YouTube video and Twittering.
Then some folks found that numerous gay and lesbian themed books began to disappear from Amazon.com. That story spread via Twitter while Amazon did little to address it. Amazon is still feeling the heat from that.
Adjusting the Way We Communicate
The point is that social networking allows information to spread faster than ever before. It’s a great opportunity we should try to use to further our causes. But when bad things happen (and they do to every organization), we can’t just hunker down, keep quiet, and hope things will blow over. When negative things happen its more important than ever to “get out in front” with fast, honest communication.
What do you think? Has social networking changed your world? Has it changed the way your organization communicates? The way you respond to criticism?