Frontline has a new episode called Generation Like. It investigates how teenagers grow up online using social networks. It was written and produced by Frank Koughan and Douglas Rushkoff. Rushkoff is the correspondent for the episode. He has been studying social media and how people use it for some time now.
For the average person who does not know very much about how social networks function, Rushkoff pulls back the curtain to give us a peek. He reveals some of the mechanics of digital marketing and it is fascinating. The extent to which the teens are cogs in the marketing wheels of the big brands is mind-boggling. And the longterm effects of the teens interviewed remain to seen. I wonder what McLuhan would have thought.
On the topic of thoughts and opinions, some of the comments on the Generation Like homepage are worth reading. I will definitely be revisiting the episode.
I find it amazing that many businesses, organizations and schools are not on Twitter. Once a profile is set up, it can be referred to by its handle (username). I like to think of a Twitter profile like a business dynamic business card.
The only way that Twitter will get better is if more people, businesses and organizations begin using it. Once everyone begins learning the Twitter vernacular and etiquette, then they can start having some very interesting conversations. Ideas can be shared. Connections can be made. And it is fast, too. It is the constraint of 140 spaces for each message that gives a certain elegance to Twitter.
What I find most exciting is that Twitter makes it possible to communicate with people who would otherwise be unreachable through conventional means of communications. In the future, I can imagine a class that teaches students how to communicate effectively with Twitter and other social networks. We’re really just in the initial years. Regarding Twitter, imagine how common it will be in ten years.
One week ago, I started this blog. It was the top of the year. My blog was spanking new and I started to blog at least once a day for the next 365 days. At the end of the first week of daily blogging, I began to recognize the potential richness that can be gained through sharing my observations online for all the world to see, read and hear. And the richness comes through introspection and meeting other people in the world. Ideas will be shared. New perspectives will be gained. Incidentally, blogging has already permitted me to visit A Mom’s Blog and Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss (Switzerland). Where to next?
It’s one thing for friends and family to take the time to visit my blog, if they do. It’s nice when they do. Maybe they leave a fancy word or two. (Tim?) It has been fascinating to become aware of the potential interactions with anyone online, anywhere on Earth (Or on a plane in flight? In outer space??). True, the same potential of interaction exists with the current major social networks of today (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.).
The goal of blogging is different than the goals of using certain online social networks. For one thing, blogging can take a lot more time to prepare the posts. Having said that, my one week of blogging has made me more active on the social networks. I’ve been taking small steps, but I have been reaching out more. Setting a header image on my Facebook profile page and my Google+ pages are tiny yet key steps. We’ll see where that all goes. Meanwhile, I’ll keep on bloggin’.