There are a number of things that need to be considered in developing social media/web 2.0 strategies, not the least of which is to remember that the end result is the goal to create dialog between people.
These tools enable us to create dialog and facilitate understanding in ways that were quite literally limited by time and space until their development. In no way am I suggesting this is as exciting (or has as high a geek factor) as the TARDIS used by Dr. Who to flit around the universe; but social media opens up possibilities for communications that were previously impossible, and which we are only beginning to understand and harness.
Social media provides more than just the improved convenience, and efficiency we experienced with the shift from snail mail to email. The inherent qualities of social media include the following characteristics:
- Creating levels of interconnectivity between people that were previously unimaginable;
- Facilitating introductions between people and organizations based on shared attributes that would otherwise not have been evident;
- Improving the design and dissemination of information to reach beyond any traditional boundaries of influence; and,
- Creating the ability to tap into the power of people’s creativity and knowledge in orders of magnitude beyond any traditional organizational structure or communication method.
With all this potential, you may be wondering how much social media is able to influence government. Below is a presentation that helps answer this question from the perspective of research focused on Canadian federal politics (also see this PDF docment). Within these you will find many interesting points that are likely transferable to numerous different contexts.
After reading this, are you going to change how you communicate?