The segmented web

Posted: December 18, 2008 in Twitter
Tags: , ,

I’m a newcomer to the blogging scene.  I’m an idealist who believes in the power of the web, the way it connects everyone together and the heights we achieve as a global population.  I see more and more of my Twitter followers looking to accomplish goals of their own.  I think that the platform we’re all using to communicate is still evolving and finding it’s place in the world.  But I’m wondering what the general impact of the internet is going to have.  Is there a natural movement towards a higher goal that will come out of it?  Or will so many people flood the internet with their own agendas that so many niches will drown the effects the collective could ultimately have?

I look at the many novel and honourable goals people have when they embark on the use of social media tools to help their cause or grow their business… but who is the torch bearer that can bring people away from their own agendas and truly use these tools to motivate and empower in support of a common goal?  Will that even be possible?  I’m not sure.  But I do think it will require the acceptance of these tools in the mainstream and what the general public deems acceptable communication via these methods.

On the one hand, many  people are looking at social media for business.  They’re talking about how businesses can use utilities like Twitter to put a human face to their corporate identity and connect on a more personal level with their customers.  There is also a big discussion going on right now about the place of sponsored posts on blogs and how they will help bring the mainstream to social media.  The other side of this are users who genuinely want to connect using online tools such as Twitter, Friendfeed, Facebook, MySpace, etc. and think that advertising has no place in these social circles.  Concepts like inbound marketing are attempting to change the face of traditional marketing techniques and may be well suited for the social media arena.

On the other hand, the internet is giving many people a voice that may not have been heard before.  It’s being used for news, for fundraising, for research and for finding others with like interests.  But will this also allow for those charismatic leaders needed to champion any cause for it to succeed to rise above the nosie and take charge?  Or are so many people going to bring their message to the web in hopes that everyone will listen to them when they in turn may not be listening as well?

I think that there is real potential for the internet and social media tools to change the way we as an entire population can make every little act and effort count.  The power of the masses can really be harnessed here.  However, I also think there is a real danger that with connecting with one another being so easy, people will take this for granted and their fragmented efforts towards will stall any real progress.

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