Earlier today, a friend of mine on Facebook (Sally Cheeseman) shared a photo of her father that looked like it was probably taken in the 1940’s. I showed my wife, and we talked about what a cool picture it was. It made him look like a bomber pilot, maybe one from an old war movie.
Then, I reflected on the fact that although Sally lives in Hawaii, and I’m in Austin, Texas, it was almost as if I were sitting next to her looking at a family scrapbook.
Social media is amazing.
Technology has come so far so fast that sometimes I think it’s easy to forget how things used to be, not just for new media, but for the internet overall.
We don’t have to wonder about anything very long anymore. When I was in college, I had to speak with a reference librarian to get information that I can find on my phone in mere seconds today. There were a lot of things that I was curious about as a kid, but the effort that I had to expend to find out the facts was often more trouble than having the answer was worth.
It makes me wonder how much faster things can accelerate, now that any of us can “broadcast” via online radio/video and blogging. We can write and publish our own ebooks (and real books). We can publish on demand using Amazon and other online services. Additionally, the number of relationships we can easily maintain (even if only tenuously) is phenomenal.
I sometimes feel like I take these tools for granted, now that they are a part of my arsenal. It’s as if I have overlooked their potential power. Am I really leveraging them in the best way that I can for my business? Are you?
Before the internet existed, if I had come to you and told you that you would be able to do even half of the stuff you can do now online, you probably would have laughed in my face.
“No, really, you’ll be able to watch movies on your phone.”
“You can stay in touch with anyone in the world and have free video conferences using your computer. You won’t even need a phone for this.”
“You may never touch a Yellow Pages again.”
You get the picture. I guess I’m just in a reflective mood this evening. I’ve been able to develop a network of friends across the country using social media. I’ve also learned how to gain exposure for free and position myself as an expert on topics that I care about. Maybe 2011 is the year that I figure out how to make better use of this.
Your thoughts? What do you have planned for this year?