Friday, December 12, 2008

The new face(s) of social media are practicing their potential

Contribution. Sharing. Interests. Passion. Talent

The new faces of social media are sharing their passion and talent in forums that make the seemingly impossible possible. How do you go beyond words to express your love of something? How do you connect your contributions to those from people in over 100 countries simultaneously? How do we obfuscate technology and deliver community experiences that create engagement levels never before seen and at the same time give people a reason to stay up late, practice their potential and ultimately share this with the world?

We do it by delivering an experience that fails to describe itself, and instead offer a single point of entry and action (similar to the iPod 'wheel' or the Google Search button) that allows for a common and shared experience that is immediately accessible - in this case "Create Your Own".

I give you first exhibit A - the new faces of social media - and if you click on any one of them (below) you will see what they shared just minutes or hours ago at the Jonas Brothers Vocal Booth. Forget the technology for a minute and focus on what was going through the minds of these very passionate community members from all around the world as they sang along with their favorite boy band, crush in, and hearts out.

Consider a few things as you ponder this - this wall of faces represents a very small 1-2% of the actual tens of thousands of participants who engaged in the experience. Beyond the bravery to share their version of a song sung by their heroes with their heroes and thousands of fans who are tuning in to watch the versions (many visitors now watch as many as 20 or more of the videos) they also overcame network, technology, bandwidth and hardware issues that would daunt most of the leaders in this space that are more than twice the age of our contributors here. It is one thing to soapbox, but it is indeed quite another level of sharing to sing when you are up on it.

These days we too often focus on the why or the how and not the what of social media. And when we think about the who, it would be great to focus on who really benefits from all the work, theory, technology and effort that goes into building great experiences.

These are a few of the new faces of social media. As a parent we can be proud of our children safely sharing their talent and passion with the world at large, and in my very humbled opinion they are worthy of nothing less than a standing ovation of heartfelt applause for their considerable effort and passion.


Melissa said...

I agree completely, Ben. Welcome to the face of social media. We can yammer on about its uses, its value, its meaning, but kids get it on an organic level. Isn't it exciting? Go future grownups! :D

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