Socialnomics – How social media transforms our lives and businesses (Part 3)

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Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 10.52.37 AMToday we continue our look at Chapter One. “Search Engines and Social Media”

The authors continue to make interesting observations through the next few sections as they note the changes that the Internet age has brought to news papers and magazines. My wife and I still get the local news paper delivered to our door, but if I really want the latest news, I read the online edition.

It is noted in a later chapter, that what file sharing did to the music industry is actually happening to many other industries as well. When Napster first started leveraging Torrent technology to make music available for free to the masses, the record companies panicked and went on the offensive. This was basically because they didn’t understand what was happening.

A few years later Apple capitalized on the fact that music production costs had been reduced to close to zero and invented iTunes. If the record companies had understood what was really happening in the early days of file sharing, they could have been the ones profiting from their own iTunes. I guess the moral of the story here is “Don’t Panic”, understand change and use it to further your own initiatives.

The authors proceed to look at how news now finds us instead of the other way around. I subscribe to the online edition of the Ottawa Citizen and the CBC news. When the Ottawa Senators win or lose a hockey game, I get a pop up on my iPhone telling me the final score. I didn’t have to program anything, it just happens. When there is a storm warning, I get the same kind of notification. What this means is that the way that news is reported and delivered has drastically changing.

The authors give examples of how bloggers have reported news hours before the major news agencies. The fact that there are so many bloggers, and that they are geographically distributed, gives news agencies the opportunity to cover more area with less staff. Some online channels have even held competitions to attract competent bloggers. An online sports channel held a competition to name the ultimate fan for each of the NFL football teams. The prize was bragging rights and the opportunity to report on your team each week. The writers get recognition and the channel gets free accurate reports.

This is just one example of how industries that embrace change can profoundly effect how they are perceived by the public and their investors. Social media allows us to do much more with less.

In summary, Business models have changed. You can fight the change like the record companies, or you can embrace the change, like the sports channels. To be successful,  you have to engage your customers using everything at your disposal, a web site is no longer good enough.


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