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Monday, November 1, 2010

The Social Media Revolution

This Blog is just one example of social media. There are countless other forms. There are many created each day - new search engines, new mediums, new applications...  New opportunities have emerged in this explosion of information. New voices have been heard. New connections have been extended into all parts of the world. These varied forms of communication - Twitter, Google, Bing, Facebook, Flickr, My Space and a host of others - have grown exponentially to the point, one might suggest, of being overwhelming.

While attending a conference last week and engaging in a discussion on schools and social media, I became aware of a short video available on It offers an interesting perspective on the concept of "social media." The two minute thirty second video is entitled Socialnomics: Social Media Revolution. This version of the video was posted on 9/27/09. You Tube is clearly a great example of a giant in the ever expanding arena of social media. I invite you to view the video. The statistics presented in the video vividly demonstrate the power and reach of social media.

I am reminded of a statement attributed to newscaster Tom Brokaw - though I cannot find the exact quote - that I will try to paraphrase. He was speaking of the immense possibilities of the Internet during what I believe was a college commencement address. He contrasted one of the primary advantages of the Internet with one of the major disadvantages of the Internet. His point went something like this: We can instantly communicate with a stranger half a world away, yet not know who our next door neighbor is. That's something to think about.

The growth of technology has definitely spawned unimaginable and incredible opportunities, perhaps well beyond the scope of those innovators who contributed to its birth. However, like almost anything else, it contains the prospects of misuse and abuse as well. This recent revelation in the news (extracted from the Albany Times Union) reflects the potential dangers of social media and is provided here as a reminder to parents.

Students warned of online friends

Published: 12:00 a.m., Thursday, October 28, 2010
COLONIE -- A day after the arrest of a man who police say used Facebook to lure underage girls for sex and marijuana use, parents and schools say they try to discourage students from connecting online to people they don't know personally.

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