Both Forbes and MediaPost’s Online Spin newsletter discussed the idea of a “social nervous system” or the concept of the Hive mind that the new social media world has created, and it really got me thinking. There is a palpable, frenetic energy associated with a lot of the social networking going on. There’s always something happening on one of the networks around the world.Corporations and businesses are only just starting to twig to the fact that they need to be involved in social media, on several fronts – not just blogging or twittering or having a facebook page. There needs to be a full plan put in place, and it needs to be done strategically.
Think about some of the factors that illustrate that more and more, society is developing into a hive mind. The Mumbai Attacks were twittered, and attacker movements tracked. Despite the police scolding people for revealing their positions, the fact remains, the people were connected in a way never seen before and they were able to assist, coordinate and even direct movement for emergency services.
The Hudson River crash was not only announced on Twitter, the citizen journalists beat out mainstream news by at least an hour, which, in social media time, stretched to several hours. That was also the event that took out the TwitPic servers completely, because one of those citizen journalists put their shots of the downed plane onto the service.
In a social nervous system there will be increasing pressure to be connected 24/7 to the hive mind that is Facebook, Twitter and so on. Those who do not connect, share and collaborate will have a hard time in business and in social life. [source]
I may be repeating myself here, but if the corporate world doesn’t shake off their traditional shackles and start looking in earnest at social media – not just dipping one toe in with a blog rarely updated, a cloaked twitter stream, or a facebook page for the sake of having a facebook page – they run the risk that they’ll be left in the dust, especially in light of the current recession.
The world is moving forward at a startling pace; the hive mind, (which sounds much creepier than it actually is) shares information faster than ever before, and traditional companies and news organizations don’t need to catch up – but they do need to just jump in, with a solid strategy, or find themselves completely out of the loop.