Anyone & Everyone is part of the New Information Revolution

Posted: December 2, 2009 in Business, Investor Relations, Marketing, Press Releases, SEO, Social Media

I spent the morning at the Bethesda North Marriott in Bethesda, MD listening to Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook and developer of my.barackobama.com. The event was hosted by the Tech Council of Maryland as part of their TECHknowledge Speaker Series.

Chris who is a self-confessed nerd talked about the “New Information Revolution”. He talked about how information is simply the record of an idea. The revolution part comes into play when we look at how we receive that information and from whom. In the past we always received our information from the newspapers, news, etc… which comes out to be an extremely small group of people feeding the masses the information of the day. We are now in the middle of the revolution where anyone and everyone is part of the information sharing rather than a select few. Everyone today is an information creator by posting your status on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, SMS, etc… Obviously with the creation of so many social networks at our finger tips and more to come we are just scratching the surface of information sharing. There are several different mediums to share your information and you can select which outlet best meets your needs. Chris mentioned that Facebook is a network where you are yourself & connect with “real” preexisting and new friends. Facebook just so happens to also be at the center of the information revolution in regard to being able to openly share and distribute your “news”.

You may wonder; How is this transformation affecting our society?

Transparency – with the absence of barriers and being able to reach out directly it makes it easier for us to get the accurate information.
Create & Choose – Technology extends our capability to Create & Choose what information we get. This equips us all to make better and more responsible decisions about what we are seeing and hearing.

One thing to keep in mind during the information revolution is that none of the new technology has introduced new social behavior. It has however made it easier to act on situations that you may not have known about previously. Think about it for a second; if your family member or friend posted something on their page that they needed help you would respond. This simply makes it more personal rather than reading about flooding in an area where your friends or family live as the message is directly sent to you.

I thought the three principles that Facebook were founded on were very interesting as well.

1. Trust & Privacy – Essentially you need to know who you are getting information from and trust them as a source. You also need to have the ability to be private (ie. you have those pics you don’t want you parents, co-workers, etc… to see).
2. Focus on Utility – Utility is the test if something will last. It is not about just being, but being useful!
3. Believe in the power of the crowd – Facebook did not do any advertising, PR, etc… when they first launched they simply left it up to the members to spread the word and what a word they spread!! The best example of this is that Facebook is translated into over 70 different languages. Interesting part about that is that it was the users who set up the translations, not an outside source. This stat amazed me when he was talking about this point; 70% of Facebook users are outside the US. I would have never thought that in a million years.

Chris then jumped into talking about his experience with President Obama’s campaign and how they utilized Social Networking. To be very basic it was about using Social Networking to help power the traditional tools such as fundraising, phone calls, etc… He broke it down into three sections.

1. Share – Give people a voice, harness stories of people to tell other people why they got involved rather than focusing on pushing President Obama’s image and video’s everywhere.
2. Connect & Empower – Used Social Networking sites such as my.barackobama.com, Facebook, myspace, etc… to connect with people and set up face to face interactions. After meeting with other supporters the push to was to then share that experience online about your offline encounter. This made action extremely simple as the efforts raised over 500 million online and all because it was so easy!!!
3. Act – use the networks to act and further empower your followers, clients, customers, etc…

I think the final point that Chris made was the best of the day, in my opinion. He said there is no need to re-invent the wheel, simply iterate. You need to get out there and try and adjust your efforts. Figure out what is working and improve on it and figure out what is not and move on to the next option.

TCM Chris Hughes Event, Marketwire, Tech Council of Maryland, Colby Cox, Chris Hughes

co-founder of Facebook Chris Hughes and myself at the TCM VIP breakfast!

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Comments
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Colby Cox, Heather Molnar. Heather Molnar said: RT @colbcox http://ow.ly/HVyM Blog post about Chris Hughes event hosted by @TechCouncilMD. Great post! @delburn @bill9941 #jhudps […]

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