The recent Nipponese earthquake and tsunami have again highlighted the increasing role of social media channels in major emergencies. And judging from the cataclysmic (from-now-to-2012) predictions mushrooming all over, if true, it is evident that channels such as Facebook and Twitter are very far from reaching their own apocalypses. These channels are breaking geographical and cultural barriers, connecting people in ways never before thought possible.
How many of you lived Japan as it unfolded? How many of you would have never known where "Haiti" is on the world map had it not been for Facebook or the famous blue little bird of fast news and updates? Never before have our different continents been so convergent. Social networks are, by default, used to communicate info directly from those who are experiencing the catastrophe in real time, to those who want to and can help in real time (wherever they might be), without delay. No red tape. Does that not put a totally new perspective to the term World Wide Web?
As such channels become more and more vertically integrated - housing everything from your social life, entertainment, education, news, world events, etc. under one roof...it is no surprise that Facebook is becoming increasingly popular to host a business’ website. Companies seeking to create conversation, gather actionable data and build a sustainable pool of customers know that these channels are THE new information highways. Perhaps success will come to those who learn how to listen, observe trends and encourage the flourishing conversations, but most importantly to those who start seeing the world as one.