The video sharing Web site YouTube.com has a number of provocative five- to six-minute videos about the pace of change in our technological world, all of which were apparently inspired by 2007’s Shift Happens (also known as Did You Know?).26 Originally produced for a teacher’s conference to spark discussion about trends in education, Shift asks a series of questions about the state of world culture and demographic trends.
Shift points out, for example, that the first commercial text message was sent in 1992, and in 2006, the number of text messages sent each day exceeded the total population of the planet. In 2006, there were 3,000 books being published daily. The amount of technical information was doubling in 2006 every two years, and by 2010, technical information is expected to double every 72 hours. In 20 years or so, this means a college freshman studying technical disciplines will learn things that will likely be obsolete by the time he or she graduates.27
Social networking certainly contributes to this mind-numbing growth of information, but ironically, social tools are also the best way to deal with this explosion.
So what does all this mean as you consider the impact of the Social Age on your life and business? History has shown that major revolutions—in technology and in politics—create disruption and uncertainty as the old order is threatened and at last replaced by the new. Smart businesses see this disruption and uncertainty as an opportunity. They rush to bring innovations and value propositions to corporations, to the government, and to society at large. Disruptive innovations and solutions confront lower barriers to entry during times of uncertainty and often serve to facilitate the establishment of a new social order.
In the present context, the Social Age, with its communication and collaboration-centric approach, will unleash powerful synergies that can create value for your business and personal life. The following chapters provide additional groundwork for ways to transform your business and leverage social tools to create collaboration among employees and across organizations to tap into the incredible power of the Social Age revolution.