Thursday, December 27, 2007

Why Social Media Matters

Within the last six months I've developed an affinity for online social media and networking. I know that it honestly drives some of my colleagues nuts. Good thing I have a slew of friends on Twitter that share in my passion and my desire to spread the works of my new love.

Mostly people want to know what they'll get from using sites like Twitter or Facebook. I think many people have come to realize that MySpace tends to be a fun place and with LinkedIn is easy to see the business connections and networking. But Twitter? Facebook? And seriously, why would anyone over the age of 15 want to join any of these or even Second Life for that matter?

And a few weeks ago everything changed. Twitter suddenly mattered. Twitter mattered to Susan Reynolds and the host of friends that follower her Twitter posts and blog and artwork. Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer.

In addition to being an avid Twitter poster and artist, Susan dabbles in other fun things like Second Life and various other social media. Susan is not 15. Susan is way past 15 and I'm sure she doesn't mind me saying so.

Susan has become our friend, our sister, our confidant, our playmate.

And Twitter rallied.

Many people who call Twitter one of their social networking sites of choice decided to make a stand against cancer by creating a site and a movement based on one of Susan's postings about frozen peas. Frozen Pea Friday began last Friday on the Frozen Pea Fund site and all money raised each Friday goes to the American Cancer Society's initiative Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

I had already had the opportunity to participate in November in the Austin Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and personally raised over $200 in donations, one donation actually came from a Twitter friend of mine. Around the same time I followed others on Twitter also participating in Race for the Cures around the U.S. So, the thought that the good people of Twitter would create such an effort for one of our own really didn't surprise me.

But what it should prove is the power of online social networking.

Any more questions?

No comments: