Why I Heart Social Media

This being Valentine’s Day and all, I thought it would be a good opportunity to discuss why exactly I love what we do here at Grassroots Online. It might seem obvious that everyone in this industry would love everything about social media, but that isn’t always the case.

In fact, as anyone who has incorporated online engagement into their organization, business or campaign can attest, social media can be quite frustrating. Like healthy living advice or fitness, everyone has all the answers and everyone offers different (and often conflicting) advice). And if you aren’t Coke or Lady Gaga, you realize very quickly that true engagement is a lot more difficult than it may seem at first.

But there is a lot to love about social media. Those who are interested in creating an excellent customer experience welcome the opportunity to have a true conversation with their users, visitors and clients. Technology now give the opportunity to easily and broadly share all kinds of interesting content – which would have been almost impossible even ten or even five years ago.

The Internet is also the great equalizer in many ways – everyone has virtually the same tools to communicate with their community and their world. This has given rise to individuals impacting our collective world – for good and for bad – in a substantive way, just through uploading a video, taking a picture or operating a blog.

But the one thing above all else that I love about the tech industry and social media is represented in the picture at the top of this post. This was taken by Mike McCue, the CEO of one of my favorite apps: Flipboard. The snapshot is one that Mike took when Flipboard’s new iPhone app was successfully launched.

In my mind, the pic represents the sheer excitement, innovation and creativity that surrounds the start-up culture of the contemporary tech industry. While those traits aren’t exclusive to start-ups, that spirit certainly permeates the sector, right down to the fibre.

Many of the platforms, apps and websites so ever-present in our daily lives started out as a mere idea. Something a Mark Zuckerberg or a Larry Page dreamed of and when about to create. And it started from nothing: just a few remarkable people with a vision and the drive to make it real.

While we here at Grassroots Online can not (yet) take credit for building anything as substantial as Facebook, we have been fortunate enough to build and deploy some interesting and unique technologies that have help our clients achieve their goals. And I can tell you there is nothing quite like launching your product (website, app, service) into the world after weeks or months working on that project.

And there are so many new and exciting technologies emerging from the sector, almost on a daily basis. And much of that technology has the potential to change the world for the better – giving people everything from access to an education to government services to better health care. The Internet and all of its parts are an important part of our drive towards higher progress. It has already and will continue to fundamentally alter (and disrupt) the world as we know it.

To play a small part in that is one of the most exciting things I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in. Every time I look at that moment in time captured by Mike and the Flipboard team I am reminded of the energy, creativity and potential technology offers.

And that is why I love technology and social media.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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