Us Now – the culture of social media

Revolution does not happen when a society adopts new tools, it happens when society adopts new behaviours. – Clay Shirkey

Thanks to boingboing, I came across a one hour British documentary on the cultural aspects of social media and how as the cost of collaboration becomes very low people can actively participate in areas that were typically closed to them before. This view is extended to both local and national government with the conclusion that government will become more participatory but with no firm conclusions on exactly how.

Us Now from Banyak Films on Vimeo.

The film consists of social media examples interspersed with interviews from folks like Clay Shirkey (Here comes Everybody) and  Don Tapscott (Wikinomics).  The examples profiled include the following.

Couch surfing Worldwide network for making connections between travelers and the local communities they visit. 500,000 strong with 1500 people per night sleeping on stranger’s couches.
Mumsnet Website and message board for parents by parents
Zopa An online exchange that links small lenders with small borrowers sidestepping the banks.
SlicethePie a financing platform for the music industry that enables new and established artists to raise money directly from Music Fans and Investors.
Ebbsfleet United a community owned football club with 35,000 members who manage the team (selection, transfers etc.)

3 thoughts on “Us Now – the culture of social media

  1. You’re getting very clever with the formatting, Geoff :) I wonder about government, and how government can be improved by the web. How participatory democracy can be enhanced. If you think about human desires and wants, they are broadly analagous to the long tail theory – we all need food, shelter, security – these are the high volume services that are delivered en masse by the government, and why, mostly, we pay our taxes. But if we think about local government, it works on the premise that local groups have local needs, which is broadly true, though geographic proximity is only one measure of association. The alignment of other needs, wants – preferences, hobbies, illnesses, neuroses, whatever! – are not necessarily locally concentrated. Similarly, philosophical, economic and legal preferences – and broadly speaking those preferences that guide our decision on who or what to vote for – are not uniform. Therefore we always, always compromise when we vote, because they ‘tick most of the boxes’, so to speak. Can we use social networking technologies to improve standards in government, to improve governance, to better reflect the true nature of the people?

  2. Pingback: Brazen Thoughts » Blog Archive » Social Media – a business view

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