I watched CNN’s Planet in Peril show yesterday and it left me in a state of depressed anger at how people (and companies) are destroying parts of the earth and some of its most magnificent inhabitants (sharks, gorillas, and elephants). Here is where the potential power of social software solutions becomes apparent. I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. Traditional media (such as the CNN show) stops at awareness. I can’t participate in that show. I can’t comment. I can’t get more information. I can’t take any action whatsoever. I can only sit there and feel powerless. I must go elsewhere to have any impact. Secondly, it is ephemeral and static. When the show is over, it is over. A persistent place for collaboration is required for action.
Awareness is an important but small part of the solution. Social applications deliver awareness as well as participation and persistence. Awareness is key to social spectating, whereas the two latter are the key ingredients to social action.