Social Media–a few thoughts on its power

The web never ceases to amaze me. I’ve gotten to the point if I can’t find something I’m looking for, no matter how obscure, I figure that I did something wrong in how I framed the search.

For example, I was trying to connect to a high school classmate, someone I hadn’t spoken with since before Al Gore invented the internet. This guy got a pair of boxing gloves for his 14th birthday. We each wore one, and jousted only long enough for us each to land a blow on the other’s nose. It hurt—a lot. We gave up boxing. In tenth grade biology, we bet him five dollars that he wouldn’t jump out of the second floor window. The teacher, who knew of the bet, turned her back to write on the blackboard. He jumped. Go straight to the office, do not pass GO, do not collect $200. We used to see how fast his red and white Mach II Mustang would go railing down Route 40. He was the guy you voted best person to keep away from bright shiny objects. The last I heard he went to a teaching college.

Anyway, I Googled him—from the imperative verb Google—I Google, you Google, he, she or it Googles. I can’t tell you his name for reasons that will soon become apparent. Google returns links to things like military intelligence, think tank, counterinsurgency, small wars, and army major. I think I’ve made a spelling mistake and add his middle initial to the search criteria. Up pops a link to CNN’s Larry King. The topic of the show, the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. To quote Lewis Carroll, “things keep getting curiouser and curiouser.”

The web. Social networking. A great tool if you’re one the outside searching, deadly in the hands of your customers. If your firm is targeted, you are pretty much defenseless. Each customer is capable of creating its own digital perception of your firm. True or false, makes no difference. They’re like little thunderstorms popping up everywhere. Companies scurry around like frightened mice passing out umbrellas and pretending it’s not raining. They’re late, their customers are wet, and they are telling everyone. Very few firms have learned that they can’t put the rain back into the clouds.

Sort of reminds me of the line in the movie Young Frankenstein, “Could be worse, could be raining.” It’s raining, and even the best firms have run out of umbrellas. What is your firm doing about it?

saintPaul M. Roemer
Chief Imaginist, Healthcare IT Strategy

1475 Luna Drive, Downingtown, PA 19335
+1 (484) 885-6942
paulroemer@healthcareitstrategy.com

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