Is social media a fad? Required viewing for all elected officials....

This video, while it has a advertisement for the book Socialnomics at the end, is an extremely compelling look at how social media is changing the way we communicate. Some of the statistics include:

  • 96% of young people (the Millennial generation) have joined a social network
  • It took 38 years for radio to reach 50 million users. It took the Internet 4 years to reach 50 million users. Facebook added more than 200 million users in less than a year.
  • More than 1 billion pieces of software (apps) were sold for the iPod/iPhone in less than one year. Note that this kind of business did not exist four years ago.
  • 80% of businesses use Facebook for recruiting employees, and 95% of those firms use LinkedIn.
  • The fastest growing group of Facebook users is in the 55-65 year old group.
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, with 25+ hours of video uploaded every minute.
  • There are 200,000,000 blogs, and 34% of bloggers write about products and brands.

The lesson for communities is that local leaders need to understand the change in communications strategies by young people and ensure that the infrastructure is in place to support these new modes of communication. Rural communities do not have the luxury of complaining that their young people are growing and leaving, never to return, while simultaneously refusing to make the infrastructure investments needed to keep and attract young people, young couples, and families.

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