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Social Media Frequent Flyer Miles

by Dan Robles on December 22, 2008

The Internet is a lot like a commercial airplane – it is very useful in transporting us to distant lands but the real work must happen on the ground.  The organization of society at both ends of an Internet destination must be developed if real wealth is to be created. Social Media needs to develop this component at this critical juncture of human history when vast amounts of social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital are being sent to the shores of despair upon Unemployment Air Line.

Computer enabled society:

The great opportunity of our generation in the fair, sustainable, and equitable creation of wealth through innovation in a computer-enabled, open-sourced, and democratic society that can organize its own knowledge in the form of a financial instrument.  The great danger, of course, is if we miss our flight and engender a computer simulated society where it is easier to interact with online community than our own neighbors.  It’s like getting on an airplane for the fine view, good food, and interesting conversation.  Social capital is by far the most powerful force of change and social media must now touch the ground in a meaningful, systemic, repeatable, and scalable manner.

The analogy continues:

The earliest days of aviation were a novelty at best.  Some commercial enterprise emerged in the form of barnstorming, carrying the mail, light cargo, aerial photography, and warfare. Likewise, the evolution of the internet brought us on-line gaming, e-mail, e-commerce, assorted photography, and hacking, etc.  It was not until the invention of municipal airports that the airplane became a true time machine by increasing human productivity and allowing us to see history that would otherwise be unavailable traveling by sea.  The true value of both commercial aviation and social media over “sail mail” is precisely through the increase in human productivity to transfer information to the ground.

Three Web Applications:

First, social media needs to develop a knowledge inventory system by geographic areas.  Second, Social Media needs a search engine at a local level that combines knowledge assets to form “strategic” social networks that can execute a specific business plan at reduced risk; cooking the “secret sauce”.  Third; an Innovation Bank must “pull” knowledge surplus and “pull” knowledge deficits together from diverse communities.  These three applications will provide everyone with the tools needed to create wealth in their communities.

Social Media has the potential to become the airport of the Internet Transportation System.  Nothing meaningful can happen until the rubber meets the tarmac.  So, let’s start building runways.

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