Yesterday, I spent a beautiful day at our friend's countryside home in North Salem, NY. The weather was incredible and it gave both couples a chance to exchange ideas about how we are raising our newborns. The tips and the tricks flowed both ways and ideas were spread in the form of good old fashion word-of-mouth mixed with lots of MEDIA sharing. Of course we mostly chatted about our new babies challenges - topics included; product choices (do you like the Frog?), sleep habits, calming techniques, bathroom humor, etc. etc. As the day went by, the conversation connected us all back to our childhood, our parents, grandparents and family history. Once we started talking about our parents and grandparents the information superhighway went off-road. We pulled out books, photo albums, family Super 8 videos, magazines articles, newspaper clippings, paintings, sketches, records, CD's, live piano and even 8 track tapes! In the course of a few hours we had managed to exchange so much information and almost every conversation was supported by a huge array of mixed media. We had spanned at least a hundred years through word-of-mouth and the mixed media and that was just the tiny tiny surface of the entire story. It is this ENTIRE story that is the future of Social Media. 1.How do you aggregate and capture all of the stories that we have as human beings and do this in a way that is accessible to people like my mother-in-law, father and other low-tech historians and collectors. People who have piles and piles of collected memories inside of photo albums, old tape collections, super 8 movies, postcards, letters, record collections and their brains. 2. How do you create an information exchange that can connect all of the ways in which humans share information now offline (just like our day of information exchange I describe above?) In the great debate over the future of social media I tend to agree with Fred Wilson's recent quote:
every single human being posting their thoughts and experiences in any number of ways to the Internet.
This is a bold and huge undertaking and if we look back at the early days of cave paintings and verbal history transfer, a super connected global information exchange platform in which everyone can partake is still a long way away -but- we are getting closer. It isn't just about the 100 dollar laptop for every child -but- we need to teach our parents and grandparents how to share their stories in this new digital age and get that Super 8 film converted and contextualized!