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by Paul Kiser [Twitter: ] [Facebook] [LinkedIn] [Skype:kiserrotary or 775.624.5679]

Paul Kiser - CEO 2020 Enterprise Technologies

Today is an amazing day! It may not seem that different to some people, but they just don’t realize what today signifies in the world of social and traditional media. Still, not clear? Think about this:

General Stanley McChrystal

  • Monday, June 21 – Reports surface that President Obama is angry about an article that would be appearing in Rolling Stones magazine. The article has several remarks by General Stanley McChrystal that were derogatory in nature about several people in the Administration. It is announced that McChrystal has been ordered to appear in person at the White House for Wednesday’s staff meeting, normally done via a secure video transmission.
  • Tuesday, June 22 – Thousands of articles, blogs, and news stories on television and radio discuss the article, the General and what should be done. All this happens while the General is in transit to Washington, D.C.
  • Wednesday, June 23 – General McChrystal reports to the White House, his resignation is accepted and it is announced that General David Petraeus will assume his command.
  • Thursday, June 24 – Continued discussion around the world about the article, the General, and President Obama’s solution to the issue. A Google search of the terms ‘McChrystal runaway general Obama’ nets 464,000 hits (many refer to another situation in October 2009) and the same terms appearing in blogs nets 92,000 hits.

So why does this make today an amazing day? The article that is the cause of bringing down the US Commander of the war in Afghanistan, the President making a swift, major change in his top military administrative staff, and has been the subject of discussion around the world for days…isn’t published in print until tomorrow.

But that isn’t even the best part! The best part is that no one is amazed by this bizarre situation. We have become so accustomed to the Internet trumping print media that no one sees the significance of the reaction to a news story superseding the news story actually being published.

What does it mean?
There is no better example of what has happened in the worlds of Social and Traditional Media than the events of this week. Print media used to ‘be’ the news but now print media is only a historical account of news. It is impossible for print media to have any impact on the world because it is too slow. Yes, television and radio were leaders in promoting the story; however, it was the Internet that provided the mechanism for so many ‘civilians’ to react to the story. The story was discussed in blogs, on Facebook, and on Twitter…all in real-time, not on a news cycle.

For the business person it is simple. If you think that Social Media is a waste of time and that it has no ROI (return on investment) for your company then know that your business could be dead before you even know why. If you are not plugged in and aware then you are flying blind in a world that quietly watches you and everything you do. The Google search will give your customer access to the good, the bad, and the ugly about you.

Think about this: a very powerful and successful military man was brought down by one reporter through some inappropriate remarks. In this situation he worked for a major publication, but it could have been a blogger with a video and the impact would have been the same. Social Media is not about how much time it will take out of your day, nor is it about the return on your investment. It is about your survival.

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