I'm loving the stuff flowing out of socitm09 already. Thanks to Dave Briggs (http://twitter.com/davebriggs ) for starting a new ning group 'Open Socitm' ( http://www.opensocitm.com/ ) go and have a look..and have your say.
I am increasingly persuaded of the incredibly significant role the concept of being 'socially networked' not simply will have, but is having on greater numbers of us. The technology aspects of this are pretty much unimportant compared to its cultural and social significance. It is these areas that institutions so often miss completely, or at least until it is too late and they spend the rest of their time playing catch up, but always a step behind where they need to be. It doesn't matter if we are talking about organising our own social and business lives, breaking barriers that older communication media have erected or (from a government perspective) getting serious about some meaningful engagement with otherwise unreached or uninterested sections of society, social networking is going to feature strongly in both the discussion and the solutiions.
There is a lot of talk about 'business cases' and such like, which is absolutely right so long as we don't forget that there were similar calls regarding the internet and e mail not that many years ago.... What excites me is the realisation that we are living in the early stages of a revolution whose impact will, arguably, exceed that of the industrial revolution (discuss)....and we are in a position not just to 'use' it, but to shape it and to explore evermore innovative applications.
Do I want us to be relevant in this area?...well yes, but more than that, to become one of the innovators within our sectors. Why would you want to put up with less?