I was listening to an interview with a young lady from Tunisia this morning who is an active social media user/contributor. She lives in Tunis, the center of all the protests in that country. Her blog and SM postings are heavily followed in Tunisia and she is credited for starting and maintaining the buzz about the protests in Tunis. These protests ultimately caused the President - read Dictator - of Tunisia to flee the country. Turns out he is an active follower of Twitter posts and obviously didn't like what he was reading!
Social media has become a powerful force in the world and this is just another example of it. Much of the information we receive from countries in turmoil, or recovering from major natural disasters, comes to us via the internet in some manner. It has become a very powerful tool for social change and a life line when conventional communications are down.
Businesses are seeing the good and bad of the social media world. It's a great way to interact with your customers and it's a great way for the world to find out when you screw up badly in customer service or in product design. There are dozens of books, blogs and websites dedicated to helping businesses handle social media.
I've been active in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging for about two years. As a writer, I enjoy putting words to real and virtual paper, but it can be very time consuming. Writing is a passion of mine, but it doesn't always pay the bills, so I'm also a REALTOR. This is a great job to combine with writing since the hours are flexible, I get to meet lots of people which provide character ideas, and I get to write about that industry as well. So I have 2 real estate related blogs, this blog - which has been neglected lately - plus the social media sites. It's hard to service them all!