Insights and Opinions: Social media: You at the Helm of Your Own New Starship

For today's Insights and Opinions article, we have a piece from Tracy Olmstead Williams, of Olmstead Williams Communications, talking about the bold new world of social media:

Social Media, like Global Warming, has now left doubters behind.

According to the brand-ranking database Engagement DB, companies embracing social media grew revenues by 18 percent in the past 12 months. They are Starbucks, Dell, eBay, Google and Microsoft. Brands lagging in new media shrank by 6 percent.

The change is wrenching and exhilarating. Each of the top 25 newspapers in the United States declined in circulation in the first quarter of 2009, except for The Wall Street Journal, which had a gain of .06 percent. Meanwhile, all of us get more news and information than ever, sliced, diced, pushed or aggregated by Web sites, email alerts, blogs, Facebook, Tweets and the socalTECH newsletter you’re reading now.

As a result, new media, and public relations in specific, is more alive with potential than ever in its history. Despite the devastation of our cherished Fourth Estate, a challenge as dire as any to our form of government, social media has brought a new universe of information tools that permit instant analysis of the world marketplace and instant feedback for our every action.

It's like finding ourselves on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise with Captain Kirk nowhere in sight. Suddenly, like it or not, we're in command. We must boldly go where no one's gone before.

Read the rest of Tracy's article, Social media: You at the Helm of Your Own New Starship.