A friend mentioned, "it just seems like every week is Social Media Week."
I have the same sense. Everyone is trying to position their social media crowd as THE one. The fact is, everyone might have a different sense of how to use/implement social media and what the major issues are. As danah boyd points out many times but particularly in Do you See What I See?: Visibility of Practices through Social Media, we all bring our own filters.
I'm not a social media stragist so much as a marketer who uses social media as a tool. And as a human being, my concern for over a decade has been how financial market "infomation" is decoupled from what human beings value on a personal level. Because of that, social media's strategic relevance becomes, for me, most significant in how it creates and modifies community interactions and health. But more relevant today is the sense of fragmentation amidst the explosive growth in this new industry that requires merging financial and social goals.
In the New Finance space, there are an explosion of new rubrics, labels, approaches, and methodologies, but they are startlingly in alignment: CleanTech, Social Entrepreneurialism, HIP Investment, Social Capital, B Corporation, various metrics systems (from GMI to GIIRS), new money/barter/gift-economy /post-industrial systems, Microfinance, Crowd-sourced Lending, Socially Responsible Investment (SRI), Intangible Asset Valuation, and of course, Sustainability. And that's not even including what's going on from "the other side of the coin," where communities are beginning to measure their health with novel indicators ("Community Indicators,") and Non-profits and NGOs become more "outcomes-focused" in order to meet the needs of people who are responsible for wisely investing financial resources and realize that a Blended Value investment approach improves their ability to achieve their mission.
So what's underlying this? I think one obvious point is that the original experiment has run its course (and to be fair, we were limited by the computing tools at the time to create several over-simplifications.) Markets do NOT reflect all information, and people are rarely adequately enlightened, but even those that are sometimes act AGAINST their own enlightened self interest. Further, altruism not only exists in animals and people, but is a powerful motivator.
However I think there's another component that has made the solution far more obvious to so many people: I'm going to say that this is a longterm positive effect of previous diversity struggles. I believe that the longterm effect of breaking gender stereotypes so that women join the workforce and dads bond deeply with children, and mixing socioeconomic, religious, country-of-origin and other cultures has been to become deeply aware of the impact business practices have on communities, personal health, and children's opportunities.
The traditional economic and financial concepts of capitalism vs. society (or market-driven vs. tax-and-spend) are being replaced by the plausibility of "business-community mashups," where everyone works together to improve the world. It's fascinating to watch, but more importantly it's an important time for the participants to understand their role in the overall portfolio, to recognize that for the world economic models to incorporate sophisticated information that information must be gathered and shared, and to function as a growth industry rather than individual rebel alliances fighting against an entrenched power system.
Because that power system broke, full stop. It's here for us to rebuild, and we'd best do it fast and thoroughly, modeling those very values we treasure: collaboration and transparency.