That is how I feel today. As I drove around town, dropping kids at carpools and school, picking up a 45 pound bag of dog food, heading to the library, I caught bits and pieces of the morning show on my local NPR station. Generally, it bothers me to just catch snippets of the show, my brain hating the swiss-cheese holes of missing information, not knowing how to complete the picture. But today the guest in the second hour referred back to something I had heard the guest in the first hour say and I felt the synapses connect, the dots turn to a solid line and the line work its way into the shape of an upturned mouth. The light bulb went on.
The first guest was a social media expert who has taken time off of his job with Google to galvanize the pro-democracy movement in Egypt. He talked about using his skills to take advantage of the free, real-time exchange of information on the Internet in order to promote peace and equality in this part of the Middle East.
The second guest was on to talk about how the Susan G. Komen foundation can begin to rebuild its reputation with its supporters as well as those who deplore their acts of the past few weeks. At one point he said (and I'll paraphrase here because I was driving, after all and wasn't able to write down his words) something like the mistake that companies like Komen are making is to think that we are in a technology revolution. We are in a revolution, for sure, just like the Industrial Revolution, for example. But this revolution is not technology, it is information. Technology is simply the oxygen that enables the information to flow.
He went on to say that if any organization, governmental, for-profit, non-profit, whatever, fails to recognize this and engage with their supporters and their detractors in dialogue, they are missing the boat. People want information. They want to give it and get it. They want to feel heard and respected. And those companies that are truly listening to their constituents and incorporating their feedback are more successful and engender loyalty.
I was thinking about this concept as I turned on my laptop and logged in to the web. My home page is set to NPR and the headline that jumped out at me was this one. Speaking of feedback.
And when I realized how many significant changes have come about in American society as a result of the free exchange of information in real time, I felt