November 30, 2011

Planting Thoughts Using Social Media

I found a fascinating video visualization of the fractal growth of ideas that derive from social media. The Ecosphere Project video (above) is titled "Plant a Thought, Watch it Grow". CNN is using it to track the breadth and depth of discussion on Twitter concerning the Climate Change talks in Durban, South Africa (#COP17). Anyone who writes a tweet that includes "#COP17" in the message will be added to the growing fractal. Each tweet is analyzed for content and placed on the most appropriate growing thread. Presumably, any hashtag discussion on Twitter could be similarly tracked and visualized.

People who follow me know that I have been promoting social media as the new (& improved!) way to engage the public in opinion, commerce, and politics (see Social Media). It is a two-edged sword that carries consequences from the "sins of commission and omission." If you are engaged you might skew the fractal in a counter-productive direction. If you don't engage, it will grow based on other people's content without your input.

If you aren't blogging, tweeting, or otherwise messaging in social media you might be foregoing an opportunity to effect positive change - which starts with planting thoughts. From the tiny acorn grew the mighty oak.


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