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August 28, 2008
The Social Revolution is Our Industrial Revolution, pt 2
Last week I talked about how social media has changed media and the evolution of media. It is what I referred to as our Industrial revolution. This is a continuation of the article.  
The Evolution of Influence and the Democratization of Content
Looking back over the last several decades, it's practically unbelievable to fathom the depth and vastness of our media-dependent societies and the pivotal role influence plays in defining who we are and what we believe. The business of information creation and distribution has driven and defined our global economies. In the last century, the increasingly rapid pace of innovation has globalized, localized, and streamlined the distribution of information, what we thought about, and how we processed, news, trends and current events - and in turn, influenced how our societies evolved in the real world.
In addition to pioneers, big business, lobbyists, and outside interests, the media industry was and still is shaped by journalists, entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, communicators, and zealots who were inspired to share their voice, their insight, and their passions, their way. Through news, editorial, opinion, and field reporting, media, and information, is the common thread that stitches people and societies together.
It's how we learn.
It inspires us.
It contributes to who we are.
Towards the end of the 1990s, the Web, and its architects, forged the tools that would spark a renaissance of influence and empowerment. These tools would inspire people to build new interconnected platforms for content that would collectively and ultimately ignite a social revolution and usher a new exchange for information that has all the signs and economic potential of a modern day Industrial Revolution.
The Industrial Revolution was a period in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions in Britain. The changes subsequently spread throughout Europe and North America and eventually the world, a process that continues as industrialization. The onset of the Industrial Revolution marked a major turning point in human society; almost every aspect of daily life was eventually influenced in some way.
The socialization of media and information is our Industrial Revolution.
For the first time in history, media technology and the tools and channels for broadcasting information has been disrupted and open for true global collaboration, while also effectively changing how people interact with each other.
The Social Revolution is the catalyst for the democratization of content and exchange of information, but we're still experimenting and wrestling with the true impact of this change and how exactly these new models, on every side of the equation, will ultimately settle.
The sheer volume of social innovation, adoption, new literacy and more importantly, the evolution of human engagement using new tools is revolutionary indeed.
It has changed and continues to shape the landscape for the procurement and exchange of information, education, and ideas as well as impacting and cultivating the dynamics and economics of conversations.
It is influencing the business of how and what media and brands broadcast.
It is redefining how companies respond to the marketplace, including customers, stakeholders, and new influencers.
It is changing how people discover and share and also empowers them to create in addition to consume.
And, it's introducing the study of peoplenomics aka the Social Economy and how we not only have access to the Web and a vault full of social tools to publish and share experiences online, we now also have the power and ability to shape perception and evoke emotion and responses that can positively or negatively affect our economy.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then observation, mobility, and reaction are the attributes of, and the spark for, evolution.
The era new media is inviting content producers, consumers, and participants to contribute to and invest in the direction of our economy, one conversation at a time. The democratization of content is humanizing the business of media as well as the companies, brands, services, and the products that define them.
In the era of Socialized Media, relationships are the new currency and participation and collaboration are emerging as the new information exchange. 

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Brian Solis is the author of "Engage," a new book that helps businesses build, cultivate, and measure success in social media. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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