Networked Communications (part 2): The New Normal is The Old Normal

(see part 1, the introductory post, here)

When two people catch up on neighborhood news across the backyard fence, what is it called? Networked Communications (some might call it gossip, but we’ll leave that out for the moment…!)

It’s just people communicating with other people in some form of connected network. Like – what we’ve always done. And do now.

Water cooler talk? Networked Communications.

Telegraph? Hard-wired phones? Cell phones? Networked Communications.

E-mail? IM? Social gatherings? All of it is Networked Communications.

So what is Social Media? What about blogs, Twitter, Facebook, on-line video, and the next new shiny thing that pops up? You guessed it. Networked Communications. People are sharing, connecting, communicating (as we have always done), with the enhancement of a digital web.

Each technological advance over the centuries has simply made communicating/networking faster and easier. Today’s social media is not to be thought of as some radically new thing. It’s Networked Communications, turbocharged. Nothing more, nothing less.

So here’s the point – when we talk about these approaches with our clients and colleagues, we need to de-mystify the whole thing by discussing the broader context. What we’re doing with digital social networking tools is simply accelerating something we’ve always done – build and participate in networks, and communicate within them.

All this newfangled social media stuff can be discussed as facilitation tools for communicating. Like a cell phone once was (now, of course, it’s an assumed appendage). In very short order, what we now call “social media” will be like the combustion engine or a cell phone. A given.

Whether it’s marketing, or PR, or internal silo-busting communications, or whatever, it’s all Networked Communications. It’s an inevitable progression, not some exotic new fad. When we talk to clients and colleagues, we should talk about inexorable trends. It’s the New Normal.

And the New Normal is the Old Normal. On steroids.

[This post is part of a series of posts, each covering a certain aspect of the topic: see part 1, The New Normal; part 2, The New Normal is the Old Normal; part 3, The Microphone is Mine Now; part 4, The Incredibly Shrinking Middleman; part 5, Someone Took Down the Fences, part 6, The New Digital Neighborhood; and the summary post – Social Media: Start Here]


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About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

2 Responses to Networked Communications (part 2): The New Normal is The Old Normal

  1. Pingback: Networked Communications (part 3): The Microphone is Mine Now «

  2. VickyH says:

    Good points. I just gave a speech to faculty where I work and the major messages were that people are now the curators of content which for us get’s into many skills our students need, such as critical thinking, group collaboration and the use of, as well as the benefits of technology in the 21st century workplace that our students will be stepping out into.

    The other great advantage is the peer-to-peer learning aspect. Instead of one way communication between an instructor to student social media facilitates a whole new environment of learning from others.

    That for me personally has been one of the greatest assets for me personally of my social media use.

    I look forward to reading the next parts of this series.


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