If you haven’t yet read Erik Qualman’s book Socialnomics, close this window and order it now! Better yet, open this YouTube link (or see below) and pick up some of his most powerful points. We are in the middle of a transformative moment and Qualman (bless his soul and his enthusiasm) helps make sense of the dramatic shift that is causing everyone to rethink how and where they and how they communicate. Did you know that Boston College is doing away with issuing email accounts to its incoming Freshman Class? They discovered that 18 year olds don’t use email so much anymore, preferring to text or catch up on Facebook instead. Did you know that one out of every eight couples married today met via social media? Or that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world? Did you know that people trust peer recommendations over paid advertising by a huge margin – 78% rely on peers while only 14% listen to advertisers.
So, for those of you still questioning what to make of social media, my answer is: “Make it yours and make it work.” Whether you are a Jewish camp, a federation, a synagogue or a JCC, your future is going to be decided by how you embrace or fail to embrace the digital world. You need to be ready and have mastery over every communications channel and device that becomes available. And then you have to appreciate and learn how critically important it will be to access them in order to stay in touch with the people who matter to you. It’s a safe bet that simply gathering email addresses is not going to get you where you need to be if you plan on being around in the next five years. So, upgrade your digital toolkit and your digital acumen now and like that 20,000 mile tune up you religiously give your car, don’t forget to give your organization a regular tech-tune up every few months too.