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This is the social media that I.. #social media

via The Inquisitr by Steven Hodson on 1/21/10

Social Media is not the tools like Twitter and Facebook regardless of how much the people living off of VC dollars might want to have you believe they are.

Social Media cannot be framed or described through any marketer’s phraseology or buzzwords.

Social Media is the people. It is the ability for everyday people to reach out, to have their thoughts heard, to be able to be part of something larger and change our society. It’s all about the one’s and two’s coming together on a common ground and making society as a whole hear them.

Nowhere is this any clearer than the aftermath of the Haitian disaster.

From people being rescued because of text messages to creating a clearinghouse of the names of people who are missing we are seeing everyday people stepping forward like never before to fill in any cracks that might develop so no-one remains lost.

It has brought us things like PersonFinder (and haitianquake.com before it) and the creation of a text-messaging system now being used by the UN, Red Cross and other relief groups to aid in dispatching rescuers, food and water where they are needed the most.

Internet social networks have helped volunteers organize intense work sessions.

CrisisCamp drew some 400 people in six cities including Washington, London and Mountain View, Calif., over the weekend to meet-ups where they devised, built and helped refine tools. Among them: a basic Creole-English dictionary for the iPhone that was delivered to Apple on Monday night for its approval.

“There was no break for lunch and people barely used the bathroom,” said Clay Johnson of the Sunlight Foundation, the government transparency-promoting tech nonprofit that hosted the 130 participants in the Washington session. U.N., State Department and World Bank representatives attended.

Johnson also is the co-ordinator for “We Have, We Need,” a project that was hatched in the CrisisCamp session and is about to be launched. It seeks to pair private-sector offers with needs identified by aid workers. For example, a Haitian Internet provider needs networking engineers to restore connectivity. Any volunteers willing to spend a few weeks in Port-au-Prince?

Source: The Globe and Mail

There are no shortages of stories of ordinary people dropping everything they are doing and flying to the Dominican Republic  and loading up with supplies before crossing the border into Haiti. Many of these people are there because of the larger conversation happening on many social media services.

From the man who used information and apps downloaded onto his iPhone to save his own life to the reporters on the scene who share their stories via blogs, Twitter or Facebook social media is being used to save lives and who knows maybe also effect real change in a people who had little enough hope before the earthquake.

This is the social media we should all be concentrating on. Not the just the marketing of people and products. Not just for the spamming of sales pitches.

This is the social media that is the real thing, not the tools or the hype.

This is the social media we should all be striving for.

This is the social media we should love.

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