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Great post, though I'm going to have to disagree with you. I think new media and social networks ARE creating new generation leaders. I also think that they are allowing us to connect with more and more people that we otherwise would not have known about. Through social networking and new media we are making great strides in making a difference and changing the world one step (and one person) at a time. One specific example already given was the Frozen Pea Fun but there are so many more. (also see: @MailOurMilitary on twitter)

I don't have to sit across the table from someone who lives 3500 miles from me to get involved in their life or their cause. I can send a card, dial their number, utter a word of encouragement, etc.

You don't have to show up in person to make a significant difference. You just have to get involved.

Wow, this is a gift, thank you all. What a lively conversation!

@Rebecca -- thank you for igniting a very lively conversation. I look forward to an opportunity to meet face to face and while the occasion presents itself to mobilize to be of service to you in any way.

@C. Weng -- that is quite an interesting eBook. Thank you for sharing and for participating.

@Joe -- so when are you traveling to Philadelphia ;-) I just came back from meeting two of my favorite Italian bloggers in Rome and will be meeting a very important marketing blog community voice in Italy on New Year's Eve. In person and in project has tremendous power to start showing the way to those who wax skeptical about social media.

Hi Rebecca,

You've chosen a great topic for this space. It is the 900lb gorilla in the room no one talks about.

Most IT systems, be they social media as mentioned or Oracle ERP systems, PeopleSoft performance management systems, or Outlook - were developed to support people and their interactions. They were not designed to be the interaction. This misnomer is a significant driver for why big consulting firms are hired as 'integrators' for systems changes. If people focused on each other and their work, the change in the supporting system wouldn't be that big of a deal.

Social media should be used for good: as a catalyst for people getting together in person - than for evil: being the only connection people have.

Cheers,
Joe

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