I learned this morning that President Barack Obama had been award the Nobel Peace Prize. I'm sure by now you have all heard this news. I saw a million Tweets on the subject, until I was thoroughly bored by the subject.
But then I realized that I first learned about the award on Twitter. The award was announced too late for the daily paper, and our local radio stations get their news from the local papers (you can hear the pages turning some mornings). So the announcement was the first thing I saw when I fired up my computer at work and logged in to Twitter via Tweetdeck.
My gut reaction? Well, I'm well beyond shock at the intemperate positions people will take from behind a keyboard, and this announcement generated a lot of "Jane you ignorant slut" kinds of Tweets. So I guess I just kind of shrugged my shoulders and wondered what it is about Twitter, blogging, and social media that makes people so crazy. My wife and I regularly lament the that IM has stunted the communications skills of young adults. It often seems that the more people IM, the less information they communicate.
Just then I had an insight and was amazed at what social media had done. I only knew about Obama's Nobel award because of Twitter. And Twitter also delivered a lot of insightful and funny thoughts along with the more caustic comments. Perhaps these are reasons that adults are buying into Twitter faster than kids, and why we are closing the gap in use on other social media services. It's not about the tool; it is about how the tool is used.
I think Kevin Kenney at Fike actually planted the seed for this realization. He and I talked at length about the future of the cloud on the show floor at AFCOM. In fact, our conversation turned into a bit of a debate. Kevin came armed with a number of statistics about cloud usage and made some very good points. I made a series of arguments based on information that I have reported in previous blog installments. I think we were introduced because someone realized we'd enjoy hearing each other's thoughts, probably in part based on blogs that I have written.
So we can't really blame the tool for each other's failings, but we can realize that Tweets and blogs and other social media entries can be starting points for discussion and sharing real information.
That said, Kevin and I would both like to hear your thoughts on the transformative effects of the cloud. I think Kevin sees the Cloud as something that will free enterprises from the obligation to run their own data centers. I'm thinking that the move to the cloud will result in just a few companies having the expertise to run facilities dedicated to IT, but that these companies will increasingly resemble power utilities and be heavily regulated just like power utilities, because so many businesses have proprietary information, security needs, or regulatory obligations.
What do you think?