In the last few months I have had the misfortune of attending seminars on Social Networking. I know, I know. Groan. Sounds downright painful for those of us that consider the internet to be free and fun.
But here's the thing. The business world in general just does not get it. They are completely dumbfounded by the thought of thousands or millions of people saying whatever they want, when they want to say it and how they want to say it.
Each of these lecturers told us how important it was to control the message. That Businesses must be involved so that they can control what is said and censor it if necessary, so that their product would not be seen in a bad light.
Yes, I know what you are thinking. "But that's totally stupid." Social Networking is dependent on being viral. You post something and somebody tweets it or re-posts it. You cannot control it.
And therein lies the discussion. Can they (they being big business) control it and how. Of course, they can. Probably not on the level the lecturers are thinking, but Governments can block the transmission of thoughts and ideas. However, since we ARE the Government, there still may be a chance to keep the internet free. But we have to start working on it. Today.
A final thought. Instead of businesses trying to censor others; why not get into the fray and deliver your message in human terms, in an easy to understand language...why not use the viral aspects of YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr and hundreds of other Web 2.0 services to get YOUR message out.
Save us a lot of trouble and stop trying to control us. Ya got a product. Let us help you sell it. Put it out there and let it go free...free as a bird.