A corollary to information is opportunity. With the amount of information available via the Internet and the growth in the number of social sites, it is clear that there is an opportunity to read, listen, watch and share ideas and information. Many of you might recall that connectivity to the Internet in 2000 was basically by DIAL ACCESS (very slow) using something called a PCMCIA card. Today anyone can be connected at high speed through the cellular network or through nearly 5 million public hotspots. Opportunity is therefore a function of the number of social sites, access via devices (mobile, smartphones, laptops) and speed of communication.
When news breaks you are there and in fact many people have become journalists of sorts. This leads to the next tipping point driver, publication.
Publication is closely tied to opportunity, as it seems like everyone has a camera in their hand and everyone is a photojournalist. Think about your daily activities and how many pictures you take and send to friends or share on your social site. Think of the number of people that take pictures of events and publish them via YouTube or Instagram. YouTube, the granddaddy of video sharing, did not come into being until February of 2005. Today there are more than 1 billion unique users and more than 100 hours of vide are uploaded every minute. And who doesn’t use Instagram. Started less than 4 years ago, Instagram has more than 200 million active users.
How many of you have ever re-tweeted a post? How many of you follow an author and have the ability to engage with that person. Even sports teams have gotten into the act in a big way, using Facebook tools or social software. For example, I am an avid football (American) fan and follow the NY Giants and am a regular contributor on their message boards as well as on the ESPN sites. I also follow CNN and am prone to tweet and comment on stories that I either like or don’t like. More important, how many of you have the opportunity to create information at the instant it occurs and share it via your smartphone or tablet? And now the GoPro craze can store up to 8 hours of HD video for your private or public use.
The latest cause to catch hold is the ICE Bucket Challenge, a noble cause to raise funds for ALS research. The challenge first received increased media attention in the United States on June 30, 2014. A group of personalities from the program Morning Drive, which airs weekdays on Golf Channel, televised the social-media phenomenon and performed a live, on-air Ice Bucket Challenge..Soon after the challenge was brought to mainstream audiences when television anchor Matt Lauer did the Ice Bucket Challenge on July 15, 2014 on NBC’s The Today Show. So far, only two months after the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral, more than $100 million has been raised for ALS research. Countless articles and video have been posted on social sites, uploaded to YouTube or shared via Instagram – all on mobile devices.
Opportunity and publication work together as a tipping point catalyst, providing people the chance and medium to share information that has the potential to go viral.
Check back for David’s next post as he explores engagement as the key catalyst in a tipping point.