The other day my father sent me an article about social media, because he knows how much that sort of thing interests me. He sent the article despite not fully understanding it, and I can see why. The article was concerning a restaurant in New York utilizing social media to promote its business and control its product. The restaurant's name is 4food and the article is titled 96 billion burger combos - tweet yours. You'll have to read the article and visit the restaurant's website to fully understand.
The restaurant sounds really cool, but it's not the restaurant persay that intrigues me. What does interest me is the idea of this being the beginning of a significant social shift. I have read some of Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everyone, which I highly recommend. I think Leanne also recommended this book in the resource section. I digress. In his book, Shirky suggests that social media is enabling us to radically change our social structure. I understood what he was suggesting but something about 4food really made it click.
When I read about 4food, a similar thought kept crossing my mind, "What if this is just the beginning? What if all restaurants did this? What if all businesses utilized social media like 4food? What if all organizations were linked in like this? What if politicians used social media like this?" As I ventured down this line of questioning, I began to understand part of what Shirky was suggesting. Our new way of socially organizing has already spawned great feats, but will social media also shake up our fundamental institutions? I hear a paradigm shift coming, and I'm getting excited.