"Social" Community for Social Change and Efficiency
Businesses and other types of service providers are moving online, and more people in developing regions of the world are gravitating toward online commerce and interaction. As the exploration of the Internets galaxy deepens, so does the depth of the developing world. This number has and will grow exponentially.
*Compliments of Internet World Stats
TOP 10 COUNTRIES WITH HIGHEST NUMBER OF INTERNET USERS
However, even in developed countries, there are regions that lack access, resources, and knowledge of this "working" world. To their detriment, they're stunted by a world community growing around them. If anyone needs to build community, it's these folks.
We have more influence in social change, efficiency, and the way we interact, in part (and thanks) to the Internet. Between a global recession, decreasing confidence and patience with public officials, and the poverty and illiteracy that continues to rise, social media and the Internet have provided ways to build community for dialogue surrounding the issues and a support system.
Poverty is a non-discriminatory problem spanning across the globe. The issues and various demographics affected, let alone the staggering number of those living in it are alarming. The issues run deep. Violence, discrimination, stereotypes often leave them voiceless. Of the many problems, no permanent address or access to resources, along with substance abuse or mental illness leads cases to long bouts of unemployment, isolation, and decimated morale and health. A social community is proven to be essential for building up lives for these people in America, thanks to an array of individuals and organizations, one being 'We Are Visible'. This is the brainchild of homeless advocate, and "social currency" billionaire, Mark Horvath (also see: Hardly Normal and Invisible People). Mark is helping this demographic "connect to the social world"
In the realm of tech, media, and business, with the foundation of connecting everyone in America (and the world), Jeff Pulver brought his #140Conf to big cities and small towns. Here, residents have the opportunity to connect and engage while gaining a better understanding of media, business, and the continued evolution in how we interact. The conversation isn't closed to event attendees, as participants on the web are encouraged to get in on the conversation in real time, through Twitter.
With the astounding numbers of users around the world, there are large numbers of folks that are trailing.
It was brought to my attention from fellow SMC Editorial Team member, Anders Abrahamsson, that The U.K. has launched the initiative 'Race Online 2012' (headed by "dream champion" Martha Lane Fox). The initiative is an attempt to get the 9+ million who have never been on the Internet in the U.K., on.
*Compliments of Race Online 2012 FAQs
Internet Access in the UK: The Facts
"9 million adults in the UK have never been online, amounting to over a fifth of the population. Four million are also society’s least advantaged. 39% are over 65, 38% are unemployed and 19% are families with children. In her role as the UK Digital Champion, Martha Lane Fox and her team at Race Online 2012 focus on encouraging as many people as possible to go online and improve the convenience and efficiency of public services by driving online delivery. Together, they provide a rallying cry for us all to create a truly networked nation – a chance to make the UK one of the first developed countries in the world to achieve near-total Internet use by 2012."
Abrahamsson is a huge advocate for the project and explained in his latest post that this effort in the U.K. has spawned a similar venture in Sweden: Upprop för Digital Delaktighet (a call for digital participation). The goal in Sweden is to get 500,000 more of its citizens to get "logged-on" by 2013.
How we interact, do business, and carry out our lives are dictated by technology. We're able to organize, shop, learning, navigate, and interacting through the web. Networks and communities are harnessed here, improving our efficiencies. Relationships are being built and calls to action are more tangible because of the social networks the Internet brings. We are having more and more of an impact on social change in our communities, along with improving business practices and better results.
Stay tuned for my next post where I hope to shine a light on some people using social media for social good, with the networks they continue to build.