Showing posts with label social media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social media. Show all posts

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Social media: not all sell, sell sell

Intrigued to read a contribution to New Media Age magazine by Mark Cridge (a digital marketing industry figure) which challenged the conventional preoccupation of his industry (namely coaxing people to consume more), by focusing on one of the impacts of a broader adoption of social technologies, i.e. that "it makes the entire process of production and consumption much more transparent." See http://www.nma.co.uk/opinion/sustaining-our-way-of-life-will-only-get-harder/3004712.article

This implication, he argues, will make it more straightforward for us to introduce more sustainable practices. If we can indulge in sustainable ways of living then much of what gets forecast about our increasingly technology-enabled interconnected and interactive world might come to pass (as opposed to our current trajectory, where we may consume our way into oblivion).

UCL's very own Professor Danny Miller has been leading a project which harnesses social media amongst other things to try and create this sense of transparency where and when it matters most, namely in education. He designed an interactive project which helps schoolchildren understand the origins of the goods they consume. They will be tracking how the component parts of ginger beer come together into the finished product, speaking to farmers on webcams, visiting facilities and crucially taking delivery of a personalised bottle of the finished product. The last point is crucial because children appear to learn best when they have a stake in the subject matter.

Social media, with which most of them are familiar, can play a role in helping the next generation become the responsible consumers we're going to need if sustainable visions of our future are to be realised.