Independent Thinking Blog

Jeff Pulver on Real Time, Rise of Voices

It’s Digital Capital Week (DC Week), which means 10 days of amazing content and collaboration focused on technology, innovation, and all things digital. This morning’s Media 2.0 events included a fabulous panel on “old media’s” embrace of new media tools and a keynote by Jeff Pulver on the real-time Internet.

Pulver’s remarks resonated with me less for what he said than for how he framed the conversation: around a flatter world where individual voices can make a difference. Among his key points:

1. There is a “Me the People” Revolution going on. Pulver noted that science fiction is filled with heroes who don’t know they have great powers until they discover them (think Dune or, my personal favorite, Babylon 5). Similarly, the real-time Web, and the influence we have within it, puts the power in our hands to change the world. “It’s what we do with that attention that matters,” said Pulver.

2. Now Media Moments are the new It.  Pulver cited Susan Boyle’s rise to prominence and the galvanized support for Haiti relief as examples of Now Media moment.

3. Flash Money (via SMS technology) is changing the philanthropic landscape, as short code donations begin to change the way we give (and the way we can respond in an emergency).

Pulver used the analogy of ham radio to describe how social media offers opportunities for strangers to connect. He also talked about the “rise of voices,” and the fact that the real-time Web offers “an open frequency for each of us to connect and affect change.”

Because “sometimes it’s not the money but the voice that counts,” Pulver announced that he is launching a new online platform that gives users the opportunity to donate their tweets. Check out JustCoz, which is designed to raise awareness about good works. The early adopters include one of my favorite charitable organizations, Medicins Sans Frontieres.

Photo by Sub-Urban (Flickr).

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