A final thought on that Osbaldeston Lecture. Then I promise I will move on to something else.
Social media is today’s contact sport and the sooner governments understand this new form of communication the better. What better way to let people know what is happening in your department or Ministry than by posting a blog or creating an interactive information site? How better to receive input and feedback on policies that are being developed or considered? If you question this approach, I beg you to visit a university or college campus and watch what students are focused on, how they process information, access data, and interpret their world. It will provide you with an up-dated definition of “contact”.
You don’t actually have to go to a university campus — rather, you only need to watch Michael Wesch’s classic “Vision of Students Today” video:
Of course, it’s not only about the students is it? Many (most?) people are now moving in this direction, focusing our attention on streams of content via social networks.
Example, in keeping with the Facebook mentions in the video: percentage-wise, what’s the fastest growing demographic on the world’s largest social network? Women over 55, followed by women 45-55 (U.S. data from October 2009). Overall, “nearly 50% of Facebook users in the US today are over 35.”
(Sorry no recent Canuck specific data, is it out there?)