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A Shared World

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Facebook's IPO is this week. For better or for worse, social media has created a shared world. Everything that everyone does is increasingly online and mobile and shareable by all. In real-time.

That is both the good news and the bad news. Everyone has a voice, but it's getting really noisy out there. Too much head-spinning information creates a blur. The risk is we have more information but actually know less.

But wait. Take a view through the Now-Lens: As a connected global society, we are sharing opinions, reviews, thoughts, and movements with one another all day, every day. That in itself is remarkable. I call it the global brain. It represents a new form of openness that transcends media, politics, and boundaries and can serve as a powerful search engine, a breaking news blaster, and an early warning system.

The global voices of today demonstrate that static, centralized broadcast one-way messaging is a thing of the past. Now it is two-way, three-way, one-to-many, and viral for millions. The concept of "a friend tells a friend, and then that person tells another friend, and so on and so on" has truly come to pass -- locally, regionally, and globally.

As a flock of migrating birds are held together by an unseen glue that tells them where to turn, dip, and fly, real-time conversations are flowing in the ether and cannon be physically contained.

This is our collective intelligence. As the body of metadata continues to grow, it is becoming even more meaningful and intelligent, giving life to this dynamic global brain, and available to all.

We find ourselves at a pivotal moment in history in which real-time sentiment and conversation are the new currency and the ground is shifting beneath our feet. Education, medicine, government, business are all in fundamental transformation. This is exciting.

More important than a pair of three-dimensional glasses, the real-time Now Lens with social media in its crosshairs has the attention of the most sophisticated minds on the planet, which want to harness this collective intelligence for real-time advantage.

Don't worry. Human resilience is an amazing thing to behold. Problem-solving and innovation is in the collective hands of humanity and the journey is the reward.

Beverly Macy is the CEO of Gravity Summit and co-author of the best-seller The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing. She teaches Executive Global Marketing and Branding and Social Media Marketing for the UCLA Extension. Follow her on Twitter @beverlymacy or email her at

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