I’ve found Twitter invaluable in obtaining the information I really need, and in a timely manner.
One aspect of social media that I’m finding very fascinating is the alternative economy that is springing up. I’m seeing concert series, such as w00tstock, selling out just from retweets, without a dollar spent on advertising. (In fact, every concert I’ve gone to this year has been unadvertised and some of the audiences have been huge!) Products, services, and events are finding instant and widespread markets, if individuals think them compelling enough. It’s side-stepping conventional advertising.
People are circumventing traditional monopolies, such as Ticket Master, to sell their events. They are using third party manufacturers, such as Cafe Press or Jinx, to develop, sell, and ship their branded products. They are essentially creating a more grass-roots way of making a buck. There are a lot of dollars to be made this way, too, and for very little cost.
On a completely unrelated note, I’ve learned that, according to the American Farmland Trust, Farmer’s markets have increased by 16% since last year. Sixteen percent! That’s incredible. There are now 6132 farmer’s markets throughout the United States.