Nailing 35 Theses to the Wall

As I mentioned yesterday, it was 492 years ago today that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. The official title was “Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” and its viral spread led to the Protestant Reformation that has had seismic effects in world culture for nearly five centuries, even though more Americans associate October 31 with goblins and overdosing on high fructose corn syrup than with theological and cultural revolutions.

Today I created a new page on SMUG on which I have posted my 35 Theses, entitled “Disputation of Chancellor Lee Aase on the Power and Efficacy of Social Media.” Instead of nailing them to the physical community bulletin board as Luther did, I’m posting them on the wall of a virtual university. And while Luther’s theses unintentionally sparked a revolution, mine have the goal of sparking discussion and disputation about a revolution that is already well underway.

The video I’m embedding below highlights the changes taking place in what it calls a Social Media Revolution:

I’ve seen several videos of this genre, but one thing I appreciate about this one (as opposed to the “Shift Happens” series) is that it focuses on what has already happened (which is amazing enough) instead of projecting things like “By 2049 a $1,000 computer will exceed the computing capabilities of the human race.” I also like this recent video, Did You Know 4.0…which only makes one really outlandish extrapolation at the end, but in that it was at least quoting someone.

So while the videos above provide support for Thesis #4Social Media are the third millennium’s defining communications trend — my 35 theses are more about describing the revolution than causing it.

What I do hope to accomplish, though, is to help health care organizations (and other risk-averse businesses and groups) understand that the social media revolution isn’t a fad, that it will affect them and — most importantly — that it can be immensely beneficial if they look for ways to take advantage of the opportunities inherent in social technologies.

I look forward to writing posts over the next month or so that will amplify and illustrate many of these theses, and to having others refine and improve them.

And since I only started with 35, there’s plenty of room for you to suggest more. We’ve got a long way to go to match Luther’s 95.

Let’s discuss!