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What is Socialnomics' "World of Mouth"?

Carson Reider
Carson Reider / June 02, 2014

The way we live and how we interact have been transformed by social media.

You will find many astounding facts about how the world is changing in the video to the right (hi, desktop users!) or above (welcome, mobile folks!)

In his book, "Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business," Erik Qualman examines the global revolution that is "being enabled by social media."

Today, we'll discuss the prime factor accelerating this revolution, the premise that Word of Mouth has now gone World of Mouth.

World of Mouth

Socialnomics from Erik Qualman's "Socialnomics"

Geographic distances are no longer hindrances to conversation. In the old world of word of mouth, a few shortcomings existed:

  1. The spread of information can be slowed by individuals.
  2. The information can be altered like the grade-school game of Telephone.
  3. Some recipients may not know/trust the messenger.

Qualman believes social media buffs out these blemishes in the spread of information. Facebook status updates and tweets are pushed to friends' News Feeds and followers' Timelines, reaching a multitude of users in an instant. The speed and reach of a message in the digital age surpasses that of yesteryear. No Pony Express necessary for today's news cowboys.

Although Qualman writes that messages passed along digitally are "less likely to lose its original intent," we've uncovered that it can also foster misinformation. The information from the first message cannot be altered; however, retweets can be, so the imperfection is not entirely resolved, but it is dampened.

Trust is another see-saw issue in the kingdom of social media. While the identity of the message originator of a tweet or Facebook post can be easily discovered, trust does not automatically follow suit. Social networkers aren’t all trusting of others on these various sites.

Share Your Thoughts

Are the three imperfections of word of mouth Qualman describes accurate?

Are all three completely resolved in World of Mouth?

Let us know in the comments below!

Tagged With: Social Media