In the spirit of the New Media University metaphor, we've now graduated and are pursuing advanced learning, the same way we would seek to earn an MBA in continuing education.
As you may or may not know, I'm a big believer in, and also forever a student of, the "social" aspects of new media. I've dedicated a significant amount of time to studying the sociology behind the technology, as well as the implications of technology in society and how we interact with one another, knowingly and unintentionally. Indeed, I believe the implications are much bigger than we think or initially imagine. In many cases, the promise and potential of online sociology are still greatly underestimated.
The staggering adoption numbers accumulated and widely circulated around the Social Web both document and bring to light a veritable quantum shift in how we communicate, behave, and socialize. We are vociferously and decisively empowering a new genre of digital extroverts, encouraged and reaffirmed by what I playfully refer to as "The Verizon Network"—the armada of virtual friends and peers who journey with us as we traverse online and offline. Perhaps this is more accurately defined as a personal support system or quite possibly a socialized ego-system that champions free thought and speech, while instilling confidence and self-esteem with every comment, retweet, reaction, and connection we earn.
This observation ...