If I Had My Way
From: Doug Skoglund - email@example.com
Date: Monday, September 6, 2010 10:00 am CDT
Subject: Social Media
The headline under your picture on the Washington Post Outline & Opinions Page says:
Facebook is our best hope for peace
...while the title of your column says:
Facebook and social media offer the potential of peace
...the first headline should have been:
Social Media is our best hope for peace
The distinction that I am trying to make is that the inclusion of a particular approach (Facebook) puts your column into the middle of a competitive fray -- while Social Media is a generalized term for a non-competitive (cooperative) process.
I would like to try and clarify the situation in an attempt to answer the following (your words):
We seem to understand the opportunities social networking provides for commercial and political purposes. Barack Obama is president in no small part because of the grass-roots facility of social media. That same power can be harnessed for peace. In fact, it is happening under our noses.
As a matter of fact -- we should be strategic about it -- and that strategy needs to begin with an understanding of the problem and what we are trying to accomplish.
Obviously, I can't be comprehensive in a simple e-mail, nor can you in a simple column -- we are talking about a potential book here. Be that as it may, let's try for some clarification -- may we fill in the details over time.
Life is a cooperative venture -- not a competitive game. Democracy, as defined in the Constitution of the United States, is a cooperative process, where people work cooperatively to develop a consensus (I hate the word, compromise) followed by a vote to resolve final differences. The forces of evil (or whatever you might like to call them) have turned the whole thing into a competitive game -- for selfish reasons (it pays -- handsomely).
And so -- our frame for discussion has changed. The battle is no longer Republicans vs. Democrats or Conservatives vs. Liberals -- it has become Competitors vs. Cooperators. And since the winners are winning the task of conversion will be much more formidable -- we need to turn the cooperators into winners (at the ballot box, at least).
And, Ms. Parker, I have some additional ideas that I would like to discuss, at your convenience. The answer lies in a proliferation of social medias.
In hopes of exciting some discussion I am posting this page on the following web sites.
Thanks for your time,
Doug Skoglund - firstname.lastname@example.org