Everything you need to know about communicating in the Interactive Age (part 2)

No matter how creative you are, no matter hard you work you will never get more attention than a video of a cat stuck in a hamster ball. Let that one sink in. The exploding cigar moments that signaled the end of the old way of communicating were just one-half of the painful transition for the movers and shakers of the 20th century.

Young people were now using the Internet to rally the masses for causes they cared about. And they weren't running it by legal.

Anthony Hardwick, a part-time cart jockey at a Target store in Omaha, got over 200,000 signatures on his online petition demanding that Target not open their stores on Thanksgiving night just to get a jump on “black Friday.”

And Molly Katchpole—a part-time nanny who launched a petition drive against Bank of America for charging people $5 a month to use their own debit cards—not only got hundreds of thousands of people to support her cause, she got BofA to back down and drop the monthly fee.

These two kids were among thousands of social-media savvy activists, musicians, writers, videographers, artists and muckrakers who are redefining what it means to inspire, to encourage, to lead. In short, they are redefining how we communicate.

Now, as you can imagine, to a lot of people (mostly those over 40) things were changing much too fast.

  • Teenagers are becoming millionaires overnight by selling programs that they don’t even understand.
  • A video of a cat stuck in a hamster ball is getting more views than everything they’ve ever posted—or ever will.
  • Their communication efforts keep getting less and less effective making them feel like strangers in their own land.

These people are struggling to remain firmly rooted in the 20th century where they understand the customs and the language.

But their fears are misplaced. The 20th century wasn’t the norm. It was the anomaly.

Up next: What the hell is he talking about?