Here's something mind boggling: Three of the technologies that have changed how the world communicates are only about 10 years old. Facebook, which now has more than 1.3 billion monthly active users, was started in 2004. YouTube, with more than 1 billion users a month, was started a year later. And Twitter, which now has more than 500 million tweets posted daily, is the baby of the three, launched in 2006.
Two weeks ago I participated in a roundtable discussion of foundation CEOs as part of the annual conference of the Communications Network, an organization devoted to helping foundations and nonprofits use communications to create change.
The theme of this year's conference was "Making Ideas Move," and the panelists agreed that organizations that commission research and promote ideas must expand beyond the usual channels they've traditionally used to reach audiences if they hope to achieve measurable impact. This requires us to adapt to new ways that people seek and consume information — on smartphones and through social networks, both online and in person.