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Turbulance, Transformation, Participation, and Adaptation


Independent investor Andy Nyquist muses on social media in the Information Age.

Welcome to the Information Age, where word travels fast… real fast. Where we can track news from many media outlets and across many different people watching those outlets on social media (i.e. Twitter). And everyone from the traditional news media to your Twitter "follow," your Facebook (FB) "friend," and your LinkedIn (LNKD) "connection" are ready to share and inform.

This truly is a transformational time. In just 10 years, we have gone from a limited Internet and email world, to one of interconnected instant communication and messaging. And one where we have a personal platform with access to just about anyone!

As expected, there are benefits and drawbacks with any period of "change."

One benefit is that it fleshes out the news right away and works to hold public entities, figures, and markets accountable for their actions.

A drawback is that people react… fast. And they tend to coalesce around an idea or opinion quickly and run with it. This has been problematic for the financial markets, especially as we are also enduring a period where social mood is shifting against public debt and government reach. Just look at the past two sovereign debt flare-ups (last summer/fall and this spring/current) and the corresponding stealth drop in the S&P 500 (SPY).

To further emphasize my points on the Information Age, I'm including some of my tweets on the subject from May 5:
  • The way in which we gather and disseminate information is changing before our eyes.
  • The Information Age will strengthen the creative process by placing value on individual intellectual property. ie social media.
  • I think good ideas & passion are key. We're in 1st inning of Information Age.. will cont to level out. Great opportunity 4 all.
  • Will be bumpy for awhile but the individual will have an opportunity to rise regardless... similar to that of a good stock in avg market.
  • IMO, the Information Age will further illuminate the power of the individual and lessen that of the nation state.
  • The transition to the Information Age will continue to cause bouts of turbulence as economists/economic models try to figure it out.
As people adapt to the new speed and flow of information, I believe we will see a more level economic landscape. The importance of race, gender, origin, and ethnicity will fade away and matter very little over time. And further, each of us will be able to use personalized social technology to promote our ideas, opinions, businesses, and intellectual capital.

The turbulence will be around while the transformation is underway. My recommendation: Buckle your seat belt and open your mind to participation and adaptation.

Editor's Note: Andrew Nyquist is an independent investor based in the Minneapolis area. This article originally appeared on his investing and economics site, See It Market.

Twitter: @andrewnyquist
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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