Social facts are funny things. A fact is something that has really occurred or is actually the case. The usual test for a statement of fact is verification, that is whether it can be proven to correspond to experience. The funny thing about “social facts” is that the experiences people have with social is different than the experiences of organizations.
The Experience Creates New Facts
Social Facts about the dynamics of social technology on people’s interactive experiences centers on two questions.
- The first is, how do groups get anything done? Getting a group to accomplish anything means getting its members to set aside enough of their autonomy for the group to function as a relatively cohesive unit.
- The second question is, what effects does technology have on the way groups get things done?
We are in the middle of a revolution in the creation of group value. The ability to use new technologies, especially social technologies, are altering the way people, and organizations get things done. Those individuals who have experienced the collaborative power are learning to create brand new experiences that are changing how everything gets done. When people learn better ways to get things done it means that organizations have to learn or be satisfied with getting less done.
Many of the changes created by social technology are double-edged — the tools have the effect of making it much easier for people to learn how to get things done, but harder for established industries, institutions and organizations to adapt to the new way of getting things done.
The social fact is that the organizations haven’t experienced the new way in which people get things done. The organization thinks all things social are a new way of marketing rather than a new way of thinking how to get things done. The difference in thinking between the two is a matter of social fact.