One of my favorite features in a web application is Demand It! from Eventful. The concept is simple but powerful (the best kind). Users demand events, movies, concerts, etc and if they can rally enough demands, they get the events to come to their location. This puts the decision about where a touring event goes into the hands of the fans and reduces the power of the concert organizers.
Eventful founder Brian Dear told me:
I remember US bands shocked to discover they had throngs of fans in distant places like Finland and Uruguay and Japan, and so they'd go tour there because it turned out their Demand it! numbers in those places were big enough to get gigs that would be profitable.
There are signs that this type of fan behavior is spreading to the large scale social networks and I think that's a good thing. AVC community member Tyrone Rubin recently told me about a Facebook effort to get Radiohead to play a concert in South Africa, a country they have never performed in. To date they have almost 6,000 south african fans requesting a Radiohead concert. Their goal is to get 40,000 fans to make that request.
I asked Tyrone about the broader significance of this effort. He said:
For me its the objective of success. And if we successfully do this,
by bypassing the top 3 concert organizers, hopefully South Africa and
Africa can start coming together like this for other things too.
Unifying people together for one strong centralized voice is not new,
but definitely new in Africa and South Africa.
With the Facebook IPO on everyone's mind, the topic du jour seems to be valuations, revenues, and profits. But the most impactful thing about social media is not the dollar value of these platforms, it is the people power of them.