If the power of blogging and social media has not completely resonated with you yet, maybe this story will convince you the personalised media revolution we currently find ourselves in is for real (and it ain't going anywhere soon).
It's the story of nine-year-old Martha Payne, from Argyll in Scotland.
According to this BBC report, Martha began publishing photographs of her Lochgilphead Primary School lunches on her NeverSeconds blog. She gave each meal a 'food-o-meter' and health rating, and commented on its taste.
But when the local council banned photography in her school's cafeteria, her popular blogging project all but came to a standstill.
In this post - poignantly titled 'Goodbye' - Martha wrote:
"This morning in maths I got taken out of class by my head teacher and taken to her office. I was told that I could not take any more photos of my school dinners because of a headline in a newspaper today.
"I only write my blog not newspapers and I am sad I am no longer allowed to take photos. I will miss sharing and rating my school dinners and I’ll miss seeing the dinners you send me too. I don’t think I will be able to finish raising enough money for a kitchen for Mary’s Meals either."
(Her dad, Dave, added: "It is a shame that a blog that today went through 2 million hits, which has inspired debates at home and abroad and raised nearly £2000 for charity is forced to end.").
Two million hits (within no time this figure had reached FIVE million!) - how good is that? The above post also attracted some 2370 comments (at time of writing).
So what can companies and organisations learn from young Martha?
- Ban someone from blogging (or at least try to) at your peril - if public pressure from the social web is applied, it will come thick and fast, especially if you've got someone like Jamie Oliver in your corner, as Martha had.
- Embrace bloggers and content creators - they're passionate storytellers who have the ability to cultivate an audience with their words, pictures and ideas - no matter what their age!
- Blogging is not difficult if you have enthusiasm and a passion for a particular subject or topic; CEOs and other senior executives (plus inhouse experts) should look at blogging as a tremendous opportunity to engage people with stories and ideas that inspire, inform and/or entertain.
UPDATE: According to a BBC report, school kitchen is to be built in Malawi and named in honour of Martha Payne.