As snow falls on much of the UK today – and with more predicted overnight – there are some fascinating uses of social media emerging. Those who say that Twitter is a waste of time should check out Ben Marsh’s snow map. Marsh has aggregated all tweets containing the hashtag ‘uksnow’, and their postcode, to make a real-time representation of where it is snowing, and how deeply.

Meanwhile, in Brighton, innovative residents have taken council information on where to find grit bins and placed them on a Google map: a kind of self-organized crowdsourcing which has improved on the resources available (possibly to the council’s embarrassment?).

A multitude of uses are being found for social media every day, and they are not all just airy-fairy projects. Some of them actually make life easier. While the two projects I’ve mentioned are altruistic ones with no profit involved, they do show the power of the crowd – and that, of course, can be harnessed for business purposes too. It’s just a matter of having a bright idea.