Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Understanding Social Media Concepts

This is a really good post: It’s Not Twitter or Facebook, It’s the Power of the Network! In workshops that I give about social media I always try to stress the fact that the underlying concepts of social media are more important to understand than the (popular) tools like Twitter. The tools will come-and-go, but the underlying concepts are here to stay, in my opinion. And they'll continue to evolve as well.
The above-mentioned post underlines this as well, responding to the claims that Twitter etc have caused the turmoil in Tunesia, Egypt, etc. Some quotes from the post:
The real trigger for the uprisings, they argue, is simply the frustration of the oppressed Egyptian people — which is undoubtedly true. But it also seems clear that social media has played a key role in getting the word out, and in helping organizers plan their protests. In the end, it’s not about Twitter or Facebook: it’s about the power of real-time networked communication. (...)
But is anyone really arguing that Twitter and Facebook caused the revolutions in Tunisia or Egypt, or even the earlier public uprisings in Moldova or Iran for that matter? Maybe cyber-utopians somewhere are doing this, but I haven’t seen or heard of any. The argument I have tried to make is simply that they and other social media tools can be incredibly powerful, both for spreading the word — which can give moral or emotional support to others in a country, as well as generating external support — as well as for organizational purposes, thanks to the power of the network.
Keep this in mind the next time you talk and think about social media and change. I hope this helps!
Comments are welcome, as always!
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