Thursday, October 7, 2010

Today has been a day of meeting deadlines, having a clean desk, and time to blog at work again. Glorious. Also time to catch up on some online reading. Take a look at this article on social media in The New Yorker by Malcolm Gladwell--he has some good thoughts. Namely that Twitter, Blogger, and Facebook are not going to be revolutionizing anything of real importance, ever. I couldn't agree more.

He begins by telling the story of an inaugural lunch counter "sit-in" during the civil rights movement--and of the courage that such an act involved. It made a huge impact, and we see the effect of it still today. Strong ties motivate action. Weak ties seldom inspire anything beyond awareness and sympathy, and seldom bring about any kind of real change. Is social media capable of building strong ties? I like Gladwell's sensible approach of recognizing the value of social media, used in its proper place:
The instruments of social media are well suited to making the existing social order more efficient. They are not a natural enemy of the status quo. If you are of the opinion that all the world needs is a little buffing around the edges, this should not trouble you. But if you think that there are still lunch counters out there that need integrating it ought to give you pause.

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