Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Social Media: It Actually Works!


Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy...social media is so cool!  If you can't wait because you're as excited as I am, then you can just read Wired's article on Moldova's riots by clicking here.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, today Twitter was used for something far beyond Twitter's standard list of responses for the question, "Why use Twitter?"

In case you haven't visited Twitter's Why? page, the body of the page contains some information on why people should use Twitter.  These reasons include:
  • Eating soup?  Research shows that moms want to know.
  • Running late to a meeting?  Your co-workers might find that useful.
  • Partying?  Your friends may want to join you.
Although I'm honestly not sure if my Mom would care about my chicken noodle soup with a soda on the side or if I would consider Twitter to be the best way to communicate to my co-workers and the world at large I'm not making the meeting on time, it's a good thing Twitter's functionality is better than its description of why you should use it and its hotter than wasabi peas when you inhale wrong and your nose burns.

However, Twitter is now forgetting about one key thing that you can use Twitter for...you guessed it!  Inciting public disturbances, organizing flash mobs, and destroying government buildings by lighting things on fire and smashing windows.  THAT is a great reason to use Twitter.

No joke, Moldovans felt like the government fixed their most recent elections and organized demonstrations via Twitter and Facebook.  People tweeted from the heat of the action, updated and posted pictures or video to fellow Moldovans, and communicate to the world via a single computer.  

The amazing thing about the Moldovan Twitter fiasco is not that people revolted and broke things; we can just go to college campuses around the country for that.  The amazing thing is this is the practical and real-world demonstration of what social media offers people; an incredible voice to reach a mass audience and the opportunity to do it in real time.  On a mass scale, we can see how social media (when paired with a cause, belief, or idea people will believe in), has real-world power to organize, educate, and empower people to impact (or destruct) the world around them.

If only Josh and I could get our hangouts to be this well attended (and destructive)...


- Mama said knock you out -

Phil Jones


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