Social media & world events

A number of people keep telling me that social media cannot save the world. Maybe not, but what a pessimistic thing to say anyway? There has actually been a lot of media recently that points strongly to the ways people are actually using social media such as Facebook, blogs and now Twitter to make or influence significant social change. Last night on the ABC’s 7.30 Report I heard that the US Government has asked Twitter to not take itself off the air for regular system maintenance in case the link to what is happening in Tehran is lost. All other forms of media from Tehran are now being suppressed.
I think librarians need to better understand these social media tools in order to make the best use of them and to understand how our clients are using some of them, in our world. It is therefore wise to spend 17 minutes either watching or just listening to Professor Clay Shirky explaining social media to the US State Department (this month) on ted.com:
Clay Shirky’s recent video on ted.com
And if you are further interested in the Q&A that happened afterwards, specifically about Iran, you can read that transcript here:
Q&A Transcript – Clay Shirky on Twitter & Iran

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