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Social media is not a revolution but rather an opportunity

May 16, 2012

Malcolm Gladwell, in his article Small Change, Why the Revolution will not be Tweeted makes the point that it is not Twitter and Facebook that are the face of revolutions, but rather the people who are on the street in the flesh, fighting for their cause. While I agree that social media is not the revolution, I would have to say that it is an important part of it.  Information in this globally connected world is power.  Whether the people in Iran used Twitter to get their cause organized or not, does not take away from the fact that they likely knew that their cause would get a global audience through social media and that was an important part of their revolution – even if they weren’t successful in their own country, they likely knew that the information about what they were trying to do would reach a global audience.

As Clay Shirky says, “Behavior is motivation filtered through opportunity…and new technologies have, across the board, created new opportunities for people to DO things.”  The people of Iran were motivated through opportunity – the opportunity afforded by social media.

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