How Will Social Media Make History

24 10 2009

Clay Shirky manages to picture and explain the impact of the Internet on our social structures in easy words and with compelling examples.

  • Internet is the first platform that allows both group-building/management & conversation.
  • Media that is good at creating conversations (e.g. phone) is no good at creating groups; media that’s good at creating groups is no good at creating conversations. The Internet is the first medium that has native support for groups and conversations at the same time.
  • The Internet also becomes the main carrier for all other media. Never thought about it like this before but it makes complete sense. The Internet is also a Meta Medium.
  • As for now consumers become producer, but I like Clay’s analogy on this one: “It is as if you bought a book, they threw in the printing press for free”.
  • Using the last big Chinese earthquake as an example, he demonstrates why in a new media landscape, where the news is not only produced by so called “professionals” it will become increasingly difficult for countries to censor the Internet. Media is produced locally, quickly, by amateurs and at an incredible abundance, which makes it practically uncontrollable.
  • Times of classic sender and receiver models are over, we are increasingly in an environment where media is global, social, ubiquitous and cheap.
  • Convene your supporters, don’t control them and never try to hide conversation, e.g. delete negative replies. They happen whether you like it or not. So deal with them appropriately.
  • Media is less sending a message to an individual, but about creating an environment for convening and supporting groups. Well, I guess that sums it up nicely. I couldn’t agree more.



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