Saturday, October 2

Malcolm Gladwell on Social Media

Author Malcolm Gladwell on Twitter, Facebook, and social activism in the New Yorker:
[Social media] is simply a form of organizing which favors the weak-tie connections that give us access to information over the strong-tie connections that help us persevere in the face of danger. It shifts our energies from organizations that promote strategic and disciplined activity and toward those which promote resilience and adaptability. It makes it easier for activists to express themselves, and harder for that expression to have any impact. 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.
The Casual Optimist - Books, Design & Culture

This passage from Malcolm Gladwell, quoted in "The Casual Optimist Blog," is a refreshing change from the good/bad dichotomies that usually arise when discussing social media. (OK, a little good/bad. . . ). What do you think?


  1. I don't know if I necessary agree with him, but I understand where he's coming from. If you would have told me 10 yrs. ago the influence that social media would eventually have on our society I would have been suprise. But, now its the norm. It's an important part of most people life. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Very interesting excerpt--spot on observation, I think. And I agree.

    By the millions, We are getting our words out there--but is anybody reading them?

    It should be interesting to watch and see where this leads. Who will find a way to establish a new hierarchy among the ranks of social net-workers...