Marketer of marketing and man with an afro, Malcom Gladwell, wrote an extensive piece for the New Yorker last October criticizing the importance of social networking when it comes to revolutions and things. He basically argued that the media gives websites like Facebook and Twitter way too much credit, but not even the illustrious trend forecaster could have predicted what would happen in Egypt. As of tonight, President Mubark is reportedly stepping down. UPDATE: Everyone from the people of Egypt to the news media got it wrong, he’s pretty much staying.
There’s no denying that Egyptians have utilized the internet to help organize the start of the unrest. By the time the government pulled the plug, it was too late. Sometimes that all it takes to accentuate real world action, so the author-lecturer might want to reconsider this:
The kind of activism associated with social media isn’t like this at all. The platforms of social media are built around weak ties. Twitter is a way of following (or being followed by) people you may never have met. Facebook is a tool for efficiently managing your acquaintances, for keeping up with the people you would not otherwise be able to stay in touch with. That’s why you can have a thousand “friends” on Facebook, as you never could in real life.
The best though is his closer: “Viva la revolution.” Indeed Mr. Gladwell, against your now defunct and already discredited bullshit theory.