We’re in the midst of some rather transformative times. Especially if you happen to live in the Middle East. Some are crediting Facebook and Twitter as key catalysts that helped to overthrow a 40-year dictatorship in Egypt. This phenomenon has spread throughout the Arab world from Yemen to Bahrain and is currently erupting in Libya. You can follow the revolution on Twitter.
And last year, we witnessed a revolution in Iran from our social media accounts. Marshall McLuhan believed that all media is transformative – that when you engage it, it changes you. Social media has indeed changed the flow of information to a more democratic forum – especially in more closed societies.
I believe that social media is having an effect on all our relationships. Will it ultimately change the world for the better? I hope so. But one thing I do know is I will not be watching CNN while it happens.
Tips for following events in social media:
- Check trending topics on Twitter.
- Create a column in Tweetdeck and use it to search a popular hashtag like #libia.
- Search YouTube for uploaded mobile video.
- Check Facebook for any pages that protesters are posting to.
Don’t assume that people who are not from your country spell the same way you do. Arabic words, especially, have many translations.
— Jimmy Gilmore, Senior Copywriter