How Social Media Can Make History

Clay Shirky book cover

Clay Shirky's latest book is "Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age"

In the latest in my series of Wade’s Favorite Ted Talks, Clay Shirky, a writer, professor, and consultant, delivered the following embedded presentation to the US State Department regarding the transformed media landscape.

According to Shirky, whose consulting firm develops decentralized technologies such as wireless networks and peer-to-peer, what matters in today’s communication “is not technical capital…it is social capital.” He continues that it “isn’t when shiny, new tools show up that their uses start permeating society. It is when everybody is able to take them for granted” that they become truly useful.

This is exactly where I believe we are with this WordPress newsletter. Our idea was to bring dynamic content to OIT and foster more discussion and communication through better social media tools. As yet, we are barely utilizing the social media aspects of our shiny, new Scholarblog after three months and over 80 articles. Although our readership has returned to the levels we achieved from our previous Cascade-based offering, we are still learning how to use all of the bells and whistles of WordPress.

As Shirky notes, the power of social media turns us simultaneously into consumers AND producers of information. Therefore, as you watch this fascinating look into the power of social media, think about ways you can use the media buttons that line the top of all of our articles or about the comments you can exchange with every author.

Then tweet this article.


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