Thursday, April 08, 2010

Gladwell on Social Media

In a surprising splash of cold water, Malcolm Gladwell dispelled the anticipation and excitement of social media enthusiasts at the F5 Expo in Vancouver, BC. As a conference that converges interactive exhibits, peer idea-collaboration amongst fellow entrepreneurs and executives, and "edge-of-your-seat conferences into one explosive day," on topics such as mobile apps, search marketing, business blogs/webinars, social media, and web 2.0 . . . Gladwell came, and Gladwell left, with a debris of ideas for us to take home.

Gladwell took to the stage at a Vancouver conference on online technologies Wednesday to dismiss the opinion that social media will change our society. He believes that trust -- or the lack of it -- is the main reason why the social web offers weak connections rather than strong. While the Internet offers anonymity and a broad reach, it fails to deliver trust.

Intriguingly, he thinks social media is still in its experimental phase. For someone as observant and bright as Gladwell is, he certainly makes a good point. In the brief history of the internet, it builds something up up only for it to be toppled later. Perhaps Facebook is just a flavour of the month. The web is not a world that respects loyalties and longevity. . . Will Twitter?

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