October 4th, 2010 By Jack Morton
If you have missed Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker article about social activism and social media, it is definitely worth a read » http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell
What’s most fascinating is the debate taking place in response to Gladwell’s article. My own personal view: Gladwell is right.
Yes, there is a level of engagement and commitment that’s required for people to band together to achieve substantial social change. Engagement and commitment are easy to gloss over when “action” is reduced to a transactional gesture alone. Yes, social media dramatically enhances social activism as a tool — but it’s not a substitute for actual engagement and commitment.
He’s not saying anything so original, so mind-blowing, yet given his guru status in the sphere of high-thinky commercial communication and business — apparently some feel betrayed (a colleague described it as the “anti-Twitter article”… it’s hardly that). Check out some of the response » http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2010/09/29/can-twitter-lead-people-to-the-streets/reaching-and-persuading-the-masses