As far as 2011 is concerned, there have been many world, economic, and political events that have shaped the first half of the year to be somewhat of a wild roller coaster. Behind all of the events is one common trait that has served as a notification system. Social Media. Social Media in 2011 has helped redefined the norms of communication, and more importantly, the way news is transferred through the world.
In (what now seems as the “old days”) of media, we would have to wait until the 6:00pm news, or the daily newspaper to read what was happening in the world. Today is a whole different story. All you have to do is have a Facebook and Twitter account to stay up to the date as news evolves.
In February, protestors trying to overthrow the Mubarak government used social media to broadcast to the world the events as they unfolded. The hashtag #egypt held all the news.
On March 11, 2011, a major earthquake sent a Tsunami at Japan, devastating the whole country, and nuclear reactors. There was a long-standing fear that the nuclear reactors would cause a leak, causing another intense wave of devastation. The Japanese power company created a Twitter account to keep followers up to date on the status of the plant. Social Media redefines the ways in which we communicate.
NBA star Shaquille O’Neal announced his retirement via Twitter. (Not the newspaper).
Recently, social media caused a whole heap of trouble for New York State Congressman Anthony Weiner (D, New York) when he allegedly sent crude photos via Twitter to other women. Congressman Weiner later declared his resignation.
Even more recent, a New York Times article surfaced discussing how social media helped cause conflict in Saudi Arabia. A woman posted a short film of herself driving through the city (breaking Saudi Arabian law). The government of Saudi Arabia ceased the video, obtained via YouTube, and arrested the woman. Her supporters quickly turned to Facebook and Twitter, to spread the news in protest.
People love social media, we go crazy over it! When LinkedIn had their IPO, they opened at $45 and traded as high as $120 per share! At that rate their market capitalization was greater than the U.S. GDP. More Social Media IPO’s are due out soon, and investors are gearing up for them.
Social Media is a powerful platform.