If social media is good for ‘Protesting’, why not for a city?
Considering the Arab Spring made good use of social media, now it appears that the infectious use of Twitter and Facebook et al is heading north into the colder climes of Russia. International – and some national figures – are commenting that this could be the beginnings of a Russian Spring.
Although, hardly on the same level, both have really begun to underline the growing reliance of using social media once again to empower a group or simply to shine light upon important issues.
Governmental bodies and national institutions are always caught on the back foot with these trends possibly because of the speed and agility that these trends often display. The consequences therefore are usually negative for those on the receiving end while the opposite is generally true for those organizing the protests.
However, looking at this from another angle, the reverse must also be true. Why can’t social media, or rather, why isn’t social media being pushed by city officials to encourage and promote their city on a popular front?
During the recent Le Web conference, Sean Parker stated that he believed the next American elections would be decided via social web networks. Evidence again, that this medium is only going to grow in influencing our choices and future directions from the online world to the real one.
Returning to the main question – each city has the capacity to engage its citizens within the daily grind of city life, since, after all, they are using the exact same technological tools that the people are using in the first place. As Parker concludes, it’s the level of engagement that counts and not the fancy side-steps used to entice people to vote Yes or No.
…to be continued.