10 Ways to Change the World Through Social Media


10 Ways to Change the World Through Social Media
 May 12, 2009 by Max Gladwell

Our children will inherit a world profoundly changed by the combination of technology and humanity that is social media. They’ll take for granted that their voices can be heard and that a social movement can be launched from their laptop. And they’ll take for granted that they are connected and interconnected with hundreds of millions of people at any given moment.

What’s most profound is that these represent parts of a greater whole. They represent a shift in power from centralized institutions and organizations to the people they represent. It is the evolution of democracy by way of technology, and we are all better for it.

For most of us, social media has changed our lives in some meaningful way. Collectively it is changing the world for good. Given the pace of innovation and adoption, change has become a constant. Every so often we find the need to stop and reflect on its most recent and noteworthy developments, hence the following list.

Please note this is not a top 10 list, nor are these listed in any particular order. It’s also incomplete. So we ask that you add to this conversation in the comments. If you’d like to retweet this post or take the conversation to Twitter or FriendFeed, please use the hashtag #10Ways.

1. Take Social Actions

2. Twitter with a purpose

3. Visit White House 2.0

4. Choose your cause

5. Host a social media event

6. Travel the world

7. Build it on Drupal

8. Green your iPhone

9. Unite the world through video

10. Rate a company

11. Publish a collective, simultaneous blog post on a universal topic

Gladwell raises an interesting question. How can we use social media tools to make the world a better place? His blog post is a listing of how people are doing just that. He references how Obama and the White House have set a new standard for government use of social media tools, not only on the campaign trail but also when in office. Gladwell also includes links to various platforms that are using social media to help change the world such as Drupal, which Gladwell says “has emerged as the go-to platform for building scalable, community-driven websites.” Social media has also played a role in how companies are establishing and managing their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. Social media allows stakeholders a venue to monitor and discuss the validity and sincerity of these important initiatives.  I also feel like this concept ties into what we’ll be working on with the UN, as many of their programs are focused on making the world a better place. We might be able to use some of these concepts in helping to develop the UN social media platform.


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