Like Apple, MicroSoft, and Google changed the way that we all live, so hasn’t the world of Social Media. People all over the world tweet, chat, facebook, video or share photos in ways that would not have been imaginable ten years ago. Social Media has had a profound impact on social, political, economical, and legal issues from Orlando, Florida (Casey Anthony) to natural disasters (Hurricane Irene, Japan’s earthquake and tsunami) to social and political unrest (Egypt, Lybia, and more!). So when Social Media Week announced their choices for top ten Social Media Events I thought I had the list down and well, a few of their choices surprised me.
1) The number one spot went to the uprisings in the Middle East. Social Media not only transformed and galvenized the citizens of these countries, but kept the rest of the world informed and put leaders on alert that there was a new type of revolution against tyranical governments and that is the Social Media Revolution.
2) The impact of Social Media on the events of the Japanes earthquake and tsunami was no surprise. Not only did it provide a window to the aftermath of an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and the subsequent tsunami, Tweets, videos, blogs and facebook group pages connected families with their loved ones.
3) Number three shocked me. I had actually forgotten about this event, but Social Media Week voted Julian Assange’s Wikileaks scandal as their third choice. While I have more than mixed emotions about the use of Social Media to potentially impact and put our troops at risk, I must admit that with out social media the age old debate over freedoms versus freedom of speech reached a new level and a new audience.
4) OK, number four should be no surpise to any one. The world watched and tweeted about the train wreck called Charlie Sheen. I resist using his catch phrase, but must admire his ability to capture the nation’s obsession with reality, tragedy, and celebrity. Charlie was able to amass one million twitter followers faster than any other “celebrity” before him. Now Demi Moore should take note that you can rise and fall just as fast with Social Media and stop tweeting naked pictures of herself, thank you!
5) I am embarrassed to even write this one, but number five is the man with the most unfortunate name and one who shouuld have remembered the lessons of the school yard with kids teasing him about having a name like Anthony Weiner. Honestly how could he think it was a good idea to tweet a picture of his, well … need I say more.
6) OK, I have to admit that I have absolutely no idea what this event is actually about, but Rebecca Black’s viral YouTube hit and subsequent backlash defines the new entertainment business model. After watching the YouTube video, I learned a few things about the power of Social Media to catapult someone to stardum, but Rebecca I knew that Saturday comes after Friday, but thanks!
7) Number seven is one that my friends and I witnessed first hand with our tiara wearing, champagne sipping royal wedding slumber party. My much younger friends spent as much time on their iPhones reading and posting tweets as they did eating the hand made scones my husband made to honor the event! In the days leading up to the event 70% of all social media mentions focused on the Royal Wedding.
8) I have been busy launching MyLocally.com, so I have to admit I was a bit behind on the news when my friend Steve facebooked about the riots in the UK. Note only did Social Media play an important part in informing the world, politicians blamed the violence on text messages, mobile devices, and instant messaging. So much so that they considered blocking access to social networking sites.
9) Hurrican Irene came in at number nine, with tweets on par with those about the tragedy in Japan.
10) Number ten isn’t a tweet or a post, but instead the recent offers, buy outs and ipos in the Social Media space; LivingSocial, Pandora, DealMaps, Groupon, Linkedin and more.
These top ten events only emphasize the importance of Social Media on today’s society.
The impact that Social Media has had on businesses is as large and I promise to write my next article on harnessing the power of Social Media for businesses.
Until then – I think I will tweet the world (OK, my measly 50 followers) that I am saying good night!