Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Malcolm Gladwell: Why the next revolution won't be tweeted

Just yesterday, I was browsing an older Malcolm Gladwell article on the fragility of things. This morning, I saw this new article in the New Yorker on why social network sites won't trigger the next revolution.

He makes an interesting point. High-risk activism which is required to establish the nucleus of a revolution orginates from strong-ties - friends we can depend on, as opposed to the weak-ties that social media specialize in.

Interesting read.


milieu said...

I don't understand what is the point of this kind of study? "why the next revolution won't be triggered by social networks". I don't see the benefit of reading Malcolm Gladwell's ideas on this issue. Because if he is right, nothing changes in the world. On the other hand, the next big thing that will change the world will be already occuring somewhere. Once it happens, all the Malcolm Gladwells in the world will try to find some interesting anecdotes to sell their piece.

Sachin Shanbhag said...

I think if you read the article you'll realize why he may be making that claim. Many people, in his opinion, wrongly attribute twitter/facebook for some of the rebellion in iran and elsewhere. while i don't necessarily agree with him, i find him to be an entertaining writer. He also wrote this best-seller called the Tipping point, which looks at some related issues and comes off as somebody who may have thought deeply about these issues. (

Why the is the use of this? I don't know. But are only useful things valuable? Sometimes, insight is a valuable goal in itself, don't you think?

milieu said...

Totally agree with your points above. And I totally agree that Gladwell is an entertaining writer. I confess that I have not read this article.

But his felicity with story telling also creates problem.

If you are really interested, then i urge you to check out this podcast where part of his logical inconsistencies are displayed and laid bare (albeit in a very gentle fashion) by his converstation partner.

Sachin Shanbhag said...

i listened to that podcast you linked: this was the first time i heard him speak. he doesn't really comes off, at least on that piece (and more generally perhaps), as some one who is cold and objective, and seems perhaps over-eager to see patterns that tell a story.

thanks for the link. i thought the interviewer was very skilled - made his point without coming off as overbearing.