Social media threats and opportunities highlighted
TWO stories have emerged over the last week that have served to highlight the debate over the potential - or limitations - of social media.
Firstly, last week Malcolm Gladwell – the writer for The New Yorker and best-selling author – wrote in a New York Times piece entitled "Why the revolution will not be tweeted" claiming that social media was very limited in relation to activism and that its effects on social change were greatly exaggerated.
This provoked a flurry of response – not least from Biz Stone, the founder of Twitter who said: "The real-time exchange of information — a service like Twitter — it would be absurd to think it's not complementary to activism. When it really comes down to it, it's not going to be technology that's going to be the agent of change. It's going to be people; it's going to be humanity."
Meanwhile in a second development, Gap last week was forced to rethink plans to freshen up its brand after 20 years. The brand’s Facebook group members had other ideas though, calling the new look “cheap”.
The company subsequently backtracked and announced it would hold a crowd sourcing exercise, giving the public a chance to submit designs for, and vote on, a new logo. Further reaction has meant that the firm has since backtracked again and announced they will be bringing back the blue box.
A contrite sounding Mark Hansen, president of Gap Brand North America, said: “We’ve been listening to and watching all of the comments this past week. We heard them say over and over again they are passionate about our blue box logo, and they want it back,” he said.
He added that Gap had “missed the opportunity to engage with the online community.”
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