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How Will Social Media Change the World?

June 25, 2010

[tweetmeme]This week has been an uprecedented week in Australian politics. Not only was the most popular Prime Minister in Australian history ousted before the end of his first term, but importantly, he was replaced by our first female Prime Minister. Enough to give pause for thought.

Just as remarkable as these two events was both the speed and the public nature of this transition. Today’s Sydney Morning Herald has a really interesting article attributing much of the pace of the leadership change to Twitter. It’s well worth a read and hits the nail on the head as I experienced first hand the #spill tweets on the eve of the spill. In fact Twitter first alerted me to the fact that something was going on and was well ahead of the local TV channels.

What’s really interesting about this event is that the political parties were forced to move fast because of the very public reporting that was going on; they did not have the previous luxury of spending days canvassing for numbers and opinion. This is a huge and momentous change in the influence of social media; Twitter effectively drove our politicians to move fast. What are the ramifications of such influence?

If social media can “change the speed by which politics happens”, what else can it change?

Will it change the way we work – and how? Will it be the testament to our history? Will we be forced to act more on gut instinct rather than lengthy reflection? What do you think?

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