Tech UPTechnologyWill social media change the world?

Will social media change the world?

emtech2012The technological revolution that is taking place at the moment and the one that is coming are characterized, above all, becauseoffer individuals the power to change things. This is what Rahaf Harfoush, expert in digital innovation strategy and author of the book, proposedArchiTectsin the session “Social networks, the engine of collaborative action” at EmTech Spain 2012, the conference on emerging technologies that for the second consecutive year has been organized by MIT in Spain. “We are all technological architects: we can use technology to build and rebuild the world around us,” he added. Examples are not lacking: the success of the People’s University in the educational field, platforms such as Etsy or Innocentive that allow anyone to become a manufacturer or manager of their own company, examples ofcrowdsourcingfor scientific and cultural projects, health initiatives such as Global Safety that allows anyone in the world to check whether a drug is safe or not – and that has prevented 700,000 deaths, despite the fact that it was created by a single person -, projects like allowed certain subjects to participate in the reform of the Icelandic Constitution through Facebook, etc. “

Technology mobilizes us and amplifies all the good that we are capable of doing, but also the bad ,? concluded Harfoush, who is also convinced that“When individuals come together through the Internet they can bring about something completely new,”as happened with “El Indignado”, a “faceless figure” that emerged from the social mobilizations in Libya, Syria and Egypt, but also in Athens, London, Madrid and New York, and that became the cover of the magazineTimeas? character of the year 2011 ?. “Social networks favor global communication in a more effective way than we have seen at any other time in history,” qualified the expert, who was one of the strategists of Barack Obama’s online campaign for the 2008 elections. Dynamics such as crowdsourcing and gamification – he continues – may in the future be tools with which to face natural disasters or other social emergencies.

The Internet is more than the sum of Internet users

That the Network has more value than the sum of the people that make it up is something that the Spanish physicist Esteban Moro has also verified, winner of the IBM “Shared University Award” for modeling the dissemination of information on social networks and its application to viral marketing. In the conference, Moro assured “that the way in which we connect is already a value in itself”. Or put another way, the Network is dynamic.

However, it must be borne in mind that not all individuals have the same weight in social networks. In this sense, the researcher at the Carlos III University of Madrid highlights the role of people who function as connectors and who receive information about news before the rest of the users, so they can function as “sensors” of social networks . and be monitored by computer to, for example, predict a new Twitter hashtag a week in advance, as Esteban Moro himself has managed to do.

Regarding the question of whether we can use social networks to mobilize people , for the researcher there is no doubt that the answer is yes. In a recent experiment, he showed that social media can completely cover the United States to find any object within 24 hours.


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