links for 2010-09-29

  • Peter Daou on a handful of lefty bloggers' influence over President Obama's sagging mojo: "When Robert Gibbs attacked the professional left he didn’t specify anyone by name, but the assumption was that it was cable personalities, disaffected interest groups, bloggers and online commenters. With each passing day, I’m beginning to realize that the crux of the problem for Obama is a handful of prominent progressive bloggers, among them Glenn Greenwald, John Aravosis, Digby, Marcy Wheeler and Jane Hamsher*."
  • Zeynep Tufekci in response to Gladwell: "One, the key issue facing activists who wish for real social change is the mismatch between the scale of our problems (global) and the natural scale of our sociality (local). This is a profound problem and more, not less, social media is almost certainly a key element of any solution. Second, the relationship between weak and strong ties is one of complementarity and support, not one of opposition."
  • Anil Dash on Gladwell – "I don't come to refute Gladwell's strawman argument. His point is that today's social networks are fundamentally unable to drive the sort of social change that fueled upheavals like the civil rights movement. I agree….The traditional method sit-in and picket-in-the-streets form of protest is clearly a failure online." But he adds: "it can empower a smaller group of coordinated activists to hone their message, cultivate their strategy, and then reach out to larger groups of potential followers."
  • Gladwell: "Boycotts and sit-ins and nonviolent confrontations—which were the weapons of choice for the civil-rights movement—are high-risk strategies." Well yeah, but he's setting up a false analogy – yeah, tons of slactivism about. But also movements that use the social tools well.
  • For some, Twitter is a social network and for others it is just a broadcast medium. Judging from the latest data from social media analytics and monitoring service Sysomos, for the majority of users, Twitter is indeed mostly a broadcast medium.
    (tags: Twitter)

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