Social Media Week 2011 – New York

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I’m a workaholic and I freely admit it so when I was on holiday destined for New York and discovered it was Social Media Week I thought ‘oooh, now, I am so going to that‘. I logged on (still in the airport and pre-flight at this point) I found a talk that I liked the look of and signed up. The fact it was hosted in the Google Science and Technology Centre was a bonus too.

The Event:

The Internet & Uprisings in the Arab World: Are We Already In A Post-Social Media World? Hosted by Wired

And the panel consisted of:

Moderator: John C Abell
New York Bureau Chief,

Susannah Vila
Director of Content and Outreach for

Adam Penenberg
AD of the Business and Economic Program at NYU

Micah Sifry
Co-founder and executive editor of the Personal Democracy Forum

The Content

The talk dealt mainly with the situation in Egypt just now along with discussing issues of privacy, access and how social media is enabling people to organise these types of events/demonstrations in a faster, further reaching way than before. It threw up some important questions such as:

  • Should Social Media platforms do more to protect their users?
  • What’s different this time (with Egypt) compared to say the Chinese revolution?
  • What part can Social Media can play in enabling demonstrations?

And the most important question that I was interested in:

What are we risking using social media?

Not the ‘I may lose my job if I call my boss a d*ckhead’ kind of worry but the worry over how secure data could be and how, in certain countries this risk could potentially be life threatening. For example, how easily could a users data be turned over to the governmental authorities if they requested it further down the line?

Think of Wikileaks and Twitter…Twitter recently contacted several account holders to let them know that they (Twitter) had been requested to give up account information (read more), Twitter claim it’s their “policy is to notify its users, where possible, of government requests for information” but it has to make you wonder how many other social media platforms may also have been asked and not felt it necessary to inform their users?

The content and questions raised certainly gave me food for thought (along with some ideas for future blogs) and I shall be blogging more once I have had time to mull it all over properly.

Social Media make us happy. Fact.

On a lighter note there was one particular fact that sprung out at me and that came from Adam Penenberg…He, through researching his new book, carried out a test on oxytocin levels (the cuddle hormone) and using Social Media. A blood test was taken before and then after using Social Media He found that oxytocin levels spiked by 13.2% after using Social Media which is on a par with a Groom at a wedding.

Average wedding = £12,000 v’s Twitter = £0… contest 😉

In those 10 minutes between blood batches one and two, my oxytocin levels spiked 13.2%. Meanwhile, stress hormones cortisol and ACTH went down 10.8% and 14.9%, respectively.

Read More

To see the chat from the day go to Twitter and use the #smwwired

Another article of interest on this topic is form the BBC

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