Saturday, April 9, 2011

There's more to social media than Facebook and Twitter!

I was at an international PD conference yesterday speaking on the "Role of global media and how strategic communication can strengthen Australia-India relations." This was at an international conference - "Public Diplomacy in Theory and Practice: Culture, Information and Interpretation in Australian-Indian Relations" - organized by the Alfred Deakins Research Institute, Australia and Rajdhani College, Delhi University, India. The conference is being sponsored by the Australia India institute and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India. 

During my talk, I emphasized the role of conversations in shaping perceptions today and the potential of social media. It was interesting to field lot of questions, after my talk, that bordered on cynicism towards social media and the sphere of influence of web enabled platforms. In this gathering of academics and policy wonks, what I could not help notice was that social media was broadly understood to be 'Facebook' and 'Twitter,' and, the limitations of the these two social networking platforms to influence and engage. 

Conversations in social media do not necessarily happen on these two platforms. There are numerous other areas where debates are being shaped, opinions formed and perceptions created. Simplest example, that comes to mind, is the space for reader's comments on news websites. This is where people take action on news, engage in debates and express opinions. Consider the article below that generated 477 comments on the issue of violence against Indians in Australia. This is The Economist and not even a newspaper from Australia or India. This is an example of social media enabled conversation that can shape perceptions. How do we manage such conversations?




Regrettable facts

Thuggery mars a burgeoning friendship

Australia and anti-Indian violence

See article

Readers' comments

Reader comments on this article are listed below. The 15-day commenting period for this article has expired and comments are no longer being accepted. Review our comments policy.

1-20 of 477

EliasX wrote:
Jun 18th 2009 4:48 GMT
The Economist, like other media, fails to mention what kind of Lebanese-Australians are apparently attacking Indians in Australia.
Officialdom calls this a “law-and-order” issue, and the Indian press rants about “racism” in Australia. No one, it seems, is asking what kind of Lebanese these assailants are.
Are they Christians? Or, more likely, are they Muslims? The Indians are mostly, one would assume, Hindus. Maybe this is a religious issue? Muslims, given Islamic tenets regarding polytheists and idolators, have a long, sordid, intolerant, and murderous history of “Hinduphobia.”




Suggestions/Critiques welcome.

-- Madhur
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...