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The revolution will not be televised, but it might be tweeted!

One of the most profound and significant aspects of the impact of social media is its democratising power. Whilst that typically has political connotations, it is meant here in the broader sense of empowerment and engagement. The current furore surrounding super injunctions and the role of social media in challenging them is one of the more celebrated manifestations of that and, regardless of the rights and wrongs of the particular case, it stands as testament to the fact that traditional gate keeping institutions, structures and individuals are finding their position challenged by the coming together of the engaged social media mind set and technical tools that empower it.

The fact that an impromptu summit is being gathered by President Sarkozy is perhaps an indication of how concerned the institutional classes are becoming, and perhaps also indicative of how little they understand the social media mind set. Whilst it might be understandable for the traditional reaction is to pull together the apparent leaders of the revolution in form of representatives of some of the more visible applications, Facebook, Google et al. to bring about some top down negotiated settlement it actually demonstrates a misunderstanding of what is happening. This is very much a bottom up revolution and the applications will come and go, but the engaged and liberated mindset will remain.

It is ironic that the institutions most discomfited by the turbulence arriving on their shores will be the same ones that applaud the unifying and anti-establishment power of social media in the Arab Spring and rail against the attempted restriction and censorship of powers like China who still are sufficiently closed to bring about an element of control.

Democratising power is not just a political issue, it is about engagement of tribes in many arenas that have traditionally had constrained access either by design or intent. This is why the social media mindset is having impact in economy, society and culture. Traditional approaches in such a globalised and connected world are increasingly redundant, just as Taylorist top down management structures are crumbling.

To realise value and benefit from social media one must first understand the mindset that underpins it and to recognise this as an opportunity. To grasp that opportunity requires both understanding and action to change and evolve with it.

twintangibles helps organisations understand social media and manage the change needed to generate value from the social media mindset.

Social Media Week Glasgow in September of this year will be an opportunity to demonstrate just how wide and deep those changes go and just how engaged Glasgow and Scotland is with the advent of the crowd.

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