Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Hillary Clinton's speech and social media
As I was sitting, listening intently to Hillary Clinton's speech Friday at Hamilton College, I was surprised to hear her mention the use of social media! Perhaps it is just because social media in government is on my radar these days, but more than anything, it struck me that she was not mentioning social media in the context of her own political career, but rather as a catalyst and a tool for change in the larger global community. The mention came in her response to a student question about the Arab Spring and the direction that Former Secretary Of State Clinton thought the movement was going. She suggested that the Arab Spring is just beginning and similar to many other similar movements its power comes from the ground up. Essentially, Clinton conveyed in her response the idea that the ability of social media not only to disseminate ideas and information, but also to connect people could play a large part in the forward movement of the Arab Spring. I think we saw this in our own country most recently with Occupy Wall Street. People increasingly see social media as a serious tool not only for government officials or nonprofit leaders to connect with their constituencies and clients respectively, but also as a tool for activating social change. In the season of midterms, it is easy to get bogged down in studying and in the minutiae of classes. Fmr. Sec. Clinton's speech brought out the immediacy and the real-world application of what we are learning in Social Media in Governance. It was refreshing and inspiring!