Malcolm Gladwell

The revolution will not be socialised, says Malcolm Gladwell. He’s wrong.

Malcolm GladwellLast week the author Malcolm Gladwell poured cold water on the idea that revolution could be instigated by social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

He centres his argument around the American civil rights movement, claiming that the strong bonds forged offline were required to spark action in the streets, where millions ultimately gathered in the 60s to protest against segregation and oppression. Social media, by contrast, forges only “weak ties”, says Gladwell. Not the kind of bonds required to make a difference where it really counts.

I think he’s completely missing the point. Martin Luther King’s status updates and tweets would have helped to spread awareness quickly, encouraging activism, had Facebook and Twitter been available in his day. You can bet your life he’d have used them to spread word. 

A connected world cannot be a bad thing for change, in whatever form it takes.

Gladwell: entrepreneurs are predators, not risk-takers

Malcolm Gladwell has a knack for distilling interesting observations and drawing bold conclusions.

He’s at it again in a fresh New Yorker piece. In it, Gladwell argues that
successful entrepreneurs aren’t really the prolific risk-takers they’re made out to be. What are they?
They’re predators who pinpoint opportunity and swoop in just when the time is right.

The economics of free web content

It is the hot topic in media circles: should news organisations give away their content on the web for free? This week saw a few posts by influential bloggers and media commenters on the subject. Here’s a round-up.