March 6, 2011

I’m indebted to Professor Stephen Coleman of the University of Leeds who posted a response on DoWire to a statement by the owner Steven Clift about Facebook.

Stephen argued that: “Facebook is the vogue space right now, as Myspace was before it. These things change. And, of course, in some countries (notably China and India) Facebook is not the most obvious space for government-hosted discussions.

The wider question of whether the Facebook model, based on weak ties between relatively small groups, is the best one for civic engagement is worth reflecting upon. Given the homophilic nature of most online discussion, and the heterophilic nature of democratic citizenship, friends’ networks might not be the most promising avenue for civic deliberation.”

This has to be one of the better rationales for government not to getting too hung up over any particular social medium as a method of engaging citizens. Apart from the fact that the social media are in a constant state of flux, they are largely there for people with similar opinions, so one instance of anti-government propaganda is likely to result in a deluge!

As a fan of the American poet Allen Ginsberg’s epic poem ‘Howl’, I found this You Tube video on social media amusing. It may be to others?