Tonight I’ve been invited to give a short (10-15 minute) talk on social media and how it’s changing the world. The venue is a small discussion group which a friend and neighbor of mine is a member of. The members are mainly in their sixties and none of them have used Facebook or Twitter, though I think they all use email. So an interesting challenge to convey what social media is all about starting completely from scratch!

I’d be interested in any links, stories or ideas you have on things I might include. My current rough outline is as follows:

What is social media? I think there are two key things:

  • It’s super easy for anyone to publish information (text, photos,videos) that can be seen by almost anyone in the world
  • There are mechanisms for finding / publicizing items of interest (one being search, including twitter hashtags and Google), another being “social recommendations” – what do my twitter or Facebook friends find interesting?

Give very brief demos of a few systems – certainly Facebook and twitter, maybe my blog, LinkedIn, Flickr. Will include youtube below.

Give some brief examples of where social media has made a difference:

  • Friendship: I am a lot more connected to my various friends around the world, and have reconnected with many old friends I had lost touch with
  • Entertainment: Susan Boyle
  • Business: “United breaks guitars” video
  • Elections: the Obama campaign’s use of social media
  • Revolutions: Egypt, Libya
  • News: China earthquake

Any ideas / comments welcome!