Interesting NYT story on the cotinuing explosion of social media across the Middle East:
The use of social media exploded during the Arab Spring as people turned to cyberspace to express themselves. On the back of that, social media networks, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, have moved into the region commercially, setting up offices to sell advertising products to companies like Mobily, which has over 200,000 Twitter followers, to capitalize on the growing audience.
“In Saudi, social media gets everyone talking to everyone, which is something we just don’t have in the streets here,” said Muna AbuSulayman, a Saudi development consultant and formerly a popular television talk show host, who has over 100,000 followers on Twitter.
“It’s a unique opportunity that lets people have conversations in a boundary-less way that wasn’t possible before,” Ms. AbuSulayman said. “In addition to promoting social and political discussion, it carries a powerful economic incentive for businesses, too.”
Well, you know what the experts say:
- The Arab Spring failed - turned to a terrible winter.
- Globalization is on the retreat- everywhere.
- Connectivity is oversold; it doesn't really change all that much.
- Authoritarianism is resurgent.
- We lost the Middle East, thank you very much.
What's odd to me? People have no sense of patience anymore and reach for the fatalism in a heartbeat. Meanwhile, everything is moving at such a fantastically high speed in terms of positive change.