image source: treycopeland.com

i have to say this right up front: malcolm gladwell is my boy. i’ve read his books, i’ve watched his talks, and i’ve read his other pieces in the new yorker (his article on concussions in football is a must-read). so, with that being said, it pains me to say this but i think gladwell was wrong in his assumptions about the inability of twitter and facebook to rally people around an idea to promote social change.

in his recent article for the new yorker, gladwell states: “the revolution will not be tweeted”. i say, if the revolution will not be tweeted, ask gap how their new logo redesign efforts went.

now i know that malcolm gladwell is talking specifically about socialactivism more so than he is about anything else.he even mentions that social media can be used quite well for other situations that don’t really require people to risk much of themselves in order to do it. but if that alone isn’t a revolution, then i don’t know what is. because if there’s one thing that we’ve seen from gap dumping their logo redesign (and from facebook bending to the will of the user community and making changes to their privacy settings on multiple occasions), it’s that the authority is no longer the authority anymore.

organizations are responsible to more than their boardroom now. they’re responsible to their clients;they’re responsible to their people; they’re responsible to just about anyone that owns an internet-connected device. public opinion has always been important, but even more so in such a web-integrated world where one person’s tweet can turn into a meme that instantly spreads across the globe. it’s a lesson that organizations are going to have to learn, and learn quickly, if they’re going to be successful in this new world.

the revolution will not be tweeted? think again, gladwell.

it already has.