old power structures, killed in 140 characters
The MD walked into this meeting believing she held all the cards; in fact, GregoryP is the one with his finger poised over the launch button. With just a word, he could completely ruin her business. This utter transformation in power politics – “hyperconnectivity” leading to hyperempowerment – is another brand new thing. This brand new thing is going to change everything it touches, every institution and every relationship any individual brings to those institutions. Many of those institutions will not survive, because their reputations will not be able to withstand the glare of hyperconnectivity backed by the force of hyperempowerment.
We've always had networks of friends; and news would spread through those networks but it could take days, weeks, months or even years. Information would lose momentum or simply be too far out of date to be useful by the time it got around.
But these days, all of these people can be connected. Information can travel through extended networks faster than ever before - seconds, minutes, hours.
So what? Well, information has long been recognised as power. What's changing right now is who controls information. Anyone with a phone in their pocket can be connected to Twitter all the time. They can tweet for help if they get arrested or they can Twitter about the aftermath of being bullied by a large company's MD.
Where it gets really powerful is those 140 character messages can instantly go to other people who can help you. In Mark Pesce's post, he describes the way the MD's bullying could be globally publicised in minutes... and there's not a thing her old school power base could do to stop it.
The formerly disempowered can now hold the power. Just like that. Because they think it's pretty cool to send messages to friends on Twitter.
Enough from me. Go read Mark's post.
Update: Mark has YouTubed his presentation on the topic...