Just heard the keynote speaker, New York Times’ David Carr. If you ever have a chance to hear him speak, do not miss it. He’s a paradigmatic journalist and yet as contemporary in his knowledge and outlook as they come. He also has a brilliant, dry sense of humor that will keep you laughing while you’re being educated. It’s a rapid-fire experience – knowledge, insight, levity – all coming at you via a deceptively understated, deadpan delivery. I think the fact that this journalist’s journalist is also the Internet’s “Carpetbagger” captures the conundrum that is David Carr.
Here I am at the PRSA Digital Impact Conference in New York City’s Wall Street financial district. Like most PRSA conferences, I’ll hear from leading experts in the field. At the moment, I’m listening to Josh Bernoff, the author of the hot new book Groundswell. We’re going through some of the key areas of his book – getting a personal explanation from the author – a unique opportunity and very useful.
What stikes me about Bernoff’s talk is the enormous power of social media. Individuals engaging new technologies have been able to win out against traditional, established societal forces — large corporations, mainstream media, lawyers, etc. Social media can even supersede business policies and notions of proprietary information when online communities determine they violate principles of free speech, whose definition is in their own hands. Individuals become groups become movements become change!
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