playlist

The power of social media

Social media is an undeniable force in today's world. These talks highlight its impact — from big history-defining moments to the silliness we’ve come to expect.

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  1. 15:48
    Clay Shirky How social media can make history

    While news from Iran streams to the world, Clay Shirky shows how Facebook, Twitter and TXTs help citizens in repressive regimes to report on real news, bypassing censors (however briefly). The end of top-down control of news is changing the nature of politics.

  2. 16:56
    Hugh Evans What does it mean to be a citizen of the world?

    Hugh Evans started a movement that mobilizes "global citizens," people who self-identify first and foremost not as members of a state, nation or tribe but as members of the human race. In this uplifting and personal talk, learn more about how this new understanding of our place in the world is galvanizing people to take action in the fights against extreme poverty, climate change, gender inequality and more. "These are ultimately global issues," Evans says, "and they can only be solved by global citizens demanding global solutions from their leaders."

  3. 17:54
    Nicholas Christakis How social networks predict epidemics

    After mapping humans' intricate social networks, Nicholas Christakis and colleague James Fowler began investigating how this information could better our lives. Now, he reveals his hot-off-the-press findings: These networks can be used to detect epidemics earlier than ever, from the spread of innovative ideas to risky behaviors to viruses (like H1N1).

  4. 8:27
    Johanna Blakley Social media and the end of gender

    Media and advertising companies still use the same old demographics to understand audiences, but they're becoming increasingly harder to track online, says media researcher Johanna Blakley. As social media outgrows traditional media, and women users outnumber men, Blakley explains what changes are in store for the future of media.

  5. 16:59
    James Surowiecki The power and the danger of online crowds

    James Surowiecki pinpoints the moment when social media became an equal player in the world of news-gathering: the 2005 tsunami, when YouTube video, blogs, IMs and txts carried the news — and preserved moving personal stories from the tragedy.

  6. 4:26
    Alexis Ohanian How to make a splash in social media

    In a funny, rapid-fire 4 minutes, Alexis Ohanian of Reddit tells the real-life fable of one humpback whale's rise to web stardom. The lesson of Mister Splashy Pants is a shoo-in classic for meme-makers and marketers in the Facebook age.

  7. 9:51
    Wael Ghonim Inside the Egyptian revolution

    Wael Ghonim is the Google executive who helped jumpstart Egypt's democratic revolution ... with a Facebook page memorializing a victim of the regime's violence. Speaking at TEDxCairo, he tells the inside story of the past two months, when everyday Egyptians showed that "the power of the people is stronger than the people in power."

  8. 16:14
    Zeynep Tufekci Online social change: easy to organize, hard to win

    Today, a single email can launch a worldwide movement. But as sociologist Zeynep Tufekci suggests, even though online activism is easy to grow, it often doesn't last. Why? She compares modern movements — Gezi, Ukraine, Hong Kong — to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and uncovers a surprising benefit of organizing protest movements the way it happened before Twitter.