Stark ReAlity

The Social Media tidal wave is gaining momentum, are you prepared?

What if Martin Luther King, Jr used twitter to spread the message of his dream?

While reviewing Direct Messages (DMs) and @replies early Sunday morning, I noticed that RicRaftis began following me on twitter. As with every new follower, I carefully reviewed his BIO to learn about his dreams and aspirations. Was he a twitter purist who wanted to authentically share his wisdom, or a Social Media Monger?

Upon inspection, @RicRaftis’s twitter stats contained a decent FFU ratio (following, followers, updates), he spelled everything correctly, and his bio looked legit. I noticed he was following exactly 999 twitter users, so I asked, ”@RicRaftis are you carefully selecting your 1,000th person to follow? Was it Businessweek's twitter guy who gave 5,000th follower a prize? (-) You could select the 1000th and allow them to post a guest blog .. Just a thought.”

Moments later I received a response from @RicRaftis, “ @amystark Great idea Amy.. love to get more ppl posting on providing help and hot tips..”

Meanwhile in Melbourne, @angesbiz noticed our digital dialog in the public timeline. She jumped into the conversation, which added another thread to the discussion. @angesbiz typed, “ RT @AmyStark: @RicRaftis You could select the 1000th and allow them to post a guest blog .. Just a thought... >> Great Idea Amy! “

I spent a few moments looking over RicRatis’ website listed in his twitter profile and it, too, looked legit. I asked @RicRaftis, “ er um .. not to be pushy, but I would like to volunteer to be your 1,000th! Think about it. =)“ To which he responded, “ @amystark LOL.. Did that before you suggested it Amy and guess what.. you get to do a guest blog post on “

Tweets flow quickly by in the twitter stream, and unless your user name is typed after the @ symbol, you may miss something interesting. Wondering if @angesbiz followed the thread until the end, I typed, “thanks for the retweet and compliment. Did you see that @RicRaftis made me his 1,000th and asked me to guest blog LOL“

@angesbiz replied, “ @amystark Yes indeedy I did! That's Awesome and Congrats. Pass the post onto me when it's done... link I mean... looking forward to it... :) “

Three virtual strangers-- living on two different continents half-way around the world from each other--sharing ideas and collaborating at the speed of light. Much like my twitter rave experience with #NYETwarty – I discovered that when the Real Time element is added there is a deeper sense of connectedness.

As I write this blog (Monday, January 19, 2009), Martin Luther King, Jr. is trending in the top ten on twitter, and that makes me wonder; what if MLK had been able to spread his message around the world at the speed of light four decades ago? Exactly how many people heard “I Have a Dream” form the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963? How many hours / days lapsed before his message appeared on TV in the U.S? How many months / years before the words touched people in Melbourne, Australia?

Views: 29

Comment by Joe Dager on January 19, 2009 at 11:33pm
Raise some questions but I probably interpret this a little different. This may be the problem with Twitter and where we are going in blogosphere. MLK words and speech were memorable. Can we say that about anything anymore? We live on soundbites. Obama got elected on one word: (......). How many of our kids can repeat the preamble to the constitution or even know how the Declaration of Independence starts? I know I am old man, but how our history was shaped was mostly by the spoken word that inspired us enough to remember them. Yes, twitter would have gotten MLK message around the world but in doing so would that have stopped it traveling slowly and with the inspiration that allows us to celebrate his vision today!

There was another Senator from Illinois that talked to a very small crowd one day and received just a spattering applause from a group of listeners that was expecting a rather long speech. Those words written on 2 sheets of used paper later became known as the Gettysburg Address.

I am inspired by people with vision and that look further than tomorrow. Great writings, speeches are something we listen/read over and over again. I have a dream, may be tweetable but I doubt that it would have had the same meaning.

I have a dream is today!

Thanks for the post Amy. I just rambled with my thoughts a little.
Comment by Amy Stark on January 20, 2009 at 1:23pm
WOW. Thanks for the input, Joe. I can sing the preamble because of School House Rock. It is one of my favorite things to do at parties. I often get other requests, but I sing it anyhow.

Check this out:

A More Perfect Union from Andrew Sloat on Vimeo.
Comment by Woody M Collins on January 20, 2009 at 8:54pm

Your subject (MLK) was very timely and interesting. However, the post did not keep my interest.

For me, RicRatis and Angesbiz did not support the subject. They could have or should have supported your conclusion.

How would the world had changed if MLK used Twitter? I do not think it would have been any different. You gave to me no reasons for or against.

Comment by Amy Stark on January 21, 2009 at 7:10am
Hey Woody,

Do you mind if I add your comment to the #cit499 group on twitter? Part of Social Media is opening your kimono-- as Beth Kanter calls it. Being fiercely transparent is showing all your faults and asking for criticism, to see if an argument can stand.

You are so right that the words I typed didn't support the conclusion, but there was so much I left out. While I was transcribing the twitter conversation, two quotes kept running through my mind:

1) Winston Churchill said, "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." I found it ironic that the two people involved in this random digital dialog were half-way around the world from me. In Real Time we were collaborating on a little PR project to spread our own message.

2) Seth Godin, "Ideas that spread, win." What if MLKs speech in 1963 spread globally and instantaneously to one billion people worldwide? Don't you think we would be at a better place collectively as a species? The Internet is carrying so much information at the speed of light, good and bad messages have the same chance to spread.

I want MLKs message to win globally, and on Monday 19, 2009, his message was winning and spreading virally to everyone watching the public timeline on twitter. A whole bunch of social media and Internet geeks, like me, in every major city on the face of the earth, spreading MLK's quotes, videos, websites, etc.

Thanks again for calling me out. I really welcome that. People who don't want healthy criticism usually don't have good enough arguments to support their conclusions.


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