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Social Media – A Force for Good

  • Category: Panel Discussion
    Language: English
    Duration: 1hr 20mins
    Format: Video
    Release date: Thu Nov 19th, 2009 11:28am


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    Location: London

    Stephen Fry, Biz Stone, Founder and Chief Executive of Twitter; and Reid Hoffman, Founder and Chief Executive of LinkedIn will discuss the phenomenon of social media and its future impact.

    You can also join the conversation by posting a question for any of the speakers – all you need to do is add #svuk to your question on Twitter.

    This event forms part of NESTA’s Silicon Valley comes to the UK event programme.

    For more information:

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22 comments on “Social Media – A Force for Good”

  1. tagz23 says:

    Only a tiny and perhaps understandable slip, but I think you meant Iran not Iraq. I know there’s an old joke about Bush invading the wrong one, but still…

  2. robbryce says:

    Just watched the entire hour and half broadcast – excellent – thank you.
    Informed, intelligent, thought provoking all with a dash of good humour.
    Have taken on board “emotional involvement” I hope my films always make that connection.

  3. Johan Linder says:

    I enjoyed the webcast. Informative, funny and thoughtful.
    Thank you.

  4. KChavda says:

    I really enjoyed this refreshing discussion! Loved how (among other things), Stephen compared the Internet with
    1. The concept of wild, open landscapes: How us, human beings cyclically need freedom (i.e. openness) and then shelter (enclosed spaces). Similarly the Internet is an open, unsheltered, unregulated space where people feel enclosed in websites like Facebook and MySpace.
    2. and the concept of a City: How the City (and hence the Internet) can be interesting and amazing as well as dangerous/shady.
    Overall quite entertaining and time well spent! :) Thank you and regards!

  5. nonoyesyes says:

    Since the dawn of time, people have come together with the purpose to communicate! Groups form via this exchange of ideas, and that in turn, brings about expansion. Twitter brings about an expansion of people who want to be in touch with one another, and who enjoy communicating.

    I see Twitter as the modern day hub of a great universal ‘market place’ as in days of old when people would gather together to pass the time of day. A casual coming together; cleverly fostered by those who have the genuine and great capacity to attract followers.
    The discussion was incredible. It allowed to share in the different views on aspects of internet, and in particular, in relation to Twitter.
    Very informative, and interesting.
    Thanks very much.

  6. uk_rene says:

    we all need to be more positive these days, and this web cast just shows how something ‘new’ can have its scariness mild-end by simply conducting open discussions to widen horizons by encouraging understanding.

    people often tend to criticize things they don’t fully understand.
    but they also embrace ideas of respected personalities and with Stephen as the perfect ambassador for social media and free speech, it can open minds in ways no mainstream institution would ever be able to do.

    i hope there will be more to open our minds and de-demonize new technologies by simply educating those who base their attitudes and opinions on influential entities like celebrities and personalities in the media industry.

    thank you, Stephen for the honest effort and ambitious enthusiasm you put in opening our minds, keep your speech free! and never mind destructive criticism, hopefully you go back to reading blog comments, as many of them are truly inspiring and keep you thinking on your toes, so you keep an open mind too. ;)


  7. Blighty says:

    Excellent stuff. Thanks for posting and hosting.

  8. MerryMary says:

    Can anybody recommend an audio link? I’ve tried other links, but I keep getting twirpy business.
    (My Mac is getting some TLC at the G-bar. I want to blame my unhappiness on this Barbie-pink laptop I’ve been stuck using.)

  9. Paradox says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation, I love the evolution of interaction on the internet.
    Like the little wave at the end.

  10. beatrix says:

    I really do not know whether this is the right way to express my sincere congratulations to Stephen. I had the opportunity to watch the iq2 on the catholic church and that was the first time I saw Stephen.
    Well, just to say you have bee great in terms of content, form, presentation. Thank you and carry on.

  11. Peter Conner says:

    Just listened to your appraisal of the Twitter phenomenom at he

    NESTA seminar. Wonderful – yes, emotional connections through

    the medium of writing, peoples human needs nourished by

    connection and communication. As you say, an ancient, timeless

    need. Writing is of course ‘speaking’ too, just another way of

    communication, another way of telling the world (and onesself)

    who one is. I am studying and practicing counselling at the

    moment and am developing (more accurately ‘letting things

    develop’ in my mind) the notion of using social media in

    connection with talking therapies, cos it seems to me that’s

    just what they are already? Also keen to spread ideas and

    misconceptions about mental health etc etc. Get it off your! I’m compiling a list of like minds who might be

    interested in consolidating these ideas into a TV

    programme/website/social media ‘thing’.

  12. GirlGatsby says:

    Lovely quote: “…the fact that you write sets us free”.

    Nothing new there of course but it served as a small reminder as to what a liberating, expressive form it is for us.

    Really enjoyed this presentation.

  13. MichelleFrost says:

    Bravo Stephen

    I love what you said about the internet. I’ve always been a technophobe and came to the internet rather “late in life” only to find myself overwhelmed and drowning in the wonder of communication in the purest form – no barriers of age, race, country or class, as you say. To be able to share and express across an entire planet… utterly entoxicating!

    I still hate Twitter, but you just may have made me rethink there.

  14. LadyGirlPerson says:

    *food for thought*

  15. MrTerry says:

    Wonderfully Insightful into the minds of the people at the top. I look forward to your views on the impinging Digital Economy Bill that Peter Manadlson is attempting to put through parliament. It will surly cause huge distress and anguish to many millions in the UK. Freedom of speech is slowly becoming a luxury.

  16. trixieedgewood says:

    Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
    or what’s heaven for?

    – Robert Browning in Andrea del Sarto

    Can’t wait to see what you guys do for an encore.

    Thank you!!

  17. klanghus says:

    Really enjoyed the presentation.. just made me wonder what the possibilities of social media would be in education.. specifically distance education..

  18. Zelda_zip_al says:

    I’ve only made it through half an hour of the program but, I will most definitely return. My thoughts have been stimulated and many of the points are resonating with me. Being a babe in the twitter woods many of the references are unknown to me but I am still able to follow the discussion. It is informative without being dull and the panel is, thus far, keeping my attention. I look forward to returning. Thank you, and good morning.

  19. Johnecooper says:

    I found the discussion fascinating, thank you. I believe social media can be a force for good and there are many interesting projects going on right now in this field. One that Stephen might be interested in (he visited this part of Peru on one of his programmes) is an open source project called Ushahidi which is a mash-up of many social media platforms to give an overall picture of a particular situation. The site gathers information from citizens, tourists and local authorities to give everybody involved in the recovery of the Sacred Valley, Peru an up-to-date picture of the current situation.

    This link provides you with a taster.

  20. heatherdennis42 says:

    i can see all your comments are of great interlectual speech,i’m just a normal girl who would like to thank you for a letter you wrote in 2008 my mother wrote asking for help i think !! i was in hospital at the time you see i have bi polar the manic kind hypo mania but have been well for 2 years now !!! your letter really helped as i’ve never spoken or heard from anyone else with bi polar i just wanted to say thank you, you are a very kind hearted man i will treasure your letter always….

  21. bobly says:

    big fan of your acting, comedy, etc. I just watched your debate alongside Chris Hitchens in the Catholic Church “force for good” segment as well as your comments on Shelley’s Prometheus – all this resonated with me deeply, and reminds me of something that I read as a teenager and which has influenced me since. (Sartre’s Les Mouches):
    “Your entire universe will not be enough to make me guilty. You are the king of the Gods, Jupiter, the king of the stones and of the stars, the king of the waves of the sea. But you are not the king of men…. I am a man, Jupiter, and each man must invent his own path.” I look forward to more of your work.

  22. Jeepster says:

    Dear Stephen,
    I have some trouble understaning one passage in your Prologue to QI Book of qoutations. You write:

    offered with such satisfying and repetitive regularity on the BBC and channels Dave, Mike, Pete, Steve and Neville.

    Being non-British resident and even non-speaker I gained to advance as much as to discovere there is actually a TV-channel caled Dave, but as fore the rest guys — nope. I suspect there is some joke. Would you be sokind to explain why You have picked just these names?

    I’d be much obliged to You if You do since I’m bound by a contract to translate the issue into my own language (which is Russian)

    Thank You deeply

    your great admirer
    Nikolay Mezin

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