So we have some good news and some bad news. First, (the bad) is that Twitter still doesn’t have a monetization strategy, but on the plus side, CNN claims it has given one American Student the ability to force the Egyptian Authorities to release his translator from prison.
James Karl Buck was released from a Mahalla jail after sending a one-word blog post from his cell phone through the Twitter Web site. The message — “Arrested” — alerted all of his friends on the site of his detention.
When his college found out about the situation, they hired a lawyer who then got him out of prison. Now that he’s a free man, Buck is using his Twitter network (611 followers as of writing) to help free his friend Mohammed Maree.
Apparently, by uttilizing the massive network effects of social media, he was able to build public pressure, eventually to demand Maree’s release. He used everything from Twitter updates, blog posts on his own Web site to an electronic petition signed by more than 900 people.
As I have always said, the amazing thing happening with social media (and microblogging sites in particular) is soon going to be the most powerful lobby group in the world. Ever.
Governments and Enterprises are going to have to realise that you can’t ingore the social media space, because of the devistating network effect poor public relations can have, with a very large group of highly motivated and highly coordinated social networks. In the Chinese Earthquakes this year in fact, much of the relief and recovery was coordinated over Twitter.
With even more mainstream users comming onto sites such as Facebook and Twitter, this new “lobby group” will only increase in power and effectiveness.