Social Business Zone is brought to you in partnership with:

Reimagining the way work is done through big data, analytics, and event processing, Chris is the cofounder of Successful Workplace. He believes there’s no end to what we can change and improve. Chris is a marketing executive and flew for the US Navy before finding a home in technology 17 years ago. An avid outdoorsman, Chris is also passionate about technology and innovation and speaks frequently about creating great business outcomes at industry events. As well as being a contributor for The TIBCO Blog, Chris contributes to the Harvard Business Review, Venture Beat, Forbes, and the PEX Network. Christopher is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 275 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Social media first: An American comedian takes on the President of Egypt

04.03.2013
| 1342 views |
  • submit to reddit

Today, US-based comedian and host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart, had a war of words with the President of Egypt on Twitter. Think about that for a just a minute. Social media has now become a channel for international debate involving not the citizens, but their leaders.

This was inconceivable just a few years ago and shows the remarkable accountability and transparency social media brings. For those critical of social media as a fad or something for teens or the socially stilted, think again. this is a new level of impact.

A little of the story

For a little of the back story, Egyptian President Mohamamed Morsi rose to power after the Arab Spring forced out dictator Hosni Mubarak and free elections were called. At issue is The US Embassy in Cairo posting a link to a Jon Stewart video (see below) strongly critical of the arrest of Bassem Youssef, a TV show host that bears some resemblance to Jon Stewart’s own biting style.

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 6.23.30 PMAfter a war of words involving Stewart himself, the Egyptian Presidency’s Twitter account removed their tweet. Without even a claim of having their account hacked (the classic celebrity excuse). Of course, screen caps of the deleted posts are readily available.

This spotlights the power of social media to bring engagement and transparency to the highest levels of power structures. The value is no different in the power corridors of corporations. Transparency and engagement are the new black.

A prediction

Just like the political structures of the world, the power structures of the corporate world aren’t ready yet for this level of transparency, but it is fast approaching. As social media spreads and moves beyond its current beachhead, there will be far more engagement and transparency around how companies operate and the decisions they make. Just like the Egyptian Presidency, there will be public missteps that have to be rolled back.

The only way to get ready for this new world is to jump in feet first and get used to the way social media operates. Only the social media sophisticated can understand how the medium works and how to best use it to put out messages, engage and respond.

Published at DZone with permission of Christopher Taylor, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)