July 30th 2012 – Social Media too Powerful to Ignore – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of Russia in an interview with Russian Television (RT.com) while talking about the 2012 Olympics commented on the power of social media and social networks. His insight and vision around these new communications tools definitely puts him a league above most of his global counterparts.
Transcript from RT.com:
You know, this thing I’ve just shown you, and the new information environment in general, is the best safeguard against totalitarianism and a return to our sad past. No government in any country, even in some very complex areas like the Arab world, can ignore the omnipresent communications network that is emerging and developing whether the authorities like it or not.
By the way, the reason the authorities don’t like it is simply because people use it to criticize the authorities, and nobody likes that. I remember what some said about Twitter when there were riots in London. But nobody can do anything about it. We just need to create a proper legal framework for social networks. But you can’t block them. This means that a modern and up-to-date leader can’t afford to ignore this new information environment. Every leader should keep track of what’s going on there.
Watch the video
I think a successful politician must have direct contact with people. In the past, you had to physically go some place, step outside and meet people, and everybody, from emperors to prime ministers and presidents, did that. But this way you can only meet with people once or twice a month and you have a crowd of people standing around you, screaming something, and, of course, you can hear something but there are many things you can’t hear. As a result, all you can get is just bits and pieces. This is totally different.
Every day, I read at least 50 messages left for me via Facebook, Twitter, other social networks or even my website. If it is something important, I issue direct instructions. Sometimes in the morning, before I go to work, I go online and see something very urgent, something truly important. And then I print it out and write my instructions right on this sheet of paper.
In the past, it was unthinkable that the authorities could have this kind of direct interaction with people. I think this is very important. I repeat, if a politician can’t master these tools, he has no future. Read the entire interview at RT.com
A big thanks to Fred Shadian mentor and friend for sending me this interview tonight!