Whatever you do folks don’t hack off the internet. Look at the the backlash that came Malcolm Gladwell’s way following his New Yorker piece on why “the revolution will not be tweeted”, which was dismissive of effect that social media can have on protest movements such as those recently seen in Egypt and Tunisia.
Now some talented wags, Cory Bortnicker and Brett Molé, have come up with another way to hit back at the author of books such as the The Tipping Point and Outliers, with the Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator.
The book generator suggests 25 Gladwellesque book covers including such sure fire hits such as ‘Wink: The Power of thinking while simultaneously flirting’; ‘Sizzle: Why some ideas pop while others merely crackle’; or ‘The Cheers effect (how and why everybody knows your name’.
Gladwell, who was at it again as the protests took off in Tunisia and Egypt, asking if Egypt needed Twitter as he pressed his original point that “high risk social activism requires deep roots and strong ties” that social media in his view does not provide (his central thesis being that the ties that bind social media are weak — which is why you can have 1,000 Facebook friends, but not in the real world).
“Surely the least interesting fact about them is that some of the protesters may (or may not) have at one point or another employed some of the tools of the new media to communicate with one another. Please. People protested and brought down governments before Facebook was invented. They did it before the Internet came along. Barely anyone in East Germany in the nineteen-eighties had a phone”.
It is worth reading Matthew Ingram’s response on how Gladwell is still missing the point and how “weak ties can also connect to and become strong ties”.