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British institutions wake up to social media?

The BBC news says that the Queen will be visiting the London offices of Google today. This strikes me as an unusual visit for a head of state, but I’m actually impressed that she has even heard of Google. It’s obviously a sign of just how important the internet is to our society that even the oldest, most traditional institutions are interested in joining in. Hek, I’m even starting to feel like I’m a little behind the times in these stakes…

My age group straddles Generation Y and Generation X, and I often find myself caught between these two rather different mindsets. On the one hand, I blog, and use Facebook fairly extensively, I use RSS feeds to manage information, and I share bookmarks. On the other hand, I’m still quite new to all this, only having had a Facebook account for just over a year, and a blog for roughly the same length of time. I’m still struggling with Twitter, not really fully understanding the term ‘micro-blogging’, not to mention what on earth Twitterific is. And all this on the day I find out that even the Beeb has a Twitterer (is that the term?) for my favourite breakfast radio programme, Radio 4’s Today programme.

Nonetheless, I think the important thing is that I’m willing to learn, and although I don’t fully understand some aspects of social media as much as I’d like to, I am totally wowed by the possibilities it offers. I want to be part of it, and like any good Generation Yer I am learning how to use these tools more or less instinctively.

The same cannot be said of Radio 4, though. Despite their impressive forward-thinking with Twitter, I was disappointed with how Radio 4 reported the Queen’s visit to Google this morning. They broadcast a ‘comedy’ piece called ‘The Queen’s Blog’, in which someone imitated the Queen emailing and accepting friends on Facebook (yeah, like, totally not the same as blogging). Listen again here and weep. I felt like this was a misguided send-up of social media (rather than of the Queen), and as always I look disapprovingly on those to dismiss it so readily.

Long live social media! Once I get my head round it that is…

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  1. Tom

    October 16, 2008

    Soon we’ll be too lazy to read an entire sentence update and we’ll have to cut it down to one word broadcast onto the inside of our eyelids.

    All this networking development, ironically, seems to just give people more excuses not to have to actually talk to one another.

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October 16, 2008

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