Today we announced the release of our groundbreaking research into a major issue that crosses two borders – the Keystone XL pipeline and how social media was used.
We note that this was an in-house research project by our own team and was not sponsored by any company, organisation or individual. Some of the key findings of this report are;
- This issue galvanised very large numbers of people, organisations and groups on both sides of the Canada-US border and social media facilitated cross-border connections and relationships.
- Negative sentiment around Keystone has remained a majority view among people active in social media channels since this issue entered the public domain in July 2008.
- Positive sentiment, however, has gained momentum over the past year and has nearly closed the gap with negative sentiment in some channels.
- Our research also suggests that social media was vital in incorporating the views of local, civil society groups from rural areas in a broad public debate.
- Finally, the issue also moved into the social media dialogue surrounding the 2011 Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa this December.
We can certainly see the social media is having an increasingly bigger impact on our world beyond just marketing. Increasingly, citizens are learning how to use these technologies to organise and drive change not just in democracies, but in dictatorships like Egypt and Tunisia.
So what do you think? Will social media continue to be as or more important in society?