According to the NY Times yesterday, the State Department asked Twitter not to perform their regularly scheduled maintenance Tuesday night in order to keep the site up for tweets from Iranian protestors. (It would have been nice if the story had included the fact that there were lots and lots of voices on Twitter asking the company to do the same thing.)
That’s HIllary’s State Department doing that and she has been out front recently talking about the impact that social media can have on diplomatic relations.
She also has a Twitter account of all things Hillary here.
But, then, yesterday, she says during a press conference, “I wouldn’t know a Twitter from a tweeter, but apparently, it is very important.”
Now, I love Hillary, really I do. I was an ardent supporter of hers during the primary campaign last year and think she will make a great president. But, this is a perfect example of the way that too many Boomers treat social media. It’s something other people, generally young people, do that isn’t infused in the way that they work.Knowing that Twitter is important, reading reports that Iranians are using it to share their stories this week isn’t enough. Hillary has to try it out. I’m not suggesting that she has to be a devoted tweeter, but she has to kick the tires and give it a whirl around the block to really see what the fuss is all about.
There is an opportunity here. There are Boomers and even reluctant Gen Xers in your organizations who are either resisting the social media resolution mightly or hoping that it’s something other people do. This isn’t a sustainable way to work; social media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental way of reorganizing your work and your relationships with the rest of the world. My suggestion is setting up reverse mentoring brown bag lunches where the Millennials can walk them through some of the tools and let them test drive them. Think of opportunities for your Luddites to be guest bloggers and tweeters. Get them using the tools and they’ll see for themselves how powerful they are.
And while Hillary is recuperating (I had the same thing happen a few years ago – ouch!), I’m happy to have lunch at her house in Chappaqua and tweet together with her!