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Genomics Forum · Events

Are Friends Electric?

Edinburgh International Book Festival   15.08.2010






  • Jason Bradbury
  • Mariann Hardey
  • Peggy Hughes--Chair

Organised by

Toni Freitas, Events Manager, 0131.651.4736, Toni.Freitas@ed.ac.uk


Edinburgh Internationl Book Festival

Event details

Biologists have claimed we can only deal with a certain number of close friendships. Facebook’s 400 million active users average 130 friends each. Twitter averages 50 million tweets a day. With this much information and this many people, are we emotionally and personally connected, or just sharing information? Jason Bradbury--Gadget Show host and one of the world’s most influential Twitterati--and Mariann Hardey--social media researcher and blogger extraordinaire--presented their thoughts on the age of electric friends to Chair Peggy Hughes. Peggy opened the event with the rare words,"please make sure you phone is ON", encouraging audience members to tweet during the event.

The event was sold out, and had an interactive Tweet Wall for the duration of the event being displayed behind the speakers. Twitter was a-buzz about the event and the tweets piled up and numbered in the hundreds before, during and after the event. Thanks to everyone that joined the debate on- and offline! Here is a sample of the Tweets:

"Facebook is where I go to see family photos. Twitter is where I go to communicate. Twitter wins."

"Is social media made for short attention spans?"

"With digital media, we are thinking more quickly. Or does that mean we don't have a good attention span?"

"First laughs about a tweet [on the Tweet Wall behind the speakers] while someone is talking. Will soon degenerate into mayhem."

"Different media are right for different people--depends on what u want from it. Not right for everyone - I love it!"

"Does the term 'followers' make twitter a cult?"

"Cult has a single view. If anything, Twitter is the Anticult."

This event was held in association with The Skinny listings magazine.

Further details