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Collective Wisdom:    Some expert thinking on five social media questions as we enter the first decade

5.How would your favorite historical character have used today's social media?

5.How would your favorite historical character have used today's social media?

Visit Samir Balwani's blog
Samir Balwani
Samir Balwani (blog)
I'm a huge fan of Albert Einstein and his genius. Can you imagine the kind of breakthroughs he may have had if he were able to collaborate with other great minds of his time? That's where the true power of social media is, in breaking down barriers and helping people work together. A good social media marketer recognizes that it's not only about selling your product, but working with your consumer to make it better.

Visit Josh Peters's blog
Josh Peters
Shua Marketing and Consulting
Don Quixote is one of my all time favorite characters, and I'm not so sure he would use Social Media. However I think his faithful side kick Sancho Panza would be using it to document Don's adventures. His antics would probably make him a viral star that outshines Tila Tequila and the others who put on a show but aren't actually insane. His Twitter stream (StuffDonSays) would have more followers than Ashton and and be funnier than ShitMyDadSays. His YouTube channel would be the #1 source for online comedy & his Fan Page would eclipse Michael Phelps. Then when he met his tragic death the social media coverage of his funeral would make Michael Jacksons looks like a small village affair.

Visit Maddie Grant's blog
Maddie Grant
Andy Warhol would have peed his pants over the democratization of value. He would have been today's Hugh MacLeod :)

Visit Ian Lurie's blog
Ian Lurie
Portent Interactive
Conversation Marketing
FDR was the first modern master of social media. In his Fireside Chats, he used this unique device called 'radio' to gather families and small groups together every week. Those chats prompted further discussion. They also let him go directly to the American people in a time when it looked like western civilization as we knew it might fail (I'm not exaggerating). FDR would have used podcasting to provide continuous access to his chats; Twitter to respond to crises and announce the week's topic; a blog for his writings and speeches; and, I'd like to think, monitoring to know that the Holocaust was a reality far sooner, and bring the USA into the war in the late 30's, instead of the early 40's.

Visit Ravit Lichtenberg's blog
Ravit Lichtenberg
I'd love to see what Moses would do with Social Media. Imagine the power of crowd mobilization when a future of a People is concerned. Would he tweet ahead of the exodus, using the hashtags #letmypeoplego and #badpharaoh? How would he have kept the plans a secret? Would he have done a simulcast from Mount Sinai as he read the Ten Commandments? Would he de-friend Aaron once he found out on his mobile Facebook app about the golden calf? One can only imagine how things would have changed if social media existed in tribal times...or in any humanity-changing historic moment since.

Visit Sharlyn Lauby's blog
Sharlyn Lauby
ITM Group, Inc.
HR Bartender
My HR Bartender blog, combines my passion as a foodie with my career in human resources, so I can’t resist the opportunity to talk about a food personality. It’s interesting that the recent movie, Julie and Julia, started from a blogging project. Julia Child was a pioneer in television cooking…I wonder if she would have adopted social media and how she could have used tools like YouTube and Facebook to educate people about cooking.

Visit Jim Gianoglio's blog
Jim Gianoglio
What if the founding fathers of America had used Twitter? I can imagine their tweets back and forth: @tjefferson - let's ad something about men being created equally RT @GeorgeW - @tjefferson - let's ad something about men being created equally RT @johnadmas RT @GeorgeW - @tjefferson - let's ad something about men being created equally @poorRichard gonna hit the pub for a pint afterwards - join us?

Visit Mike Volpe's blog
Mike Volpe
Inbound Marketing Blog
Adam Smith, the economist who wrote the wealth of nations. He would have loved social media because it breaks down barriers and provides for more free flow of information, making markets more efficient. I think he could have used social media to spread his ideas more quickly and effectively, which might have lead to free trade and specialization of production becoming more prevalent more quickly, perhaps shaping the global economy in new and different ways.

Visit Ari Herzog's blog
Ari Herzog
Ari Herzog & Associates
Jim Henson was responsible for much of my youth development through creating the Muppets, inspiring "Sesame Street," and promoting diversity. While Sesame Workshop is active in social media today (I just followed @SesameStreet moments ago), I wonder how Henson would have availed himself of this new media. I envision him designing Muppets on Second Life, sharing designs and thoughts on Flickr and YouTube, and maybe hosting a weekly show on BlogTalkRadio. Henson would be an evangelist of improving educational curricula, by bringing kids out of their chairs and enabling a greater hands-on teaching approach. He'd bring the Muppets alive in a new and social way -- a way we can only dream!

Visit Chris Burdge's blog
Chris Burdge
bWEST Interactive
Bhudda would have liked Twitter ~ "Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace."

Visit Alexandra Samuel's blog
Alexandra Samuel
Social Signal
Alexandra Samuel
I've always been fascinated by Karl Marx, not because I'm waiting for the revolution (had to give that one up a while ago) but because of the way his writing transformed the way we see the world: most fundamentally, making us see economic conditions as the key driver of social and political life (see http://bit.ly/m4Rx). And while I can't imagine reading Das Kapital in 140-character increments, Marx would have had an interesting take on the opportunities that arise from a shift away from large-scale industrial production and back towards artisanal production -- whether in the micro- startups that build social media sites, or the micro-entrepreneurs who create and sell through them.

Visit Jay Baer's blog
Jay Baer
Convince & Convert
Robin Hood. He easily could have raised money with tweets and PayPal. Much easier. No arrows. No fights. No living in a forest (unless there was Wi-Fi).

Visit Scott Fox's blog
Scott Fox
E-Commerce Success Blog
I would love to see what Mark Twain would have done with social media. A master communicator, I'm sure his Tweets, podcasts, and Facebook comments would be both hilarious and insightful.

Visit Ann Handley's blog
Ann Handley
MarketingProfs Daily Fix
The other night my daughter and I were reading "Charlotte's Web" by EB White. I started to think that Charlotte would have penned a compelling Twitter stream: CharlotteCavatica: @FernArable come quick! @wilburpig is Some Pig! TempletonRat: RT @wilburpig is Some Pig! (Sponsored Message via "Will Tweet for Food.") WilburPig: Shout out to @CharlotteCavatica for saving me from becoming nothing more than bacon. Not sure it would have changed the outcome of the story, but it would have brought the drama playing out in that barn to a bigger stage. Don't you think? : )

Visit John Haydon 's blog
John Haydon
Inbound Zombie, Inc.
Social media marketing strategy for non-profits
If Adam had twitter, he could have asked about the apple before taking a bite.

Visit Paul Dunay's blog
Paul Dunay
Buzz Marketing For Technology
My favorite historical character is Harry Houdini and he would have been very popular with social media. I would imagine he would have a very popular Facebook page with perhaps millions of fans. Most likely he would have tons of cool videos on YouTube that have gone very viral. And his Twitter feed would also be very popular. Houdini in my mind was not a magician he was a marketer extraordinaire who came up with terrific ways to promote his act in the early years of his fascinating career.

Visit Bernie Borges's blog
Bernie Borges
Find and Convert
Find and Convert Blog
My favorite historical character is Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers of the U.S Constitution. If these men had access to the web during the time of drafting the constitution they would've blogged, tweeted and shared their thoughts so profusely. The word would have spread so much faster on the web. The user generated content from the citizens would have been so remarkable that the constitution would've been completed faster and with much more community building. Mother England would've realized their losing battle much sooner. Perhaps the Revolutionary War could have been avoided altogether. Instead, perhaps the Revolutionary War could have been fought and won through content on the web!

Visit Ryan Peal's blog
Ryan Peal
Momentum Worldwide
Ideas, Imagination & Stuff (a.k.a. Ryan's View)
Oh No - I first thought of Molly Ringwald as I didn't want to jump on the Jesus, Hitler, Joan of Arc bandwagon. Growing up in the 80's I joined millions watching her in 16 Candles, Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club. She was everywhere in traditional media. Imagine Molly and the Ringlets (her fans) connected via social media, Molly first on Twitter with 1M followers, creating webisodes to connect her movie characters. . . the content on YouTube and a Facebook fan page and reaction after each movie. Her cultural impact would have been supercharged to the max. And then I thought of Romeo & Juliet - imagine what one tweet in time could have done to create a different happy ending.

Visit Joel Postman's blog
Joel Postman
Alexis de Tocqueville, sometimes called a social scientist, would most certainly have been a blogger. de Tocqueville wrote, "In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own." While not exactly an idealized view of the democratizing effect of social media, I can certainly think of social media situations to which this statement applies.

Visit Alexander van Elsas's blog
Alexander van Elsas
Social media brings power to the people. So instead of naming a well known historical figure I would say that the unheard voice from the mass would have benefited most from this.

Visit Brian Solis's blog
Brian Solis
Brian Solis (blog)
Walt Disney. He made us believe that through imagineering, we could create new worlds that people where people can immerse and engage with others just like them. Social Media is about creating a community where people can believe in you and what you stand for...

Visit Lisa Whelan's blog
Lisa Whelan
Socialize Mobilize
Socialize Mobilize Blog
Batman wouldn't need to use the Bat-Signal to light up the night sky in Gotham if he had Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Visit Mitch Joel's blog
Mitch Joel
Twist Image
Six Pixels of Separation
Bruce Lee is one of my favourites. Something tells me that his philosophy around Kung Fu (and life) would have thrived even more had he been around and playing with Social Media. Great ideas spread. Great stories get told. Now, these stories have no distribution fee with access to more people than any of us could have ever imagined. Just think about how these channels and platforms can help to change history… and let’s not forget that they already have 

Visit Kevin Gibbons's blog
Kevin Gibbons
What would Columbus have Tweeted to drum up support for his pioneering trips overseas? Maybe something like this: @Columbus looking for rewards for next voyage of discovery! @KingFerdinand can offer high rewards for new islands/mainland @Columbus setting sail today from Spain with 3 ships... @KingFerdinand God speed! @Columbus found new island naming it 'San Salvador' @Guanahaniislanders oh no you don't its already called 'Guanahani' @KingFerdinand lets call it 'Bahamas'! @Columbus next voyage Cuba - may bring back some locals

Visit Jake Hird's blog
Jake Hird
Tough call. If the levels/types of social media that currently exist where around even 15-20 years ago, imagine how different the entirety of history would be...

Visit Danny Flamberg's blog
Danny Flamberg
Juice Pharma Worldwide
Manhattan Marketing Maven
Timothy Leary would have used social media and viral video to turn on a much broader and more diverse global generation.

Visit Mirna Bard's blog
Mirna Bard
Personal Blog
I have many favorites, but I can just imagine how much more powerful their message would have been and what bigger impact they would have made if they had social media..Einstein, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, and the list goes on...

Visit David Berkowitz's blog
David Berkowitz
Inside the Marketers Studio
The first fictional character that comes to mind is Alexander Portnoy of Philip Roth's novel "Portnoy's Complaint." You can be sure he'd find some creative uses for social media, with many of his expressions obscene, and he'd undoubtedly have a large following extending his presence to YouTube.

Visit Joe Pulizzi's blog
Joe Pulizzi
The Content Marketing Revolution
Jesus...just think of how fast his stories would spread through Twitter. For those who give their expertise unselfishly through social media, great things happen.

Visit Andy Beal's blog
Andy Beal
Marketing Pilgrim
Jesus. Forget Ashton Kutcher, Jesus would have more Twitter followers than anyone!

Visit Greg Finn's blog
Greg Finn
Doc Brown, I feel like that would be one hell of a Twitter account.

Visit Susan Payton's blog
Susan Payton
Egg Marketing & Public Relations
The Marketing Eggspert Blog
Buddha. He would have been able to reach the masses through Twitter and Facebook.

Visit Donna Maria's blog
Donna Maria
Indie Business Media
The Media Is You
I don't have a "favorite," but I'm sure Martin Luther King would have made incredible use of social media. I'm not sure whether things would have worked out differently, but I'm sure new technologies would have served him well, and helped him serve others.

Visit Linda Bustos's blog
Linda Bustos
Elastic Path Software
Get Elastic Ecommerce Blog
My favorite historical figure is Jesus Christ. Even with social media, the outcome of his short life would have been the same, but his message would have reached far beyond the region where he lived much faster and there would be less debate over his existence, especially with YouTube archives full of flash-mob evidence.

Visit Janet Fouts's blog
Janet Fouts
Tatu Digital Media
Tatu Digital Media
Anais Nin would have loved this. Who knows how her world would have expanded?

Visit Cameron Chapman's blog
Cameron Chapman
Cameron Chapman on Writing
John Galt (Atlas Shrugged) would have used social media to reach more potential followers and to get the word out about what he was doing. Gulches would have sprouted up all over the world, connected via private networks and ecommerce would have made it possible for them to do business once they'd reached each other through social media. "Who is John Galt?" probably would have been one of the most popular memes in Internet history (complete with T-shirts).

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