I did, however, follow with rapt attention the flurry of social media activity surrounding the event, which included:
- An official website (with a clever link to a page helping visitors navigate the festivities)
- Live streaming on the monarchy’s official YouTube channel (and, later, a recording for us snoozers)—which also hosted a video guestbook for well-wishers great and small
- A very well-publicized hashtag for Twitterphiles, #rw2011
- A dedicated segment on The British Monarchy’s Facebook page
- A Flickr photostream featuring all official wedding photos
And none of the above is anything other than official, Buckingham palace–approved activity. This, ladies and gents, is nothing short of huge.
Because not so very long ago, the British monarchy was not only the poster child for staid, cautious, now-now-old-boy-let’s-not-be-too-hasty conservatism, but also a monolithic fortress in which privacy (and yeah, I just prounounced it “prih-vacy”) was paramount. Convinced as I have always been that social media is the future, I gotta admit I never thought I’d see the royals get jiggy with Web 2.0.
But if the Windsors can do it, anyone can.
I’ve commented before on generational differences in attitudes toward social media, and I think the openness surrounding the royal wedding is the strongest proof we have to date that the times, they are a-changin’. Like it or not, we’re moving into an age where candidness and engagement aren’t just an option—they’re a vital necessity for anyone in public life. And these days, “public life” includes those of us who are simply “open for business.”
So, what are your thoughts on the new thinking among “the oldest of old schools?” Leave us a note in the comments—we’d love to hear from you!