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    Diaspora is ‘Facebook for the nation’, says McWilliams

    By Noreen Bowden | June 17, 2009

    An interesting snippet from David McWilliams on Youtube:

    Absolutely. I think that if you look at the biggest phenomenon of the last few years… has been social networking. This is Facebook for the nation. It’s for the willing. You don’t have to coerce people. It’s not something that’s exclusive…The tribe in an era of services – the Irish and Americans, we’re not going to end up making stuff in the future. In an era of services, the most important thing is soft power…Branding, networking, contacts – all these issues… And if you look at this, what is more evocative than these ancient, ancestral ties, which are real, which are absolutely real? We could put together an extraordinary network of Irish people which would benefit both America and Ireland.

    See the clip.

    Topics: Latest News | 2 Comments »

    2 Responses to “Diaspora is ‘Facebook for the nation’, says McWilliams”

    1. Mick Says:
      June 18th, 2009 at 12:18 pm

      Hi Noreen,

      I think David McW is simply trying to get the idea across that if the diaspora realises it can work together, then it will work together.

      Actually it’s a more refreshing approach than the view held a year ago, when it was more about what the diaspora could do for Ireland.

      Glad to see that the thinking has developed somewhat, and hopefully it’ll continue in the right direction.

    2. Noreen Bowden Says:
      June 22nd, 2009 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Mick,

      Thanks for your comment – I have often thought though that McWilliams was being unfairly accused of exploiting the diaspora, however. I know that one of the themes in “The Generation Game” was how Ireland could benefit more from the Irish abroad, but I thought that was simply recognising the amount of good will that exists in the diaspora for helping Ireland.

      I thought he did a better job than most in highlighting the strong cultural connections felt by the Irish of the diaspora – one thing that I particularly remember was his interview with the young Irish-Argentinians from the TV show that was made from “The Generation Game”. It always seemed to me that he had great sympathy for them, not that he was trying to exploit them. And where some media commentators would be dismissive of any fourth-generation claims to Irishness, he was certainly respectful.