The role of social media in providing platforms for public figures to communicate with their followers just took on a holy spin. The Dalai Lama and retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu held a Google+ Hangout.
The exiled leader of Tibetan Buddhism used Google Hangout to connect with Tutu on his 80th birthday when the South African government denied the Dalai Lama a visa to enter the country for the Bishop's birthday.
"Tutu, a South African activist and retired Anglican bishop famous for his leadership through human rights and relevant causes, was apparently furious over the matter, his anger directed towards the South African government for denying his longtime friend the trip. Many are speculating that the South African government is bowing to pressures from China, its largest partner in trade," The Next Web reported.
The Dalai Lama is no stranger to social media, with accounts on Facebook and Twitter in addition to his new Google+ account. This way of crossing borders and sharing communication globally is one of the reasons social media has grown so rapidly. More than email and chat, these video-based group communications truly have made the web the platform of "the Global Village."
YouTube just launched a new Politics channel – no doubt the power of social and online video has finally become something all parties and candidates are now aware. The viral ability people have to share videos through social media becomes a free source of viewers.
One has to wonder as these communications continue to grow in popularity when will the government intervene. On TV and radio there are equal time rules - but there are no such restrictions online. With the political preferences of many tech CEOs leaning to more liberal candidates at the moment, I am surprised no one on the right has tried to introduce legislation to stop it.