With current events in Iran demonstrating the impact of social media, it is worthwhile taking a look at what Clay Shirky (wikipedia) has to say about the changes internet social media is bringing. Clay gave this speech in May 2009.
Clay discusses events in Iran in this Q & A
I previously discussed Clay Shirky's thinking in Now We Can Do Big Things For Love.
People wanting to better understand the social and economic impact of internet technology would do well to seek out Shirky's writing and presentations.
hat tip @GuyKawasaki
Kevin Kelly (wikipedia) was curious about how people viewed the internet and their place in it, so he started the Internet Mapping Project. On June 1, 2009 he released the initial results (which can be seen below). Several days later Mara Vanina Oses, Professor of Media at the University of Buenos Aires, posted a preliminary review (pdf) of the data.
This is a subject previously tackled at xkcd
be sure to check out Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools.
hat tip boing boing