It was a typically brilliant SXSW session that we've come to expect from Clay Shirky. Clay looks at the recent influence social media has had in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya and makes the point that the true power is not in the tools or the information but the conversation.
A decentralised group conversation, aided by the social media tools, create what Clay calls the dictators dilemma. They don't want to be left behind by shutting the tools of conversation down, yet they face the risk of the people using the tools to bring the government down.
Clay then went on to talk about what we can do from afar. "If you want to help a country then follow it. Learn the politics and engage. Then when the time comes you help amplify voice" he said citing NPRs Andy Carvin's Twitter account, which consisted mainly of retweets.
I've pulled together some of the references he made and the conversation from Twitter using Storify.