How to win online in 2012?
This question brings to mind the theory that “computers will be twice as fast and half as cheap every two years.” If we are to live by that theory then what we’re doing today won’t matter in 2012. There will be something new and different happening just as Twitter, blogging and text messages dominated the 2008 election. In 2004 just having a website was considered forward thinking. This go round, just having a website would have been considered archaic.
So what will 2012 be like? I’m not sure, but I have no doubt that it will incorporate many things that don’t exist today as well as popular ones that worked in 2008, because if it’s not broke don’t fix it. Obama successfully used his Twitter and Facebook pages to recruit and activate constituents to his cause. Hundreds of thousands of people followed John McCain’s daughter on her blog, McCainBlogette. Never in the history of politicking had something like that been done before. And it was only 4 years after the last election – 4 years. A lifetime in technology, but only a fraction of a second compared to other Earthly events (dinosaurs anyone?!).
Edelman PR’s article on Barack Obama’s use of social media lists a very interesting “lessons learned” from the campaign that I think will be applicable long after Twitter has gone the way of the dodo bird.
Build to scale
Innovate where necessary; do everything else incrementally better
Make it easy to find, forward and act
Pick where you want to play
Channel online enthusiasm into specific, targeted activities that further the campaign’s goals
Integrate online advocacy into every element of the campaign
Every lesson listed here – save for perhaps the second to last and last one (not everything is online!) is applicable in everyday life, and everyday tasks. From searching for a new job, making a presentation at work, parenting your kids. Each bullet point helps you to be better and stronger at what you’re attempting to achieve.
I think that using Edelman’s lessons learned can only help the next round of elections. Because, if history is any indication, the internet is going to continue to play a bigger and bigger role in politics. Whether it’s twitter, text messaging, blogging or networking, the internet has become the space age wonder of our time.
Commentary on class Del.icio.us link
Its interesting to read that some people think traditional journalism may cease to exist. Now, while I don’t think that the media of the past is the media of the future, I don’t think traditional journalism will end anytime soon. Yes, The Seattle Post Intelligencerhas gone online, The New York Times is losing money, and many local newspapers are folding, regular plain old media has been on the radar screen since the beginning of time and its not going away. It is, however, adapting and changing just as the world has since G-d created the world – or Earth evolved from a primordial soup whichever is your cup of tea.
Because times are changing, why shouldn’t media – specifically journalism? Newspapers didn’t exist way back when, but town criers did – I’m sure the men and women of the middle ages didn’t think that “newspapers” would catch on to become the main stay of journalists. So why should we think that the internet or social media could become the norm for traditional media? I would say traditional media is more about who’s discussing what than the format in which its being discussed. A New York Timesreporter writing, blogging or vlogging is just as much a reporter as a blogger breaking news. But that doesn’t mean that blogger is always a reporter.
For example, the Del.icio.us article makes some interesting points — specifically in the quote below:
“Unedited blogs are rapidly becoming news sources. Much of it is scary stuff, from nightmarish economic and financial meltdowns to chilling war attractions to come in the Middle East. The collapse of daily print journalism is a threat to democracy itself. How to distinguish between clutter and good stuff is a constant challenge as attention becomes a scarce resource.”
It’s a little dramatic (IMHO) to say the collapse of daily print media is a threat to democracy itself, but journalism in the future will be constant and ever-changing so how will we sort through the clutter? Good question. My guess is its going to be up to each person to decide his or her own definition of “traditional media.”
Hungary – as seen from an outside blogger
While reading about Hungary and its blogosphere at Global Voices Online, I was struck by three things. 1. There were not that many posts; 2. The posts were more concerned with the world around Hungary; 3. The posts were in English.
Now, those aren’t earth shattering realizations, but they do showcase – to me at least – how different the online world can be outside of the US or a major economy. As I stated above, there weren’t that many posts – I find this rather strange considering how prevalent and easy blogging is in the US. It also made me think back to my time abroad when I first learned that people outside the US did not have the same feelings towards the internet. It was 2002, and I was spending a semester abroad in France. Computers and the World Wide Web were all the rage on college campuses, and very few students didn’t have a computer – or at least access to one. But in France, internet cafes were where most French people accessed the internet, and if a family did have a computer, dial-up was the chosen method of connection. So it really shouldn’t surprise me that a country with an economy, population and history such as Hungary does not have a lot of bloggers in 2009. Perhaps they are behind the times a bit, but more likely it’s because the technology and financing needed to support such an online movement just doesn’t exist. And if it does exist, perhaps its not easily accessible by all Hungarians.
While the internet and blogging may not be “the norm” for Hungarians, I found it intriguing that those who were blogging were blogging about the many events, peoples and issues dealt with outside of Hungary that had a possible affect on those living in Hungary. One blogger was excited about President Obama’s EU visit, even though he (Obama) had been less than enthusiastic about the state of Hungary, and another blogger wrote about the economic situation in South Korea, Brunei, Egypt and the US and how it all related back to Hungary. Pretty heavy stuff.
Lastly, most of the posts were written in English. I found this interesting because it shows how universal blogging is, yet how uniquely American it can be. I would never expect a blogger in Hungary to write in English, as most Hungarians speak Hungarian, but perhaps blogging in English gives their blog a better chance at becoming “famous.” I really don’t know the answer to it, but it is something to ponder as I delve into the world of blogging beyond the United States.
A digital Bill of Rights? Yeah Right.
You’ve got to be kidding me, a Bill of Rights for the internet? Who has this much time on their hands?! However, after reading through the short, and simple theory – I totally support it. It’s not complicated, touchy or weird – just plain simple statements. Things most internet users assume they have already. Because, really, who reads an entire “term of agreement” anyway? And if you do, do you really understand it if you don’t have the letters ESQ after your name?