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.
Dowdy Washington? Not in this issue!
Thank heavens for showing a little skin! Now, normally, I don’t really care what magazines post to their covers, but this month’s issue of The Washingtonian boldly depicts President Obama sans shirt – in a bathing suit no less – walking on the beach. I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t care to see former President Bush sans shirt (sorry!) but the current commander-in-chief is not so bad on the eyes. Being a rather adventurous person, the one thing I can’t stand about Washington, DC is how conservative people are here. Heaven forbid you wear a nice leather skirt to work – you’re branded a whore – or even wear tall boots with a knee length skirt. I mean you must be a K Street regular to do that!
New York City and Los Angeles are two cities where fashion trends are debuted, coveted, and fun. DC is a place where jokes are made and Brooks Brothers suits abound. How many fashion forward peeps do you see in DC? Ones who live here anyway? Not many. I love that Mrs. Obama’s official portrait is her wearing what she loves, looks good in, and is comfortable. Many a debate has been had about showing her arms, but you know what? She looks great, is wearing a very nice outfit, and the public be damned. So what if she showed her arms? She’s “got it” so she should “flaunt it.”
There’s a reason why the press were all over her fashion choices in her recent European debut. She looked great! She took center place on the world stage by being herself. She hasn’t changed just because she became first lady, and I hope President and Mrs. Obama continue to enjoy themselves – wear a beautiful one shoulder dress, go swimming, and enjoy the opportunity to showcase the Nation’s Capitol as fun and exciting for something other than Congress and the Smithsonian. Not that they aren’t great, but we could all use a little spice in our lives.
So kudos to Washingtonian for taking a chance and debuting a “racy” cover. President Obama has a beautiful wife, cute kids, a new dog, and guess what – he likes to go to the beach! Oh my gosh – might our President be human? He likes to have a good time with family and friends, and DC is going to have to get used to it. Hopefully this signals the decline of hooty touty yankee conservatism and people begin to let their hair down and have a little fun. Life is all about having fun with our family and friends. Why not enjoy yourself, throw on a suit (of the bathing variety) and jump in!