Archive for April, 2008

Need More Proof of The Power New Media Continues to Wield?

April 28, 2008

Jamesatbabyspot sent around a Tweet with this article – another great example of how the emerging popularity of new media tools (aka web2.0, social media, social networking, whatever you want to call them) continue to rise as a powerful means of keep companies more accountable.

Much thought and debate has been given to books like Tipping Point and Microtrends – regardless of whether or not you agree with the finer points of their analysis or the terms they use one thing is for certain – the ability apps like Twitter provide to instantly endorse or undercut a companies service is growing exponentially.

As I have said before – an economy can only truly be considered a FREE market economy if the buyer and the seller share perfect information. While a Free Market may never really be possible in the most absolute of terms, a world that is becoming increasingly integrated through the adoption of new communication technologies will prove to be a key missing piece.

If it hasn't happened already I can definitely see a time where companies in highly competitive markets begin hiring inside or outside help to track and manage real, unfiltered (versus self-selecting means like customer surveys) feedback as to consumer perceptions. Now that I think about it that may be a fertile new area of opportunity for many of the people I follow on Twitter who own their own consulting companies ; )


I Tweet Because I Am…

April 28, 2008

…curious and thirsty for knowledge.

Have been referred to a couple of great blog posts explaining why people use Twitter so I figured I would throw my hat in the ring as well.

Now just the slightest chance that some of the people I follow on Twitter may read this has me a bit embarrassed to admit it but my entre into the crazy, three-ringed world of social media’s cutting edge began just a few weeks ago when I finally got around to setting up a Facebook account. I consider myself as someone fairly aware of the latest developments in technology but I have to say that I was completely floored by the dynamic nature of Fbook and the myriad of apps and activities available to further facilitate social interaction.

The epiphany that there was so much more to social networking apps than what I had experienced through LinkedIn and MySpace (used LinkedIn alot, MySpace was more of a placeholder since I move quite a bit) lead me on a, information binge that eventually intersected with Guy Kawasaki and I immediately fell in love with Alltop as my own personal window into the veritable smoke-filled back rooms of the new media elite. Sure I could spend hours and hours scouring the web and trying to decipher which individuals and blogs truly had a handle on where social networking technology was heading and which individuals had no idea what they were talking about, but accessing a list of the sources of information trusted by the new media vanguard just seemed so much easier.

I knew a couple of people who Twittered but I didn’t really get it until I began looking at Alltop’s  Twitterati section and then it hit me – with Twitter I am essentially able to shadow individuals who possess information I want to learn or simply fascinate or interest me.

I know that I have not even scratched the surface and look forward to refining the ways in which I utilize Twitter and other social networking tools but one thing is for sure – as many of the other “why I Twitter” posts have said – life will never be the same!

Hotline: DNC Rolls Out "Neighborhood Volunteer" Voter Org Tool

April 21, 2008

Hotline article on rollout of neighborhood centric voter file tool forwarded on my Koehn (thanks dude).

Interesting at first blush – need to digest it a bit more though.

Obama Has the Money and Suppossedly the Mommentum and Yet…

April 21, 2008 Obama Drowning in $ – Clinton Drowning in Red Ink RCP Poll Averages

These two stories highlight a couple of things that undercut a a couple of the narratives that have been swirling for some time now.

First – Money has always been held as one of the most important factors in being able to win an election. This CW is why so many people discount McCain's chances. Never mind the chapter in Freakonomics that dealt with the subject directly (and IMHO did a fairly good job of debunking it) – what I have yet to see anyone explain is, if it is true then why isn't Obama running away with it in PA right now?

I am not saying he won't win – he very well may – but if money is such an important factor in winning shouldn't he be destroying her right now?

Second – If all of this momentum behind Obama and particularly this massive "Change" movement that has been talked about for so long is as deep and powerful as everyone makes it out to be – again, why isn't he running away with this thing yet?

I unfortunately haven't had time to look into a couple of things the way I would like in order to provide substance to my take on these questions that have been nagging me but doesn't it seem like there is at least the possibility for some alternate factors that no one has identified or discussed yet?

The Coming Wave We Are Not Prepared For

April 18, 2008

Sorry – one of these days I'll actually figure out how to make these things actual working links (novel concept I know).

The most current post has some fascinating information on the communications behavior of a select group of 11-18 yr olds from around the globe.

The ongoing discussion of the Republican party's need to understand and embrace new pieces of mobile and online communication technologies could not be bolstered any better.

Time Mag: Why Dems Rule the Web

April 18, 2008,9171,1731879,00.html?cnn=yes

Thanks Koehn for sending this great article – further illustrates the point that campaigns cannot generate this kind of enthusiasm. That said when it spontaneously appears they must be ready to use all of the tech tools at their disposal to capitalize on it.

Ruffini's Ron Paul/GOP Activist Concerns

April 18, 2008

Take a moment to read Ruffini's latest post – this one addressing the continued activism of Ron Paul's supporters (clever bunch) and the need for McCain to generate a broader little grassroots enthusiasm of his own.

I always appreciate Patrick's thoughtful analysis but a couple of his points tie to a larger problem with this cycle that I have been trying to process.

His larger point seems to be that the RNC and McCain campaign are not doing enough to excite and empower the GOP base's most influential and dedicated activists (he calls them the 6 million). He argues that "top down" poll-driven strategies won't do the job because the idea or cause that excites them (presumably to 2004-like levels of activism) "won’t come from a “MoveOn of the right” occupying a D.C. office suite funded by an initial round of 7-figure commitments." Ruffini ends the post by arguing that "we need to be focusing on the best minds on empowering David-with-his-slingshot from the Six Million. Even if that means a little less emphasis on the Sixty Million in the short term."

Thinly veiled shot at Freedom's Watch aside he has indirectly touched upon some of this election cycle's dynamics that I don't think I have seen anyone address up to this point.

What first stuck out was the inherent contradiction in (rightly imho) claiming that a groundswell of enthusiasm cannot be messaged or manufactured but must occur organically. The accuracy of this claim however gets lost in a contradictory spin-cycle when he follows that up with his thought that "the best minds" need to focus more on "empowering" activists (which contextually sounds alot like working to stir up enthusiasm) and focusing less on the "Sixty Million" (obviously directed at the McCain Team's eschewing of a 50%+1 strategy in lieu of a broader based strategy) in the here and now. I agree that you can't hope to press the right messaging button to auto-generate a powerful grassroots movement and for that reason I disagree with the notion that those at the top (RNC, McCain Campaign) should work harder to "empower" the grassroots.

For months now pundits have scrambled to explain the unpredictable as candidates they never thought had a shot (Obama) and candidates they had left for dead (McCain) plowed their way to the top and along the way they have grabbed at every possible polling trend they could find to make their case. As a result the "Change for D's/Security for R's" myth was propagated along with several other theories that ricochet off-target.

Its not that I don't think that, at some level, a broad swath of R voters feel that security interests are preeminent or that on the D side an equally sizable voting block don't want change – its just that I am not convinced that our monolithic polling methods are suitable to provide the evidence needed to tease out the root causes of this election's swings.

8 – 10 months ago who wasn't blown away by the passion that was exhibited during the immigration debate? Not fast forward – anything dramatically different about our immigration policy? Nope. And yet all of that passion and anger…gone.

The point? For reasons I will get into another time I am not sure that this is going to be an election where we can expect a groundswell of enthusiasm (although, admittedly anything could happen). The good news is that what the D's are experiencing isn't a true groundswell either – sounds ridiculous I know but I think that the fund raising etc is more a reflection of the intensity that back-to-back terms of someone from the other party will generate with a heaping teaspoon of candidate charisma thrown in for good measure.

Remember Obama "never had a chance", Romney's finances, resume and telegenic personality made him a force to be reckoned with and all of the Conservatives who were disenchanted with their top choices were going to throw every ounce of support and money they had behind Fred Thompson.

The only thing constant in this race is that there are no constants.

McCain Tidbits

April 18, 2008

Great Jonathan Martin Story on McCain’s out of the box campaign approach.,8599,1731643,00.html

Joe Klein – McCain Above the Fray

I’ll try and develop a larger post on this later but McCain has been served well thus far by just being himself. If there was ever a cycle when anything was possible this one is it.

UPDATE: Bad Customer Service meets New Technology

April 17, 2008

A Comcast crew showed up...

A rough idea where flow comes from

GWB First POTUS To Twitter…Sort Of

April 17, 2008

TechRepublican post on a story that caught my eye yesterday in Twitterland. Turns out its POTUS but not POTUS just like Obama twittering is Obama but not really Obama.

As usual we will be a few years late to the game in campaign world. I mean – its good that they are at least attempting to use them but it is also kind of frustrating when it becomes obvious that they only view apps like Twitter as just one of a million different delivery systems for that day’s talking points.

To me setting up a Twitter account and updating with messages like “going to be in Philadelphia today” has the reverse effect – its obvious that someone other than the candidate is writing the messages so instead of becoming a tool that allows the candidate to create a more personal bond with a particular audience it reinforces their preconception that candidates are little more than cold and calculating machines.

I’m not saying that candidates need to post constantly throughout the day but think of what an impact it would have on your particular audience if after an event you posted a note expressing appreciation for the kind words mr. X said to you, etc?

I am sure plenty disagree with me and think that Twittering is just a distracting waste of time – they’re just wrong.