Saturday, February 16, 2008

Election 2.0

I have to confess that I'm not all that interested in the US presidential primaries. My head says it's important (as US presidents tend to have an impact beyond the United States), but my heart says it's their country and their election - not mine.

One thing though that has caught my attention is the way in which the different candidates have used the tools of web 2.0 to run very different campaigns to those of the past. Surprisingly it is the oldest candidate - Ron Paul - who has been cleverest at using social networking and email marketing to raise funds and spread his message.

There will be lessons from this for Irish candidates in forthcoming elections. Though I think it will be some time before we see an Irish politician using YouTube to get his message across as effectively as Barack Obama (Yes.You.Can), and even using the same music video format to parody his opponent (John McCain)!

So while I'm not that engaged in the US elections, I do find the emergence of Election 2.0 tactics and techniques fascinating and I don't doubt we'll see more of the same this side of the Atlantic in due course.

1 comment:

  1. Two points here:

    First, yes, it is a very different election utilizing blogs and social media to keep activists engaged and informed. The candidates who do not have their social media strategy implemented and engaged (meaning you can't manage the message and be comfortable with that) are suffering in both organization and money raised. There has been a significant decrease in television advertising with the money, instead, focused on building grass roots organizations for the candidates. It has been remarkable.

    Second, while it is the USA's election, it is an important election for the rest of the world.

    The standing of the US in the world has justifiably been reduced over the last eight years to the point of myself not even being proud to say I am from there (I am visiting Ireland as I write this).

    The participation in the election (especially on the Democratic side) has been significantly, if not record-breaking, higher in this election cycle than most previous elections which means the people are going to change something.

    Personally, the election will tell us whether the last eight years was something that won't last or if the US will continue on this path and separating us from the rest of the world.

    It's important. We'll see how it turns out.


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