Decision 08

inaugurations and celebrations: why?

3004284537_de861a4a79_o Does anyone remember the words of hope and inspiration of the last inauguration?  With generally high approval ratings (in 2005), we (as a whole) celebrated our fight for freedom and democracy.

While my colleagues will be celebrating with free pizza (what agency doesn't give out free pizza at every noon-ish meeting?), I will be joining my friends back home in the place where this all started - social media.  While I'm oversees on vacation, there's nothing quite like a live Hulu stream (Anonymous Mode in Chrome solves overseas IP address blocking) and chatting it up on twitter.

When I shared my plans with my wife, she asked an interesting question, Why do we care about inauguration speaches?  And even if there were meaningful, inspirational and realsitic sentiments being shared, why does this inauguration feel more like more than a political event?

I believe that inaugurations are generally like Superbowl pregame shows.  We're excited about what's to come, and with lots of media hype behind what is often a meaningless speach, we're driven by our friends, family and colleagues to believe in it's importance.  

However, as Obama chose to frame his battle cry of "Yes We Can" into "Yes We Did", this inauguration has become a victory parade.  We are celebrating our own achievements, our own investments in Obama the brand, Obama the man and Obama the movement.  We are celebrating our moment of achievement when we as a nation, elected Barak Hussein Obama.

Here's to hoping that both he and we can live up to the hype, live up the progress, and once again become both a nation inspired and a nation climbing towards better peaks.

The Chief Technology Adviser in the Cabinet

Old computer While Jason Hiner asks Who would be better for tech, McCain or Obama? I would like to ask - do either of them know their way around a server farm, basic coding software or a media extender?  Should we expect them to?

The role of our president is to lead our nation, to guide our direction and to build a better tomorrow.  We don't expect our president's to know everything, that is why they have a cabinet.

And I believe that the time has come to nominate a Chief Technology Adviser to the cabinet.

Neither candidate has real tech experience.  Neither candidate can bring an insider perspective to the issues.  Neither candidate is qualified.  But which of them ready to to learn?

Which candidate is committed to US leadership in the tech field, to bringing best practices and world leading insight to guide us through into a highly digital era?  Which candidate is ready to create the position of C.T.A.?

While Obama has suggested that he would create such as position, I have not yet read a full description of how he would interface with or otherwise incorporate this officer into his government.  It's easy to make a pledge, it's harder to fulfill. 

Here's to hoping that whoever is elected tomorrow has the foresight to build for success while cultivating in the present.

photo credit here

Jon the Marketer (w video)

  • SimpleJoe the Plumber.
  • Bob the Builder.
  • Steve the Comedian.
  • *Name* the *Occupation*

I'm Jon the Marketer.  I'm a number on a spreadsheet.  I'm a demographic to be spoken to.

The everyman is an everyman, not a someone.  Right?

And the everyman relates to the everyman, because we have something in common, we're all numbers on the same spreadsheet, right?  Skew the math properly and we're really all the same, right?

To quote John McCain (see video below), "You're all Joe the Plumber".  Ouch.

We'll find out in 5 days.

But are we any better?  Are we as ad men/women, communicators, PR people, really any better?  Are we speaking to/with people or numbers?  Are we connecting or are we yelling?  What are we doing to transform not just our own agencies and teams, but the industry at large? 

What is OUR plan for change?
photo credit here

information overload > politics and marketing today

Chess Players in Dupont Circle

Image by dbking via Flickr

A coworker recently shared Perspctv, an automated political social buzz aggregator.   The data presented is clearly labeled, easily overwhelming, and of questionable value.

Key Insights
Predictably, more of the social content out there more is Obama/Democrat centric than McCain/Republican.  As the old adage goes, Republicans fall in line, Democrats fall in love.  Obama seems to be simply more remarkable, more sociable.  Or maybe Obama's constituency is just more digitally social.  Either way, there is clearly more buzz around Obama than McCain.

The Challenge
This information may prove virtually useless in the big picture.  Anyone can pull raw numbers, it takes skill to manage the data overload, to present clear and actionable/informative data.  Successful information management, whether it be social media intel, site design, presentation authoring, or writing an email, is key to success in today's world of information overload. 

Take a look at Perspctv.  What value/learnings do YOU see in the buzz?

For more on next gen election coverage, check out this enlightening post.

McCain's Video Game - Smart or Sad?

I try to comment on politics on this blog.  Personally, (odd as this may sound) I believe that both of our candidates are viable and acceptable leaders.

While both candidates have activated their social network advocates, and Obama has proven the success of the microtranscation at scale, McCain has brought a new layer of interactivity into the equation... a video game.

There is no way to say "I am not all that old" like bringing back a popular 25 year old video game - space invaders - and inserting brand messages after each level is completed.  And it's on Facebook!  That's got to make it hip, cool and oh so two point oh.

Check out the game below/after the jump.

Is this wise?  Will this net him meaningful interactivity?  Is this integration serious and meaningful to the channel?  Is it novel enough to the audience to net him success?

Will political messaging in gaming be a trend we see grow over the coming years?  Will the next presidential election see dynamic, or even static advertising or marketing in video games? 

successful politics in the long tail

Disclaimer: this post is not about Ron Paul's policy, stance or politics.  It is about harnessing the dynamics of new media marketing to make a campaign into a movement.

Ron Paul gets marketing 2.0.  He's launching his campaign through social media, UGC, micro-payments, relationship marketing, and best of all, he's pulling it all together in a very grassroots kind of way.  Check out his recent work below/after the jump.

Key Takeaway: The end goal of social marketing shouldn't be viral success, rather we should be seeking to create a citizen fueled movement.

Cramer on Ron Paul's 2.0 Success

It's no wonder nobody votes anymore

When more votes are cast by clicking, digging and rating online on any given day than there are in a presidential election, what does this say about our society?  It says that we want real power.  We want to be heard.  We want to be part of something great, something significant.  We want to see our votes added to the pile, see how we are changing the world one click at a time. 

Of course we care more about our War in Iraq than Will Ferrel's daughter demanding the rent, yet wehen crunch time comes, we simply don't vote.  Why is this? 

CNN and YouTube are hosting their own new format debate series where the people submit the questions. Jeff Jarvis applauds this effort, and I would like to congratulate him for taking this bold stance.  While the criticisms and critiques of many are true (that this is not truly a democratic process as CNN [and not the community] is choosing the questions to be answered), this nevertheless represents an amazing shift by a traditional media outlet towards recognizing consumer control.  For the first time, people will be empowered with potential participation in a presidential debate. 

But to take this a step further, how much more meaningful would this be if the candidates were to continue this debate on both and YouTube by posting their replies to one another?  Why not include an online video editor in the package and empower users to not only follow the give and take, the ebb and flow of the debate on an ongoing basis, but to insert their own commentary into the news? 
Bringing the people to the table as a prerecorded snapshot of a moment-in-time works only so well, but how much more impactful would this experience be if the debate were truly brought to the people?


On a completely side note, has anyone realized that we  have been calling this The War on Terror, The War on Drugs, The War in Iraq?  Can someone please tell me why the government and mass media have been framing these efforts as abstract absolutes and not personal statements of earnest caring?  I know I certainly care more about MY country, than THE country.