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Three ways the US Election changed social media

My analysis of the effects of the US Election on social media was published by Social Media Today.

In short:

1) Using social media for fund raising monetised the format, and using the money for mainstream (and digital banner) advertising, relegated social media to being simply being another marketing channel.

2) The nation turned to social media to see what voters were saying about the election - it was validated at the vox populi. But simultaneously, a lot of content online was a kind of talk radio triviality (think ‘big bird’), and thus relegated social media to ‘light entertainment’.

3) The unification of many users around the Obama message provided a commonality to the online expression which defied the factional individualism that has arisen, and been championed, through the channel. At the same time, the strong use of the medium by right wing ideologues has empowered individuals as de facto affiliates of the Republican party - decentralising membership and control.

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How will Obama be judged?

Obama’s consistently calm dispassionate aura freaks out American voters used to hyperbole. It’s a style not seen in the US for many presidencies. The liberal anguish over his Presidency is strange because Obama has not become this sort of politician. He was just as calculating and deliberative in the campaign, and prior. He was a perfect vehicle for Americans to fill with their own version of hope. 

Maybe Obama would fare better in another Western country, like UK or New Zealand, where we like our politicians to hold back on the effusiveness.

Obama’s experience is a warning for modern politicians; it’s best to have voters find appeal in your passions and policies, rather than try to finely match theirs or allow them to define you.

Filed under obama passion president america usa style