Presidential Campaigns Using Social Media….kinda

I wish I had the time to uncover all of the links to all of the attempts of the presidential candidates to forge into social media, but I quite frankly don’t have the desire. I write this post after hearing in the background once again on “The O’Reilly Factor” a review of the various forays that both parties have made into the social media sphere in hopes of appearing hip and reaching out using this “new technology.”  I have to stop and laugh at the concept and try to discern as to whether I should be happy that for the first time the candidates are making SOME real attempt at using the Internet, or cringing at the fact that again, they just don’t get it.

Those that follow me and my posts here and elsewhere on the web and in articles know how I feel about this, and I will say it again. You canNOT take your TV commercials, made as advertising campaigns, and pop them up on YouTube and call it “social media.” It’s the consistent mistake that marketers, agencies, companies big and small, and even the so called “experts” in this space make over and over. They miss the biggest part of the definiton: a TWO WAY conversation.  And no, allowing comments that have been pre-screened to insure that they only speak to your expressed opinion do NOT count.

If candidates REALLY want to use social media and reach constituents they would open up a real dialaogue or offer up a frank Q&A discussion on their sites, or inside of their cute little Facebook/myspace accounts and allow ALL commentary to come through – and…now wait for it…ANSWER them in real format (not just some crafty answer contrived by writers that really aren’t as clever as those were on “The West Wing” such as even dare I say our staff to really not answer a question at all.

Personally, I think that debates and all content on a site for anyone running for office should operate like this.  In a debate, you are asked to take a position – YES or NO – on things that pop up in those overpriced polls that change by the minute. If you don’t answer, or if you give some round about “answer” that doesn’t REALLY answer the question, then you are out. Game over.  “Are you pro-choice or pro-life?” There are two answers, period. Even if you scale your answer to have a “in this instance,” or “at some times…” then it’s still falls to one side of the fence. Your navigation toward the middle one way or the other we can all figure out on our own.

And in social media – answer the questions. Read the commentary.  Respond to those taking the time to allow for TWO-WAY conversation. Don’t stick your dang overpriced, overproduced, contrived messages in my face on YouTube and call it social media. Call it what it is: more advertising placed in a different medium!

Oh, and lucky you that the medium is FREE…wouldn’t it be nice if YouTube could command the same rates to blatant advertising posts for people with ad budgets in the same viewer ratio?  Wow…that would really mess with everyone. But that’s another post…for another day.

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2 Responses to “Presidential Campaigns Using Social Media….kinda”

  1. casualtyofdesign Says:

    Amanda well I’ll have to agree that the whole “social media” phenom in politics as of late is kind of cheesy but let me as you this.

    What do you expect, and are you surprised?

    All I’m saying is a politician is just that… A POLITICIAN. If there was a way to make the word politician a four letter word I’d be all for it.

    The word politician by definition brings up thoughts of scheming and scandal when I hear it. Check out this excerpt from

    4. Politician, statesman refer to one skilled in politics. These terms differ particularly in their connotations; politician is more often derogatory, and statesman laudatory. Politician suggests the schemes and devices of a person who engages in (esp. small) politics for party ends or for one’s own advantage: a dishonest politician. Statesman suggests the eminent ability, foresight, and unselfish patriotic devotion of a person dealing with (esp. important or great) affairs of state: a distinguished statesman.

    My point is… it doesn’t really matter what format they use to communicate the bottom line is they’re going to say the same thing anyways. You can go clear back to good old George Washington if you’d like the mindset between him and Clinton(s), Obama, Bush or whomever… HASN’T CHANGED.

    It’s all about power and controlling that power. The system we have in place works now and has gotten us this far but I think for mankind to evolve and get past the AIDS, homeless, Middle East Crisis and numerous other catastrophes we’ve got to go beyond politics and politicians all together.

    I don’t have the answer for you here today but I know the road we’re on isn’t the path to harmony. I love me some Obama but I don’t think theres anything he can do for us by himself. Let me be clarify, I don’t think any one POLITICIAN can, only time will tell I suppose.

    One last point for all the politicians blunders in not getting this social media thing down its ironic that we’re having this dialog, eh?

    For all humanity,

    ~ Echo

  2. flopoke Says:

    Good Luck with that:)
    As any system(personal, business to Politics) ramps up, the value of any contribution moves from a high to low signal to noise ratio, acknowledgment to aggregate, with a disheartening yet inevitable decline into noise.

    If we have learned anything in this country, there are two ways to profit, margin or volume. Politics is a game of volume. The farther you get from local, the more you depend on volume.

    It sucks, but until there is a fundamental shift in what folks believe and what they will not accept, Social Media and Politics will continue to be an Oxymoron.
    alan herrell – the head lemur

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