President elect Obama has been heralded before on HouseBlogger for his net savvy ability to get the grassroots to come out and vote. Now, politics is always a polarizing issue so please put away any bias you may have and please come with me as we appreciate his marketing ability. Because thats really what matters is the marketing and how we can mimmick superior online marketing of others for our purposes.
Obama took his original website and changed it to http://change.gov in an attempt to keep the buzz happening. The site recently released a new application that to me kind of shows the limits and also the manipulations that are possible with social media.
The newer system is a Digg.com like system whereby visitors can vote and deny commentary. I will let Politico.com explain what has happened:
President-elect Barack Obama’s Transition today launched "Open for Questions," a Digg-style feature allowing citizens to submit questions, and to vote on one another’s questions, bringing favored inquiries to the top of the list.
It was suggested when it launched that the tool would bring uncomfortable questions to the fore, but the results so far are the opposite: Obama’s supporters appear to be using — and abusing — a tool allowing them to "flag" questions as "inappropriate" to remove all questions mentioning Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich from the main pages of Obama’s website.
The Blagojevich questions — many of them polite and reasonable — can be found only by searching words in them, like "Blagojevich," which produces 35 questions missing from the main page of the site.
"Given the current corruption charges involving Blagojevich, will ‘serious’ campaign finance reform that takes money completely out of politics through publicly funded elections be a priority in the first term?" asked Metteyya of Santa Cruz, California."This submission was removed because people believe it is inappropriate," reads the text underneath it….
…. Community reporting systems like this are often vulnerable to abuse from committed partisans — YouTube has wrestled with a parallel problem — and the only solution is conscious efforts to remedy it.
Some call user generated content and the new media the Democratization of the web. Maybe, but it also can be a giant propaganda machine. Intended or otherwise.
Other interesting articles:
The Webs Influence and Social Web: A New Thing?
Pat Kitano on Social Media Podcast
Interview With a Social Media Pioneer
The Obfuscation of the truth…….& The Orgy of Free:The CIA owns part of Facebook?