The Politics of Blogs and Social Media Strategy

by Marianne Richmond on July 14, 2006

I have been following with great interest the role that social media is playing in the upcoming elections in the United States. This morning in memeorandum I noticed an entry from David Sirota that said, " Joe Lieberman is so desparate, he’s now dispatching his top political consultant to create, a blog."

It is really too bad that creating a blog is viewed as a desparate act by a politician (or a corporation for that matter) rather than part of a proactive social media strategy. Mark Cuban put it simply in an email to Businessweek, "I can spend three hours talking about a topic and the media will edit it to fit the three minute segment or a 500-word column. That’s far from the most efficient way to communicate. The blog changes all that."

Putting aside all of the other Kool-Aid Cluetrain words, having the channel for ongoing direct two-way communications is reason enough to have a social media strategy, period.

Ned Lamont, Lieberman’s opponent, has a blog. His first post, although nothing more than the Greek test Lorem ipsum , indicates he was planning to blog at that date; his blog really started in May, 2006.  These are the words Lamont uses under his Blog name, Windows on the Campaign, " Victory on August 8th depends on meaningful opportunities for participation and robust two-way communication between the campaign and the Democratic grassroots. At its best, this blog will achieve just that while providing a “window into the campaign,” updated daily with lots of photos, video, and stories from the trail. "

Lamont’s blog also has a page that invites readers to visit the "Local Online Scene" which provides links to blogs and websites throughout Connecticut; he also has an "email this to a friend" invitation at the bottom of this page. Word of Mouth 101: We trust the recommendations of the people that we know.

Ned Lamont is also an effective YouTube presence. "Ned Lamont has a Messy Desk" has been viewed 133,000 times on YouTube. There is a YouTube group that calls itself, NedHeads that has 982 members and 227 videos. He is also effectively incorporating into his blog. I think that qualifies for a social media strategy.

As I have already noted, John Edwards is using a socially integrated media strategy. Why? Because that’s the world we live in…..

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