Thursday, January 03, 2008

Primary Decisions

I don't have anything to offer the blogosphere that hasn't been offered by all manner of punditry both political and social, but I do feel that today's Iowa Caucuses will act as a sort of litmus test for the practical applicaiton of social media into a broader context. David Wescott's post that just came through my feed reader does a good job capturing the zeitgeist of the blogosphere and some of the different kinds of opinions and predictions floating around out there as the frozen midwesterners head to the polls. (His point about campaign finance reform and campaigns "resembl[ing] telethons more every day" is also a very strong one, and worth considering among the more political Puppeteers.)

The primaries for me will be a put-up-or-shut-up scenario about some of the more wild predictions those of us in the new marketing / new media community have been throwing around lately. CC Chapman recently referred to the New Marketing community as a "fishbowl," and running through my Twitter stream that seems quite approrpriate - it is often the same people saying many of the same things to each other. This ties back to my 2008 predictions - I feel we're starting to reach the summit in our development of this space, and the application of our theories to the wider world is the next logical step. We need to take care we don't construct our fishbowl-cum-tower too high, or we risk not seeing what's on the ground anymore.

To that point, the first real litmus test kicks off in a few hours. Will the Andrew Ryan-like Ron Paul's Libertarian views and Internet-driven fundraising record really make him a viable candidate? Long Tail he may be (tip to the previously-linked Chris Anderson and Newsweek), but the actual viability of this model outside of a few already-connected companies, artists, consumers and politicians is what's on the line. Will Paul's fundraising and online popularity equate to votes, or will it be so many Snakes On A Plane?

That is, frankly, what interests me about this race. If we really are challenging the old way of thinking as much as, well, we'd like to think - how does it play in the Midwest, and how much does it actually affect the bottom line - be it votes or units sold?

My prediction: tomorrow morning our little fishbowl will be a very interesting place.

1 comment:

rogerwhitson said...

What gives you the right to talk about American politics, you Benedict Arnold?!? Go back to worshiping that cad Gordon Brown.