As the 2012 presidential campaign continues to heat up, Election Day 2011 is just around the corner. In less than twelve days, Americans will head to the polls on Tuesday, November 8th to cast votes for various state and local candidates. And, we’ll be almost exactly one year away from voting to determine whether President Obama will serve a second term.
This morning, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Holmes Report’s ThinkTank Live event here in Washington, DC where I discussed the evolving media landscape and the role of social media in shaping politics and public policy. In preparation, I got to thinking about how social media was impacting the election process this early in the race. Between the Romney-Perry video battles and the buzz around Herman Cain’s “smoking” ad featuring his chief of staff Mark Block, it was a perfect week to perform a little deeper analysis.
Well, January 2011 is now behind us — and what a month it has been. Between the tragic shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona and complete Middle East meltdowns in Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan, one can only hope that things will get better! I remember so many people anxious to turn the calendar after last year but thought I’d take one last look back before officially saying goodbye.
In January 2010, I compiled a list of the Top 2009 news stories that either began on the Internet or gained additional steam online due to the impact of social media. After receiving a lot of terrific feedback, I decided to do it again. However, this time I tracked the stories in real time as the year progressed as opposed to trying to remember the sequence of events at the end of the year.
Since I live and work in Washington, DC, I tried to keep a special eye out for stories related to politics and/or government. Now that most of the stats are in and stories have unfolded — one month into 2011 — let’s take a journey back. Without further ado, here are my Top 20 Social Media News Stories of 2010 (in chronological order).
Today, Edelman released the findings of our 2010 Capital Staffer Index during an event hosted in the Washington, DC office. Edelman’s Public Affairs & StrategyOne teams interviewed senior legislative staffers around the globe in several capital cities including Berlin, Brussels, London, Paris and Washington to determine the role and influence of various communications channels both online and off. Below are some of my initial — and personal — thoughts about the U.S. survey results.
Generating new sales leads can be challenging, time consuming and frustrating — but it’s a critical element in growing a business. Believe me, I’ve been there and can sympathize with anyone who has ever had to build a list from scratch, make a cold call or contact someone they simply don’t know.
Some people really thrive on the excitement of aggressively securing a new lead, while others are uncomfortable with the pursuit. In either case, there’s no excuse — especially with all the information available on the Internet these days — for not performing even the most basic research before reaching out to a prospect.
A couple weeks ago, I received an unsolicited sales email. Personally, I prefer to receive a phone call first, but if an email does arrive in my Inbox, I would hope that the sender would at least make sure that it’s relevant to the recipient.
2009 will most likely be remembered as the year that the Internet expanded beyond the tech set as more people flocked to the web to search and share information — largely due to the growth of social media and the rapid advancements in mobile handheld technology.
Whether in news, entertainment, sports or politics, just about everyone launched a Twitter account this year. At the time of this post, Ashton Kutcher topped the list with 4.2 million followers with Britney Spears, Ellen DeGeneres, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, John Mayer, CNN, Twitter, Ryan Seacrest and Kim Kardashian rounding out the Top 10 Twitter users.
Well, sort of. I started using Hootsuite, a web based Twitter app, in mid-April 2009. I like many of the site’s features, especially the ability to schedule tweets, manage multiple social media accounts, monitor keywords and track link stats via their propietary URL shortener ow.ly. Get it? Hoot as in “owl.” Pretty clever and just as effective as bit.ly, though I use that occasionally, as well.
At any rate, I have become pretty reliant on Hootsuite and use it almost exclusively when tweeting from my desk. When on Blackberry, I use ÜberTwitter which also offers built in bit.ly URL shortening functionality.
Basically, I was curious to see which of my tweets generated the most interest in 2009. The challenge, however, comes in determining how to measure that. The closest I can estimate is by looking at those with the most clicks.
This week, Edelman released TweetLevel, the latest web-based tool designed to measure one’s “importance” on Twitter.
For those who haven’t given in to peer pressure to join the site yet, Twitter is a “microblog” that enables users to share thoughts, activities and news via 140 character text updates.
Twitter’s founders had a pretty basic, yet novel idea. They wanted to create a platform where users could connect with each other online to answer one simple question, “What are you doing?”
I’ll admit that when I first joined (@almacy), I just didn’t get it. Besides a few close family members and friends, I remember thinking, “Who really cares what I’m doing?” In fact, my first tweet isn’t exactly going to assist in solving global strife.
This past weekend, the Associated Press reported that the White House was moving to an open source content management system (CMS) known as Drupal. Many among the tech set have praised the move including Nancy Scola from techPresident who was among the first to write about the change in her post, WhiteHouse.gov goes Drupal. A good read.
For those not familiar with what this actually means, a CMS is basically the back-end (not visible to visitors) of a website that allows the administrators (owners) of the site — often non-programmers — to easily organize site navigation and add content designed to appear on the front-end.
For most CMS solutions, the user experience is pretty simple, usually consisting of a password protected login, options for varied user permissions for approval and forms with specific fields based on type of content such as text, photos, audio and video. Once entered and saved, the CMS stores the information in the back-end database and displays the content on the front-end when called up by a site visitor.
Traditionally, August is supposed to be a little quieter in Washington, DC. Not so this summer with the current debates heating up over the future of the US economy, bailouts, healthcare reform and energy legislation.
The Internet is certainly playing a key role. In fact, YouTube may have officially reached its digital advocacy “tipping point” when a handful of videos were recently uploaded featuring flustered politicians struggling to answer tough healthcare questions during several Congressional town hall meetings.
Many Democrats in support of the bill have moved to characterize opponents as an organized, astroturfing, angry right wing mob. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) even went so far as to call the protests “un-American.” On the contrary, it was the SEIU who was caught on tape beating Kenneth Gladney, a black conservative activist who was on site selling “Don’t Tread on Me” buttons and flags at a Russ Carnahan rally in St. Louis, Missouri.