The campaign and politics are the news of the blogosphere lately with more and more politicians looking to the web to gain momentum. We have had one mayor connect on Facebook and HI5, blogs by politicians, a video feed from the home of two candidades, a fake political guru and last but not least twittering by the Prime Minister (and more) well commented here.
[as an aside...why would you, the PM, use twitter to let people know where you are geographically???...i mean, come ooooooon]
I've tried to make sense of what is going on and have com to some conclusions:
1. Advisors tell candidates that connections in social networks equal votes: I cannot explain otherwise the propensity of politicians to connect with complete strangers online without knowing of their political colors.
2. Candidates haven't the slightest clue about Internet but think "doing Internet" is cool which equals votes: this is somehow confirmed by the fact that all candidates have rushed to use ALL popular platforms without giving any thought to whether they serve a purpose. For instance, when you have a blog, you'd better have something useful resmbling a platform to put on it.
3. Internet is used not to build communities but to build awareness which, they assume, equals votes: none of these people have bothered to attach a message to their bid for our attention. Like I was writing here, you are expected to make friends with them because they have created a profile. Or add them because they have started twitting.
4. There is a magnificent divide between offline campaigns and online campaigns, even when offline spills into online: this works pretty much like this: you get an ad agency to produce your posters and TVCs and they get a sister digital agency to produce a website which is the offline concept placed on the Internet. At the same time, some other advisors tell you how to blog and twitt and du buzz marketing about some other concept they've come up with. With one month to go and with these being the first uninominal elections in forever, you'd think that instead of transmedia someone would have thought to practice good old coherence.
5. The temporary gimmick is more valued than the long term building of something meaningful: obvious not only in the fact that none of the old campaign websites have been updated or maintained and new ones show up every second.
So, the truth is that while everyone swoons over Obama's succesful use of internet, I have yet to find one person to clearly explain what that use meant and how it can be replicated in Romania.
As always, we point fingers at sucess stories abroad and fake them at home.
communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.