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Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, 2nd Edition by Erik Qualman

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Chapter Four

What We Can Learn from Politics

John F. Kennedy was helped into the White House by the increasing popularity of a new medium, television. The same can be said about Barack Obama. He also was greatly helped by a new medium, but rather than television, it was social media. While the 2008 election was groundbreaking in that it forced traditional broadcasters such as ABC, NBC, and CBS to adjust how they covered election news—otherwise people would find content elsewhere (YouTube, Wikipedia, blogs, podcasts, etc.)—the constructs are a good blueprint for how we can leverage change, whether it's within politics or in any other endeavor. The blueprint for success will constantly evolve, but it's important for us to recognize recurring old constructs that we can utilize to apply to the latest shifts in society and technology. As you read this chapter, think about how you can leverage change, like the Obama campaign did, to drive your own personal success.

“We should be careful of these zero-sum games where the new media drives out the old,” said Andrew Heyward, a former president of CBS News who consults for the Monitor Group. “I think what we see is growing sophistication about making the channels work together effectively.”1

Perhaps due to his widespread appeal to younger audiences, but more likely due to limited funding at the outset of his campaign in the Democratic Party primary, Obama embraced social media from the beginning—knowing that he had a chance to dominate this ...

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