During the last six months, press coverage for social media tools like Facebook and Twitter have become deafening. Each has been around for several years, but the stars finally aligned with the convergence of new media, the 2008 election, pop culture, mobile technology, politics, and the ubiquity of high speed internet connections.
Last week the California Republican Party held a “Technology Summit” that represented what I hope is the first of many conversations about the role of technology in campaigns, party building, GOTV efforts, fundraising, and communication. I was asked to speak for a few minutes and used the time to help the audience viualize the difference between the “web 1.0″ and “web 2.0″. As a student of new media who actively learns about and embraces new technology, I realize we are already taking our first significant steps in the the era of “web 3.0″. However, in the world of Republican politics… first things first.
My brief talk included two slides (left and below). The first slide highlights the overlapping and interdependent nature of web 2.0′s tools of communication. It contrasts those tools with traditional media tools like television, radio, and direct mail.
The second slide built upon an understanding that numerous communications tools are now available — none a silver bullet — that allow organizations like political parties to impact the national dialogue. Not long ago, producers, editors, and publishers were the gatekeepers to traditional media. They determined who received the coverage… how much, and how fair. Today, organizations have options. They can use tactics that embrace the MSM to reach large audiences while also deploying tactics that focus on narrow slivers of new media niches made possible by the wonderful convergence of technology and politics.
I am constantly looking for better ways to communicate the relationship of new media tools to those who are just now dipping their toes in the water. Fortunately, I StumbledUpon the featured image in this post. I like it because it is clear, comprehensive, and easy to understand. I hope these visuals are helpful.