Real Politics Made Virtual

Obama leads the way

Billions of articles have been written about the amazingly successful campaign that Barack Obama launched on the social media — besides real life — to get elected (well, he did get elected), so it’s pointless for me to enumerate them all. Suffice to say that two important aspects were, for the first time, put in place.

The first is that the old model of rallying around cities and giving large events is not working any more. People are lazy and distrust politicians. They have their own ideas and minds, and a higher education, when, say, compared to the 19th century. Travelling around cities to gather support might have worked on the pre-Information Age, but, except for Caledon and other steampunk enclaves in Second Life, the Victorian way of doing things is out of fashion.

During most of the 20th century, people actively involved in following politics just used the media to stay in touch. Newspapers first — where they read about the politicians’ ideas — and later on TV. Now, instead of patiently waiting for the “election train” to arrive at your home town to listen to the candidates, you just browse the traditional media and get informed that way. The focus slowly changed from “rallies” and “events” towards “good media presence”; having a good hairstyle and selecting a nice fit of suit or dress to look “right” on TV is way more important than charismatic oratory skills.

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