Is it any surprise that politicians are embracing web 2.0 for their
political campaigns? It was only a matter of time before they came around and I suspect it’s only going to get worse, or better, depending on how you look at it.
Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, has recently launched a social wiki for political campaigns called Wikia. From his mission statement…
The candidates who will win elections in the future will be the candidates who build genuinely participative campaigns by generating and expanding genuine communities of engaged itizens.
I think Wikia will be a huge success. We all know how passionate people are when it comes to politics. Participation for Wikia is going to be huge, millions of people will be contributing content. The only problem I see is where one side will attack the other and I can only imagine what is going to be said about the candidates and parties. I’m sure Jimmy is smart enough to predict this so I’d suspect measures will be taken to prevent it.
Senator John Edwards recently spoke at Gnomedex, Web 2.0 Explorer has
Senator Edwards starts by saying that blogging and podcasting is where America is going. People engaging with politicians, not just listening and watching.
He’s right. People will want to elect politicians who engage in
conversation, not control it. We want someone who will listen to our
concerns and address them. The voice of the people is getting louder by the day and I believe people will finally have the power to take some of the control back.
Political blogs were big in the last election, this next election they
will be much much bigger. I predict that parties will be hiring armies
of bloggers. Companies will form that do nothing but blog for
politicians. SEO and Marketing 2.0 will also play a big part in this, as these techniques will serve as great tools to help maximize the new social mediums such as Digg, Newsvine, Flickr and YouTube.
Another important factor for politicians will be tracking their buzz.
Never will it be as important as now to keep track of what others are
saying about them personally, their party, and their stance on issues.
They will need to quickly respond, grasp hold of, and squash all the
negativity. They’ll also need to embrace the positivity and fuel the fires.
There’s still plenty of time before the next presidential election. I
can only imagine the number of new 2.0 startups that involve politics in one way or another that will spring up. It’s going to be out of control, the blogsphere as well as the whole web will be nuts when the next election comes around. It will definitely be overwhelming.
Politicians better start planning their strategies now, while they can
still get a grasp on things.