Did digital get municipal candidates elected?

Did digital get municipal candidates elected?

I had the privilege of being a guest of CBC Ottawa Morning with host Stu Mills this morning. They invited me to talk about some research we did at Full Duplex. Ironically, the series of posts on the real research didn’t get much attention, but the cheeky post I did on a Sunday afternoon forecasting the outcome of the election based on the research did.

Here are the main points I shared during the interview.

  • Digital did not and will not replace traditional campaigning in the foreseeable future. Put another way, politicians and political candidates will always shake hands and kiss babies (and attend bake sales… all of them), and digital will be an important component of building on those interactions and initiating new ones.
  • Not making our predictions list does not mean the candidate did digital poorly. In Rideau-Rockcliffe, for example, five candidates qualified for our grading metrics and earned grades spanning A- to B-. This shows that a growing number of candidates are doing better at using the tools (Note: using, not having).
  • Good communication and interaction skills are the base necessity of any politician and political candidate. Having a relatable personality, and the courage to show it, is critical both online and off.
  • Google is where people will search for and find you. Or not. The choice is yours. Know, though, that people don’t sit impatiently by their mail slot for your brochure or for your name to appear in the newspaper. If you’re not online, if you don’t share meaningful information online, if you don’t relate to people online and you don’t make it easy and engaging for people online, they won’t waste their time trying to find and learn about you.
  • One of the shortest paths to media recognition/coverage is being creative, communicative and relatable online. This makes for great press, the kind of press that will reach those who aren’t online. The choice is yours.

There are other points I was going to share and didn’t get to. I’ll write about those tomorrow.

Here are three resources you might find helpful:

Their appeal is becoming more selective

Kevin McGowanKathleen Petty and I had a great conversation about the present state podcasting during a segment on CBC Ottawa Morning. The catalyst for the discussion is the recent announcement by Kevin that he’s putting an end to his popular music podcast, The Ruckus.

The conversation largely hinged on the fact that most podcasters produce their podcasts out of passion, or at least out of some personal interest. A three-year run is a pretty good commitment for a hobby podcast. Some television shows don’t even last that long (and they typically have a team of people to distribute the work).

Kathleen was curious about the appeal and future of podcasts. My view is that the future of the independent podcast remains bright. Many podcasters are becoming exposed to top quality, bar-setting content and production, and the tools are becoming more powerful and easier to use. As long as someone can find a niche to fill and serve it well in a unique way, they can create an audience for themselves. Of course, I don’t know that I was complete in my articulation of these points.

I cited YouTube videos as an example. In the early days (and to this day to a certain extent), the average video was poorly lit and had horrendous audio quality. A lot has changed since those days with amateur/personal video. The same can be said of podcasting.

Even the people sitting in their underwear, eating cold cereal in their parents’ basement are stepping up with better podcasts. :)

It occurs to me that we didn’t really give a thorough response to Kathleen’s questions about making money from podcasting. What I didn’t say is that the sponsorship/advertising money never materialized. I expect that has a lot to do with issues like quality of content, quality of technical production, credibility of the producer and the size of audience. Podcasting is a media that lives in the long tail rather than in the mass media rush. The financial opportunities have turned out to be rooted in talent (technical and hosting) resulting in production and consulting companies. And, some of the early and more successful community builders have cultivated speaking careers from their experiences.

Of course, like other media, podcasting has its place. Radio didn’t replace live theatre. Television didn’t replace radio or motion pictures. Video didn’t replace radio or television. And so it goes. In fact, I know some amateur radio operators and my good friend Bob Goyetche is in the process of getting his HAM radio license.

So, don’t you worry about podcasting as a media. It will always serve a purpose. It’s a media through which creative individuals and large media organizations can create relationships with their listeners and build communities of interest.

Sadly, podcasts were doomed from the start simply because of the unfortunate name by which they’re known… (ugh) podcasts.

As a side note, it was a privilege to be a guest of Ottawa Morning during Kathleen Petty’s last week as a radio host in Ottawa. Kathleen is heading west to Calgary. Best wishes for success and good health. Ottawa, particularly the political community, will miss you.

Brent Louks and I talk about #elxn41

I spoke with Brent Louks on Saskatoon’s 650 AM this morning. Naturally, the conversation was about the digital side of the election.

One question stood out and I’m really glad Brent asked it. With all of the media attention and public hype about social media in the election, and my findings that the conversation is becoming overwhelming, what can people do to help themselves with making a decision on their vote.

Most people should avoid the fast paced general chatter about the election which features about 9,000 Tweets a day about the election at a macro level. Journalists are watching and reporting on that to the best of their abilities. That combined with their campaign coverage means their doing a great job covering the national stage. The average voter should find their candidates online. Check their websites, follow their Twitter streams, join their Facebook Pages, watch their videos. Stay connected with others in your digital neighbourhood. Then, make a decision that best for yourself and your community.

It’s mass globalization to hyper localization of the conversation.

Click on the play button in the embedded audio player to listen.

Thank you Brent Louks for a great chat and to News Talk Radio 650 CKOM for making the audio available online.

Evolution of media intimacy (Tod Maffin at PAB2010)

Clip videos of the PAB2010 conference speaking sessions are starting to appear online. The first of the series is a nine-minute section of Tod Maffin‘s workshop on “IT”. Specifically, the video focuses on the evolution of media intimacy, from “original” stage performance, through radio, television and now digital media including podcasting.

Thursday Special Blend of PAB2010

He’s a friend, podcast co-host, he’s part of the PAB2010 team and his name is Bob. It makes it a bit confusing that his family name isn’t Goyetche. That’s why I call him “OtherBob”.

Tomorrow morning Bob Ledrew and I will spar, laugh and answer questions about PAB2010 on Thursday Special Blend, the Thursday morning radio show of Carleton University’s CKCU radio station. You can listen in on 93.1FM in Ottawa and ckcufm.com online.

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