Obama left a message on YouTube for all Iranians!
Points to note:
* emphasis on directly (“speak directly to the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran”)!
* message posted on Youtube!
Now imagine the President of Iran, Ahmadinej?d, leaving a directly video message to all Americans on the web!!! We live in interesting time, don’t we?
In particular, I would like to speak directly to the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Nowruz is just one part of your great and celebrated culture. Over many centuries your art, your music, literature and innovation have made the world a better and more beautiful place.
So in this season of new beginnings I would like to speak clearly to Iran’s leaders. We have serious differences that have grown over time. My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community. This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect.
There are those who insist that we be defined by our differences. But let us remember the words that were written by the poet Saadi, so many years ago: “The children of Adam are limbs to each other, having been created of one essence.”
Sunday it was election day here in Trentino. Since Trentino is an autonomous region in Italy, local elections have a much larger impact on the region than national politics. Luckily enough, Lorenzo Dellai won with a large percentage and he will be once more the president of the province. Before the election day, there was the fear of having even here in Trentino a success of Lega Nord, a racist and obscurantist right-wing party.
I’m very happy Lega Nord didn’t win and I believe Dellai and its coalition (left-centre) will keep making Trentino an happy island in the context of Italy, but what interests me the most is the use Dellai made of Internet and Web2.0 phenomena for his campaign.
FacebookFacebook www.facebook.com/people/Lorenzo_Dellai/: at the moment Dellai facebook profile has 997 friends. Many of them requested the friendship after the success (in Italy we say “saltare sul carro dei vincitori” (jump on the winners’ bandwagon)) which is interesting as well. While most of the Web2.0 tools were used more as a direct but online communication channel, with Facebook, Dellai tried also to move the online networking to offline discussions. In fact, he organized an real-world aperitif in a bar of Trento. See the Dellai Facebook Aperitif page. This event had 95 confirmed guests and around 80 people (very young on average) shown up in the bar.
Well, besides this impressive list of Web2.0 tools in use, there are at least 2 interesting points I would like to briefly examine.
First, is this an example of politics becoming more transparent? I guess the real question should be: “will Dellai keep twittering/facebooking/blogging/… that heavily now that he is elected and, in this way, give to (tech-savvy) citizens a way to follow what he does daily and maybe even contribute with comments and suggestions? If yes, to which level will he dare to push this? Only messages about what he did or posts about strategic decisions even before they are already made?
Of course maintaining such a structure requires lots of resources, both in term of time (his time and his collaborators time) and money (people working on this aspect mainly since most of the tools used are free to use for now).
That’s something I’m terribly curious to see how it develops. In the message in his blog after his election, there is a Youtube video in which he states he will keep experimenting with the network (“Adesso la campagna elettorale si e’ chiusa pero’ (…) per me non si chiude l’esperienza della mia presenza nella rete.” and even “abbiamo bisogno della vostra amicizia (little esitation) su facebook”). But I think a twitter every 30 minutes is something he is not going to keep and this is a pity.
And the second key point is: is it possible to scientifically measure the impact of this approach, of this use of Web2.0 tools on the outcomes of the electoral competition? The more general question would be: can we identify numeric indicators of success? Are there around experiences in this sense? Research labs on Politics2.0 and its quantification? I guess that the are a lot of people working on the campaign of Obama so there might be some work already published (in papers or blogs). Are you aware of any of these?
The effects should be both on the number of votes collected by online tools, their general impact on the aura of the candidate, the changing relationship of the candidate with traditional media (newspapers, tv), …
Anybody trying to foreseen how big will be the impact of such strategies in the next elections (let’s say in 5 years)?