Politics In The Social Media Playground

We may never know the Impact social media had in shaping our new rather bewildering government.

Maybe it reached a lethargic non-voting population and changed their minds. Perhaps it taught the party campaigners to engage with more mobile tools in order to rally their troops. Maybe all it did was introduce other channels of communication to the mix.
All I know is it certainly played a part.

Craig Elder & David Cameron online at the OU

@CraigElder sources David Cameron questions on Twitter to answer at The Open University

Perhaps now with new Natural Language Processing tools for measuring our online sentiment we will finally get an idea of how much of an impact these new media tools are having in the mindset of the general voting public. This is both amazing and scary to me. We seem so desperate to know yet many of us are just having fun. Playing with tech as tools.

It was @Ilicco and Reuters that though it was OK to let the geeks loose with tech in close proximity to the leaders of our parties. And as the security perimeters thinned with each encounter, Brown to Cameron to Clegg.. we would try out more tools and techniques experimenting ways to bring the outside conversations in and to share the conversations we had with everyone. There were times when Ilicco wondered how much trouble we may or may not get into. That said.. I don’t think he ever stopped having fun.

Some of these groundbreaking platforms championed by @Sleepydog lived only during this extreme period of change. His coders would use zero’s and one’s like lego. All the bits are now back in the box. Till next playtime.

We were not too hung up on the quality of anything, be it the video stream or the questions I would slip into whatever conversations we were having. I do remember feeling excited and sharing way too much coffee with friends who’d been given the opportunity to collaborate on projects that excited and inspired.

It was a social media playground like no other. Mobile phones verses the HD stream. Political pundits verses the twitter stream with in many ways the geeks given free rein.

I’m not sure if we will ever again see such a massive change in communication in such a short space of time. Not to the extent that Reuters championed. It was the beach on which the waves of old and new media crashed ..and we all got wet.

Now everyone and their dog is a ‘Social Media Expert’ the air is muggy with hot air and opinion claiming the right and wrong way to engage using real-time web tools.

In the words of Yoda, “Do or do not… There is no try.”

Participation is the key and feeling free enough to play allows you to subconsciously learn from your mistakes.

The people who were both in the rooms and working remotely in these projects are too many to mention. Perhaps they would like to link in or comment their experiences below.

Some names of note were: @Ilicco, @Sizemore, @Sleepydog, @Loudmouthman, @Kate_Day, @SolobassSteve, @benjaminellis, @MarkJones, @CliveFlint, @Sophiebr

The unquantifiable nature of all this will be just a memory next time round. The tools are coming and although I feel we are a long time away from totally understanding the impact from this kind of exchange, we are getting closer all the time.

If I’m honest it’s the metrics that excite me the least.¬† Let the practitioners experiment, explore, dance around new ways. For every ten people willing to show the way, there will be ten thousand wanting to sell you the map.

“When we make music we don’t do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point.” ~ Alan Watts

I am @Documentally on Twitter and mostly blog on http://Documental.ly

P.S Lets remind these guys what they promised the people..

PPS, In this last coffee soaked audioboo I meant to say megabits not megabytes..