12 August 2008

South Ossetia and Social Media - The Discussions

The Russians have decided to "end" their activities in Georgia while the Georgians claim the attacks continue - so says CNN.

I took a quick look at the reactions people have had to the crisis in particular communities - specifically US-based political liberals and US-based political conservatives. Not surprisingly, a discussion that could have been about Vladimir Putin, Dimitri Medvedev and Mikheil Saakashvili quickly became a discussion about George Bush, John McCain, and Barack Obama.

More often than not these communities spend their time attacking the leader of the opposing world view. The consensus: conservatives think Barack Obama's position is to the left of Ben & Jerry while liberals think John McCain's position is to the right of Attila the Hun. And everyone is ready for George Bush to leave the Olympics and get back to work.

This is a stern reminder to those who are trying to reach out to top political blogs right now - if what you're talking about isn't something a political blogger can use to attack the other guy, you're not likely to get their attention. Political bloggers care about the horse race right now. If you're not relevant to their agenda, you're actually setting yourself back by reaching out to them.

One other interesting and insightful update - Jonathan Wong of Armchair Theorist found my post from yesterday on Friend Feed and sings the praises of social media. (Thanks for the shout-out, Jonathan.) I was struck by a comment he made in his post - something that perhaps he's far more qualified to make than I am:
And like I have said many times before, the importance of social media in offsetting complementing mainstream media coverage is 10x more important in the country where I come from, where our press freedom is ranked 153rd in the world, sandwiched between luminaries such as Iraq and Kyrgyzstan.
Global medium, indeed.

1 comment:

Jonathan Wong said...

Thanks Dave, for visiting my blog.

Most people certainly find it surprising that a modern, clean, first-world country like Singapore will have press freedom equivalent to a war-torn, middle-eastern, totalitarian or dictatorship country.

Thank god for social media!