Lets start by saying twitter is not changing politics. Technology is changing politics and twitter is a glowing example of the trend. But the important thing for all of to pay attention to is we need to not just text but also listen.
Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post noted this week that for the political animal twitter is an essential element of the political bloodstream. And, although we aren’t “science” folks (we love data) we might propose the term that “twitter is the plasma” of the political information flow right now. With technology moving forward at a more rapid pace it enables the most mobile of society to stay connected in ways never before contemplated by politicians, their strategists and communications people. Who we ask is connecting? Almost everyone, but not always through the same channels and increasingly as highlighted by NPR this week it has become harder to listen.
In calendar year 2011 there were 1.1 million Apps available in various markets which accounted for 18 million downloads. People are engaging in mobile in unprecedented ways. We are all watching as the battle heats up between Android (google) and I/OS (Apple) one can only wonder what will transpire with Blackberry and Microsoft still needing to impact these markets. When you combine these mobile trends with the accelerated proliferation of tablets it is clear that the revolution will not be televised but odds are it will be broadcast through a mobile device.
Joel Kotkin noted recently in the Wall Street Journal that nearly four million people have left California in the past two decades…4.0 million in 2 decades with most of those are between 34- 45. That’s the effect of tax and economic policy resulting in negative population growth. With all these departures one has to ask the following questions ? When these folks move are they taking their mobile phones with them ? When they get to where they are going: Colorado, Oregon and Texas are they getting Land-lines in their new homes? And, to make life more efficient how many of these parent age people are adopting smartphones and tablets. The people at the Sunlight Foundation are trying to get their arms around this trend with their new app called Upwardly Mobile.
When Bob Dylan said “the times they are a changing” I don’t quite think he had this in mind. When you read the news its good to read a bunch of content from a bunch of sources and piece together the story. Find the thread running throughout the news. And one thing that strikes us today is that folks are moving and they want to be heard. We have voices and we want to use them. I wonder though how can the politicians listen when their getting blasted in the ear by a fire hose that they don’t always know who is pointing it
We know this, connections consist of two channels and its time to start listening and not just tweeting because the heard is starting to run.