Our local newspaper recently posted an insightful piece on the use of social media in municipal politics.
The post made some amazing points. For example:
- That our local social media community doesn't care about politics, politicians, or elections;
- That traditional media does politicians a favor by editing out the useless drivel they spew;
- That social media isn't used by old people (sorry mom);
- That social media users only think they're involved in political discourse, but in fact they're no where near citizen participation.
We couldn't agree more.
Except that (and back to reality):
- Our social media community not only cares about municipal politics, it self organizes to increase participation;
- If traditional media is flogging "editing" as a golden feature for users, well, we'll decide for ourselves what's worth our time and what's not (but thanks for the offer);
- Some of the largest social media networks on earth are experiencing their largest growth from an older demographic of users;
- Social media is a process not an event. Measuring the depth of participation by individual 140-character snippets is like trying to understand the odyssey by only reading the preface.
Note to traditional media: Quit vilifying and get involved. Authentically. Or be the cranky old guy at the party that no one wants to talk to...or worse, talk about.