In fact, It is my position that political candidates should develop systems to seamlessly “listen” and analyze the digital space in real time to better forecast future developments, particularly when it comes to the 2012 election and beyond. Corporations can hugely benefit from this approach as well. Why? Because society, overall, is going through an “update” of sorts. There is a mindset shift, and much of it can be viewed across the interplay of digital comments. Fewer and fewer people seem willing to be just led any more. Almost every element is questioned, challenged; particularly when it relates to political figures. And the thought is moving all at once through various strains. There is no more tipping point as in Malcolm Gladwell’s 20th Century view. Now, everyone is beginning to view him or herself as a leader, we’re full of leaders; therefore leaderful. And it’s exhibited over digital platforms, most notably and frequently accessed via mobile devices; and evidenced in actions from the Arab Spring, to Occupy to the Bank of America $5 debit card charge backlash and more.
Simultaneously, the general population seems to be moving further from sole reliance upon traditional information sources to that of a mix of trusted peer-to-peer exchange and certain traditional sources. Thus, it just may be time for less old-school polls and more SmartPower interaction. This is what I have found as I have continued the conversation from my book onto www.glassldc.com. There is often times a markedly different view than what a politico or brand might think is conveyed versus what the public actually thinks. Unlike the Harvard study, though, we are analyzing comments across a number of categories daily in real-time. Though in beta form, my team and I are and painstakingly sifting through comments like archaeologists do on a sacred site. What is found, is fascinating.
In conclusion, my hope is that all types of organizations, but particularly the 2012 election campaign camps, include those with better expertise in digital monitoring/researching and cultural analysis to examine, for example, the candidate’s performance across it from day-to-day, week-to-week and critique. The media’s political coverage could also include not only its own such comment analysis but also evaluate political candidates’ usage of tech platforms, overall, in order to make the coverage more comprehensive and relevant. Otherwise, the danger is working furiously in the dark, out-of-touch and possibly suffering great loss by doing so because there is a new digital class battling out a new system of values and power. Welcome to the 21st Century.