Monday, October 27, 2008

Obselete Advance Tactics

I did advance for President Clinton (event logistics management). One of the first keys you learn is to make sure the space was smaller than your crowd. If it wasn't smaller, make it at least look smaller by funneling the crowd to where the press is aiming their cameras.

All sorts of tactics can be used to help "shrink" a room, from riser placement to blocking empty areas with large flags, etc. Unfortunately, now that every attendee has a camera and the ability to post their photo on Flickr or worse, many of those tactics are not quite as effective.

Case in point: Marc Ambinder just posted this photo from a McCain rally today:


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Social Media and the Butterfly Effect

I came across this article in the New York Times - another example of the paradigm shift in the fundamentals of communication. Johnny Lee posted a video on YouTube of his ideas on how to bring a virtual reality feel to consumers, using existing technology available via Nintendo's Wii console.
That video, together with others that Mr. Lee, now 28, posted on YouTube, have drawn people to the innovator as well as his innovations. Video game companies have contacted him and, in September, M.I.T.’s Technology Review named him as one of its top innovators under 35...

Contrast this with what might have followed from other options Mr. Lee considered for communicating his ideas. He might have published a paper that only a few dozen specialists would have read. A talk at a conference would have brought a slightly larger audience. In either case, it would have taken months for his ideas to reach others.
We are just now seeing few, isolated examples of how social media is radically changing the manner in which communication is conducted. Bring to this the Butterfly Effect, and just think how such a paradigm shift is radically changing our world...

Friday, October 10, 2008


So, I have not posted my ideas here in a while. Truth be told, people have started paying me for them, so sharing them here might diffuse their price / effectiveness.

Nonetheless, I do have a few in production now that are kind of interesting. The first is the Rock the Vote Action Center. Readers may recognize a few theories I have thrown about on this blog. The idea with this one is to allow users to make phone calls on the campaign's behalf, from within Facebook. Of course, all activity is communicated to your friends... Things have been going great with this one - Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic wrote a piece on it.

Another interesting app is our Voter Registration tool. The idea here is to check whether or not you (and your Facebook friends) are registered to vote without having to enter your information (it all comes via Facebook). In the background we run a match of the user and their friend's to a national voter file. If the user is not found, we guide them through the voter registration process. We also display the user's friends into three groups - registered, not registered (i.e. found on the voter file but not registered to vote) and missing info.

I like this one a lot, but it did nothing like what Facebook's own campaign produced... We shall see what a few tweaks for next cycle might bring!

More to come (I hope)...