Will Social Media Revolutionize American Government?

by Rick Duvall on 07/02/2009

sam1A friend who is a social media strategist had no idea the firestorm he was about to ignite in my imagination when he handed me a copy of Barack 2.0: Social Media Lessons for Business. Authors Brent Leary and David Bullock have created a manual for effectively developing and implementing a social media campaign drawing insights from the historic election of President Barack Obama. Not only did it serve as a primer for understanding social media strategies that could be applied in my own life as a business executive and as an educator, it also provoked me to consider other possibilities. For instance, could social media provide resources leading to a better way for America’s citizenry to govern and be governed?

Leary and Bullock make a compelling case that the way we elect our governing officials has forever been changed because of how Barack Obama conducted his highly successful Presidential campaign. I would go even further and say that social media is going to play an even bigger role in the not-to-distant future. Whether Democrat or Republican, one thing is certain: Americans want change. Americans, at least the ones I am in contact with, are chiefly concerned with two things: They want a better education system for their children and an improved economic system for themselves. And they have placed their faith in a government that seems inadequate to satisfy on either issue.

Einstein once said the level of thinking responsible for creating your problems will never be able to solve them. Social media allows us to ascend to a level of thinking that is unprecedented in history. Social media allows us to share knowledge openly without boundaries. Social media allows the best and the brightest to collectively collaborate on solving the problems that pose the greatest threat to our freedom and to our welfare. We now possess resources that allow an amazing degree of knowledge exchange and collaboration. Social media has provided us a set of tools promoting a level of innovation the likes of which the world has never seen. A true renaissance of human potential is now possible above and beyond anything we’ve ever hoped or dreamed of.

Is it possible that social media could affect the single greatest shift in our national identity since the American Revolution of 1776? Our forefathers suffered under a yoke of oppression and sought to form an independent government that was based on a single principle: Liberty and justice for all. They did well. They created a system of government that was “of the people, by the people and for the people.” Social media provides the citizens of our great country the ability to participate in their government like never before. We have before us a great opportunity to produce conversational currency.

An economist might say that conversational currency is created by leveraging social capital into a value proposition that generates an exchange of goods or services. An educator might say that conversational currency is produced from the convergence of knowledge, collaboration and innovation. How ever you put it one thing is certain: Social media is the catalyst for the flow of conversational currency.

A recent President once challenged us to “ask not what your country can do for you; rather, ask what you can do for your country.” It was an appropriate challenge then; it is an even more fitting challenge today. Speak up, Americans. Your voice is louder and clearer than ever before.

{ 13 comments }

Brandon Haskins July 3, 2009 at 12:59 am

Will Social Media Revolutionize American Government? http://bit.ly/WsTNG (courtesy of @simonmainwearing)

New Media Convention July 2, 2009 at 11:32 pm

RT @simonmainwaring Will Social Media Revolutionize American Government? http://bit.ly/WsTNG

Simon Mainwaring July 2, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Will Social Media Revolutionize American Government? http://bit.ly/WsTNG

Brian C. Citizen July 2, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Daily Deragon Dose: Will Social Media Revolutionize American Government? http://tinyurl.com/lymupb

Achievers Network July 2, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Will Social Media Revolutionize American Government?: A true renaissance of human potential is now possible abov.. http://bit.ly/z9p7s

Taj A. July 2, 2009 at 9:53 pm

The Obama machine is still using the mechanisms of social media and networking to its full advantage. Supporters that were recruited and/or retained during the presidential campaign through email, Twitter, etc. are now being regularly contacted and courted by President Obama in the hopes of continuing the grassroots push toward government reform. Citizens are still encouraged to make their voices heard through exchanges of the conversational currency that you speak of. It is certainly true that the new revolution has begun, both politically and communicatively. There is no turning back.

Great post!

Scott Kinsley July 2, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Will Social Media Revolutionize American Government? | The … http://ow.ly/15GK6c

mediaprince July 2, 2009 at 7:53 pm

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Rob Harvey July 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Will Social Media Revolutionize American Government?: A true renaissance of human potential is now possible abov.. http://bit.ly/SntcN

John Able July 2, 2009 at 2:12 pm

In the future, our principal civic duty will be to our social networks, not to our nation states. Governments, defined by geographic boundaries, will be replaced by systems of governance adopted by boundary-less social networks. In the future, we will wave the flags of our twibes!

Angela Suddarth July 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm

[email protected] Will Social Media Revolutionize American Government?: A true renaissance of human potenti.. http://bit.ly/WWTJ1

Martin July 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm

[email protected] Will Social Media Revolutionize American Government?: A true renaissance of human potenti.. http://bit.ly/WWTJ1

James July 2, 2009 at 11:52 am

Wow, so true. Voices can be heard that were never heard before. Intelligence that was hidden now can come to forefront. Look what American got talent, American Idol, and Britian got talent has done for the awareness that there folks out there with unbelievable talent. And now that you can catch it on youtube. But not only that there is a revival of old bands being renewed by facebook, twitter, etc. A barter company that I belong to just had an article in the mag on social media….and this company has folks that simple dove into the use of social media and it was twitter, etc across this nation in seconds……So if we desire to speak up about our government…we now have a powerful soapbox. As a matter of fact, one of my FB friends just voiced his opinion on a state government decision with phone numbers, websites, etc and it most likely has gone to hundreds with in seconds. Social media is like jumping from the telegraph to the land line phone. From land line phone to face to face calls on computers. From smoke signals to Twitter….You bet…social media is on the thresh hold of changing the very essence of how people become involved in revolutionizing our government.

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