Building the Social Media Starfish

Scoble has an interesting video podcast up at Fast Company reviewing the social media tactics of the U.S. presidential campaigns, which brought my attention to how these campaigns are using leading social media tactics and are a great source for best practices. To paraphrase Scoble, political campaigns have a really strong market signal to engage their audiences – they have 18 months to get to launch or close up shop.

Building a Political Starfish| Multimedia - Business Slideshows, Video & Podcasts
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Scoble’s “social media starfish” is a useful way to conceptualize the multi-headed and distributed network nature of effective social media engagement. Rather than just a shotgun list of tactics and platforms, it’s useful to think about how the different arms work together and facilitate engagement and convergence across media to influence audience behaviour and calls to action – in this case to donate, vote and volunteer.

I’m looking at the lessons of these campaigns for practices that bridge the online, mass media and events spaces in a way to make change. (In case you hadn’t heard, 2008 is the year of change so join your friends in the change drinking game at the next Democratic debates.)

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