15 October 2010

Internet the new TV

In the mix of an article looking at Malcolm Gladwell's examination of social networks and real social change... I saw this.
“If the Internet didn’t exist, Barack Obama would not be president of the United States,” says Ben Rattray, the founder of Change.org. “The fact that the most powerful person in the world wouldn’t be in that position without the Internet and organizing online says something.”
It reminded me of reading about how TV changed everything for elections.  How the early leaders of both the USA and Canada would likely not have been elected in an era of TV  (or radio possibly for that matter).   The importance of how the visual changed debate.   Marshall McLuhan said that the televised debate changed everything and likely the internet changed the landscape again.  

One question I have is:  did the internet really organize people?  The answer is yes if you voted for (or were in favour of) Obama.   Or did the internet change the game again?  Where TV made elections about how good you looked in a suit and how much you fidgeted and looked dishonest etc,  did the Internet make the person with the most tech savey-ness, the best iPod play list or cool factor win?

I'm no Marshall McLuhan so I'm not going to state it as fact.   But I do think the "change" came it lots of places.

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