It’s summer in Norway, and very nice weather these days. The media was occupied with the Iran election, and all of a sudden Michael Jackson died…
Next upcoming event will be the election in Norway. Not an important event in the world, and maybe not important in Norway either? But will it be an important event for social media in Norway?
One subject that’s bound to be discussed is the political parties in Norway’s usage of social media. What they did, what impact it had. One question that will be on everybody’s tongue will be; Did some, or any, learn and have a success like Obama?
It’s a boring question, because the answer is given; NO. The reason is as simple, The politics in Norway isn’t in a similar state as it was in the US. We do not have anything like a “Bush administration”. We do not have any real need for change as the Americans felt in the population of Norway. Thirdly no political party in Norway are using anything close to the percentage of energy ( money, time, staff) in the area of social media.
But still it will be interesting to watch, for us Norwegians. We have a very high penetration of broadband, high percentages have a profile in e.g. facebook, and a lot of political parties do have (it seems) a strategy ready for using social media as one of their channels.
Does it seem like they have grasped some essence of what social media is about? I’m not sure. It looks like not. Mostly the various parties uses social media as a old fasioned Push channel. If that is their involvement, it’s likely that their effort will be worth little, or nothing at all.
As for the Obama campaign, social media didn’t play such an important role as we sometimes like to claim. Mostly it was an e mail campaign – ergo more of a e- dialogue /e- marketing campaign, not so much a social media campaign. In addition the Obama campaign, took analytics very serious. What gives results? This is know- how from old fashioned Direct mailing. Maybe Political parties in Norway should spend more money on this ?
If political parties wants to get results in activities i social media, I believe it’s important to have the core goals in mind. And that is NOT winning the election. It’s providing the population with better public services! This is interesting, because I do believe that this is something social media and politics really have something in common! It seems like one still focus on sending the message, not listening to the messages coming back, and at all not giving a feedback of the dialog people are willing to invest.
Social media, as I see it seems to be very strong in some aspects;
1 Spreading information wide and fast
2 Creating an arena for a producing and spreading knowledge
3 Creating an arena where processes of mass creativity and innovation can take place in a very rapid cycle.
All of above seems to me t be a perfect environment for political activity. But I do wonder if the Norwegian political parties are able to handle this, during summer and fall in Norway.