Well I'm back from vacation and sadly I had a good week in traffic even though I didn't post. I have a lot to read via my RSS feeds so I have a lot of catching up to do. However, there were two subjects that really caught my eye in the limited time I've had to pound through a week's worth of feeds.
One of them is the big deal a lot of people are making with regards to whether Republican Presidential candidates will skip the upcoming YouTube/CNN Republican Debate. So far, only John McCain and Ron Paul have agreed to participate and people wait to see what Romney, Rudy, and others will do. You can see from my two link posts from July 27th and July 29th that it is getting very heated as to why people think they should or should not skip the debates. You want to know what I think?
- This is a debate people and whether it is YouTube or not means that the campaigns need to figure out whether this is advantageous or not.
- I don't think that if Republicans skip this it means that we are far behind the Democrats when it comes to using the internet. We run more online advertising and search marketing than they do today.
- You see a lot of "experts" discount the online advertising techniques we are employing because Google Ads and Display ads aren't as buzz worthy as a Twitter, Second Life, YouTube, Facebook, and etc efforts even though there is precious little data on how they impact a campaign right now. Unlike search which we've shown delivers $4 in donations to John McCain for every $1 in spending, there is NO data on the impact of these social networking tools.
- Perhaps Republicans have a better handle on micro targeting and realize that in order to succeed in the primaries and/or general election that there are a large base of voters that don't consider YouTube the end all to be all. Witness this screen shot from Lee Rainie for her Personal Democracy Forum presentation that shows the stark differences by age for where people get most of their political news. Are you shocked to see TV's dominance even in the under 36 age group? How about the lack of use of the internet for people 51 and older? You know that the older you are, the more likely you are to vote right?
- As Jason Calacanis points out, Social Networking takes a lot out of your day and I know precious few parents and working stiffs like myself that have the time to really use these services. I try, but even I have my limits. So why is this important? Perhaps these social networking sites are not the holy grail of politics.
Anyway, I don't think Republicans are behind the times unless you think online marketing only means Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. I do think all should participate in the debates even if they get asked strange questions from the YouTube community. As Bruce Springsteen found out in 2003 when he first did a questions and answers with his fans (see post continuation), they may ask ridiculous questions like boxers or briefs, but these are still your fans and you should interact with them as often as possible. That's the only way to take their pulse on what's important to them.
19 / Somerville Theatre / Somerville, MA
Notes: The first of two benefit shows for the struggling DoubleTake Magazine, billed as "two intimate evenings of music and conversation." Springsteen took the stage alone for a knockout night of, indeed, both music and conversation. The music -- mostly on acoustic guitar, a few songs on piano -- ranged from Joad tour staples (like "Adam Raised a Cain," "Little Things That Count," and "Sinaloa Cowboys") to long-lost album tracks (like "My Father's House," "Stolen Car," and "Souls of the Departed") to hits, Rising cuts, and a world premiere ("The Wall"). And then there was the Conversation part of the show -- Springsteen chatted between songs, inlcuding a line-by-line explication of "Does this Bus Stop at 82nd Street," and closed out the show with an hour-long Q&A session, taking questions from the audience after pledging to talk about anything... except his hair. Ticket: $500. Show: priceless.
Darkness on the Edge of Town
Adam Raised a Cain
My Father's House
Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street
Thunder Road (piano)
Born in the U.S.A. (12-string)
Souls of the Departed
The Wall (world premiere, co-written with Joe Grushecky)
My Hometown (piano)
Save the Last Dance for Me (partial)
Little Things That Count
If I Should Fall Behind (piano)
The Ghost of Tom Joad
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
Q&A Session: Includes performances of "Back in Your Arms," "Into the Fire," and "Across the Border"
Encore: This Hard Land