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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Media Comic Relief

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Yesterday, The Nut Graph carried a report about how UMNO wants to use new media to woo the younger generation.

One of the best lines in the article (quoting UMNO’s new information chief) had to be this: “We will speak their language because they are now speaking in the new media terms like blogs and Facebook, but in doing so we will say the truth”.

Walski only has one question ask: I can has cheezburger?  
(making the Web 2.0 leap, and more, in the full post)

But kidding aside, new media practitioner Oon Yeoh makes a good point in his article, “Politicians Don’t Get Social Media” – they simply don’t get it. He cites several examples to prove his point, including Barack Obama, arguably the most tech-savvy living statesman on planet Earth.

In the case of Ahmad Maslan, for example, what he forgets is that social media is about interaction, and not one-way, shove-it-down-yer-throat propagandizing. Just because you own a spanner (and presumably know how to use it) doesn’t immediately qualify you to tune Formula-1 race cars.

Most importantly, it’s about content. Hopefully, Ahmad Maslan also knows that politicians have already taken to blogs, like sharks to blood. And these days, the rage seems to be Twitter, which Oon calls “the poster child for interactive, Web 2.0, social media”.

There are two politicians, who use Twitter, both of whom Walski happens to follow. One is from UMNO, and the other not. Let’s look at each of their last 3 tweets (newest first) – see if you can spot which one is the UMNO politician.

Politician #1
  • Perak in limbo with no Mentri Besar – PR lawyers to set aside Court of Appeal single-judge “stay” decision
  • From a constitutional crisis with 2 MBs, Perak plunges into the ridiculous situation where no one can occupy the MB's office in SUK
  • Perak Crisis - new development. No one can legitimately occupy the MB’s office until the Court of Appeal hearing or state general election.
Politician #2
  • 3.00pm – Announcement and Launch of Sime Darby special project
  • 10.30am – Appointments
  • 12/05/09 : 8.30am – Office matters

Any guess as to which the UMNO politician is?

Now, Walski doesn’t know about you, but he surely couldn’t care less what a given politician’s daily schedule is. What’s more interesting are his/her thoughts. Of course, more importantly, the politicians’ media/PR teams need to understand social media, since it’s them that does the real social media work.

For more comic relief, go check out the observation that the __earthinc made about the same politicians.

In any case, it’ll be interesting to see what UMNO comes up with, in terms of woo-ing the younger set. In all likelihood, more comedic material for Walski.

Walski’s post-mystery politician id footnote: Just in case you’re curious, you can find out who the two politicians Walski mentioned are: Politician #1 and Politician #2. Did you guess correctly?