Sunday, August 17, 2008

Same ol' Voice Brand New Megaphone

There’s a new facebook group trying to influence Barack Obama’s choice of Vice President. The story here is that in the old days, there really wasn’t any way for Barack Obama to get real time polling information outside of a few hundred poll calls and there certainly wasn't an effective way for a community to quickly ban together to influence such a decision.

But now there’s an outside chance 100k people might directly influence his VP pick – in real time. That’s awesome – that’s the power of Web 2.0. Other than physically assembling thousands of people for a riot or march or standing in front of Lucky's collecting signatures – how else can this number of people collectively have a voice in such a short time frame? This isn’t a petition – it’s a near real time shout. These aren’t just signatures, they’re virtual profiles that carry all the weight of an individual’s identity.

It makes you wonder if we’re still not seeing the real potential of Web 2.0 technology. Imagine if at Apple they wee thinking of a new color scheme for the iPhone. Why risk screwing that up? Just ask your 100k strong iPhone facebook group what they think. This is not a random poll. These are real people who’ve proactively built connections and who have confirmed identities. In fact, with some analytics, you could dissect the demographics of your group to get a better feel for the result.

At no other time has it been easier to assemble a few hundred thousand like minded individuals and get heard. The question for us marketers (and in this case, Barack Obama) is: are we ready to listen?

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