If you want to connect to a younger group, go to where they live. One of the places that I would go to if I was a politician on PEI is Facebook.
PEI has the second highest penetration in Canada with about 22%. Montreal is about 10% and Toronto about .5% Other parts of Atlantic Canada are also high - something about we all know what community really is?
The Charlottetown Network is currently 13,500 people. 47% women, 31% male the rest did not tell. 66% do not state a party affiliation. 7% call themselves Liberals and 3% Conservatives. So there is lots to play for here.
Facebook used to be confined to students but it recently opened up and is exploding - even old farts like me are now active members. It has great depth and yet is simple and intuitive to use.
The tool allows for a great deal of social organization. It is ideal for running a campaign. here you can go door to door and meet the people you would never find on the doorstep. Here you can set up a real dialogue with the voters. Here you can run your campaign diary.
Our small size makes this tool especially useful.
I will comment regularly on how it is being used as the campaign gets under way.
Some people behave very badly in the blogosphere - they make vitriolic attacks such as those made on Kathy Sierra - they comment on politics - they spam blogs.
They do this cloaked in anonymity. When banned or challenged - they make the claim that the person who defended themselves from their poison is being undemocratic - that they are ending freedom of expression.
This is utter rubbish. The hide behind being anonymous. They attack people who put their name to what they stand for. They merely attack an have no interest in a debate.
They stand not for democracy or freedom of speech - they stand for cowardice.
As we begin the election next week on PEI, let's get behind real democracy. Let's ignore the pathetic whingeing and whining of those on all sides who hide and ambush. If they persist - out them.
Terry Heaton is one of the most thoughtful people in the new field of Social Media today. But what makes his ideas even more valuable is that he lives the social web/economy. He brings his whole self to work. Today is the anniversary of his wife's sudden death. In this piece he talks about what her loss means for him.
I feel inspired by him today to say a bit more about loss and the power of sharing our losses.
We all have or will have a loss or losses like this. But most of us would not live our losses in public and certainly not where we work. It is not 'Professional' to bring our life into the public domain. This is our real tragedy.
The essence of the transactional economy is that we hide our full self not only from others, but worse, we often end up hiding our true self from ourselves. The girl of boy who at six spoke about how they felt and knew what they liked has in later life become a man or woman that guards what they say even to themselves.
Oh to be sad, happy, bored up or down. To do silly things. To share all of this with our friends.
I went to see 300 last night. There was a special moment at the end, when one of the Spartans reaches out in his death agony and touches the hand of Leonidas, who is also dying. He tells the King that it is a great honour to share his death with him. The King replies that it has been a great honour to share his life with his friend.
How dry and meaningless are lives can be if we do not share them. One of the reasons I like Twitter so much.
This then is the great tragedy of the corporate world. That we substitute technique for relationship. That we play act at relationship. That we substitute technique for feeling.
The "techniques" for true communication then are not a better power point, taking presenting lessons etc. There is no technique needed but having something to say and being present when you speak. The techniques for getting more efficiency are pathetic when confronted by a group of people that love and trust each other. In real life, as with the 300, there is only the certainty of loss. So is not the real goal to have shared your life along the way more important than meeting some "goal".
It has been an excellent meeting - Here is Andy's detailed summary of some of the key findings - what I witnessed was that the burden of change has now been taken up by a wide range of people and interests. An excellent agreed on and feasable agenda has been agreed on using a modified Open Space process and public commitments have been made to get behind the work.
One last but critical piece is left to do.
A small group has to to be tasked and funded to serve as the system facilitator. Unless this is done, most of this work will not get done.
What does this mean in practice and why is such an organization as vital as I suggest? Here is a case study