Why ‘unplugging’ should be Your New Year’s resolution

Leslie Grossman, Vistage Chair to CEOs and author of Link Out: How to Turn Your Network into a Chair of Lasting Connections, blogged recently about the need to restore balance and get off the digital treadmill.

Leslie GrossmanHere’s her wise words – reprinted with her permission.

Isn’t it ironic? With an estimate of 500 million tweets/day, Twitter says that among the top 10 New Year’s resolutions tweeted by their users, ‘Unplug’ is the 5th most popular.   As expected, ‘work out’ and ‘lose weight’ are number 1 and 3. ‘Be happy’ and ‘stop smoking’ are number 2 and 4. For the first time, ‘unplug’ has made the top ten.
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Social media in politics: does it work?

Do political campaigns live up to the promise of digital technology?  

Professor Jenny Stromer-Galley, Associate Professor at Syracuse University, explores this in her book ‘Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age’.  She concludes digital is pushing politicians to reconsider how they reach and involve people yet there is still a long way to go.

Obama’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2014 showed the technical infrastructure to shrink the distance between candidate and community is with us now. The social media platforms we use every day offer the chance for electors to be more involved in the political process.  Never before have voters had access to so much information to share, re-interpret, re-purpose and organise. 

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Ban politicians from social media

Leaders using social media to connect

Leaders using social media to connect

Let’s be cautious about proclaiming social media as a force for democracy even in Western societies.

Should we ban politicians from social media and content marketing for the sake of transparency?

I’m a content marketing fan.  But there are dangers when governments use content marketing to go direct to voters. It may be attractive for Ministers to craft content and use social media to release information, but essentially what they release is a formulaic, sanitized version of events.

The core of the content marketing movement is directly engaging people of interest to you.  It is easy to see why that would appeal to bureaucracies. 

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World Leaders embrace Twitter

The latest report of the Digital Policy Council shows 123 out 164 countries and three out of four heads of state have now embraced Twitter.

In the last 12 months US President Barack Obama was the biggest mover in the Twittersphere.  He occupies # 1 spot gaining 16 million followers this past year.  The number of people who now follow him exceeds 40 million.

Since the 2008 Presidential Election, Obama has always been comfortable with social media.  However a noticeable upturn in his numbers occurred when the US Government shut down in September last year.  Obama joined other politicians and citizens to tweet his frustrations about the situation.

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