Final averages from yesterday show Mitt Romney expanding his lead over Newt Gingrich yet again, now leading with nearly 13 points.
Exit polls and early numbers are expected soon today out of Florida, so stay plugged in to find out the latest.
Seems that hell has managed to freeze over and the high gloss shine of Facebook is finally starting to wear off, at least to those under 20. According to recent numbers those crafty teens are packing up their timeline worlds and booking it over to twitter…for more privacy. Yeah you read that right: privacy. (If you haven’t looked at the new Facebook Timeline profile, that might help you understand..) However, it’s not about anything like privacy settings or who is sharing what.
No, it’s actually about simplicity: Facebook creates social circles and expectations, where Twitter just is..well Twitter. Random comments, about random things, with random people. (..and a whole host of people you actually know and care about actually saying something useful from time to time.)
..oh and apparently, Mom and Dad haven’t figured out what a Twitter is, even after all these years, so it becomes a great place to “hide in plain sight.”
Either way, this probably makes the people at Facebook feel pretty awesome to know that in the end one of their largest markets went to Twitter anyway after all that cool innovation they did to keep them on “the book.”
Wait, there is an IPO this week??..huh..
Life, much like that of the science that dictates basic physical principles, apparently is a cruel mistress. Going into the final 24 hours before the Florida primary, Newt Gingrich has now fallen a total of 8.3% in six days and now trails Mitt Romney by 11.5% in polling. If things stay on track, Romney is on track to check Florida off from his list and head in to Super Tuesday on top.
Former Presidential candidate Herman Cain announced late Saturday evening that he will endorse Newt Gingrich on his White House bid.
Though it is hard to say for sure if Cain’s late endorsement will be enough to bump Gingrich back up in the Florida polls, Cain does carry some of the remaining Tea Party support.
That sad, one thing is for certain: Steven Colbert is weeping…
(Photo credit: CBS Face the Nation)
After enjoying a few days of increasing poll numbers in the wake of a major victory in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich falls behind Mitt Romney for the first time in Florida. According to current poll numbers, Gingrich has fallen behind Romney by roughly five points. Going into tonight’s debate, Gingrich has suffered an all out assault on his character and platform from all sides, setting up what should be another hot and heavy debate. (..with clapping.)
With a lackluster performance last night in the first Florida debate, it is hard to tell if Mr. Gingrich will hold his climbing lead in Florida or if Mitt Romney will retake any ground. Stay plugged in for the latest or check out the latest polling results at RealClearPolitics.com.
Though South Carolina is still in the process of certifying it’s final vote tallies prior to awarding it’s delegates to the winner, it is clear that Gingrich will not suffer the same fate as Romney did in Iowa. This contest appears to be in the bag for Newt, who currently is boasting a roughly 13% lead with 99% of precincts reporting, and sets him on course to be a driving force as the primaries travel to Florida for the next official primary vote.
Votes begin their tally in South Carolina with Newt Gingrich showing an early, solid lead. Most news organizations have already made the call that Newt Gingrich will take South Carolina. For the most up to date information, be sure to check out South Carolina’s State Election Commission site for tally details. SCvotes.org
+William Stodden and myself broke down last nights debates over roughly 271 microblogs last night, however to make it easier to follow I’ve complied my thoughts on the results here for you to absorb and enjoy:
Runners Up: The rest..
Romney spent his time trying to view the others from his ivory tower and it showed and probably hurt him more than anything. From avoiding a very simple tax records issue, being defensive almost the entire 120 minutes, and then pimping his book at least twice in answers. (Yeah, go back and look, he definitely quoted his book in answers..I can’t stand that..If you closed your eyes you could almost hear Obama saying the exact same thing..and that’s not the look Romney is going for and he should know better.)
Paul gave a decent showing, but he lacked life. I’m not sure if the schedule is catching up and he is slowing down or if his interest is starting to falter, but either way Ron lacked some of the early debate fire last night. Though as an aside, his loyal followers did do him a solid by forcing John King to eat crow for a second time and allow the doctor to actually comment on the abortion issue towards the end.
Santorum played the part of cornered pitbull last night and though a candidate with fire can be good, Rick simply looked upset and almost out of control at times. Raising his voice, shaking his head violently in disgust at answers, to his random uncalled for comments just didn’t do much for his position. For me, I basically stopped listening when he decided to take the first jab at Gingrich right after the other candidates didn’t take CNN’s bait on the “moral” issue up front.
..and of course that brings us to Newt. The clear winner in this contest, Newt did what Newt does best: He slayed dragons. John King looked like he wanted to crawl into his suit after asking the first question about the ABC piece on Newt and Gingrich shoved it right back in his mouth and spewed fire all over him to a very supportive crowd. He then followed up the next 100 minutes or so with confidence, prose, and his typical swagger that is simply easier for people to follow and support when compared to the actions of the other candidates.
All of this considered, recent polls, and the minimal fallout from Nightline’s piece last night, I am willing to say that Newt pulls SC on saturday and makes Florida all the more important for all candidates.
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New polls were released today in the middle of all of the of new information hitting the masses on the trail: Everything from Rick Perry announcing his dropping out of the race and throwing his support behind Newt Gingrich, to ABC releasing transcripts from a controversial interview with Newt’s ex wife scheduled to air later today.
Slowly building some numbers on social media followers of GOP candidates:
Primary (Not Campaign Profile) Twitter (as of 8JAN12):
Primary (Not Campaign Profile) Facebook (as of 9JAN12):
Cain: 383,450 (Note: Does not appear in “top search results”
Google+ (as of 9JAN12):
Huntsman: 1,585 (Not in use by candidate)
Bachmann: No Profile
Perry: 5 (Official campaign, no personal profile)
Santorum: No Profile
YouTube Subscribers (as of 9JAN12):
What other sources should I look into? Will write a piece around this by the end of the week, help a brother out!
It’s a great statement in and of it’s self, but does he actually have the grassroots backing to back a statement like that up?
I mean look at the numbers on twitter (all inclusive):
Roemer: 14, 240
Romney: 235, 808
Gingrich: 1, 388, 708
Paul: 166, 302
Huntsman: 70, 827
Bachmann: Official Senate Tag: 128, 584 Official Campaign Tag: 36, 669
Perry: 116, 671
Santorum: 74, 004
Cain: 170, 065
..Sorry Roemer..doesn’t like like you’re the champion by volume at least..but content that results in votes is a different story all together. (By volume it would appear Gingrich is the social media king..but is not currently translating that into votes.)
…more to come highly considering a piece that wraps together a more complete “social engagement” picture of the candidates.
Okay, so now what? Well what have we covered so far? 1.) Jason Calacanis is someone you should follow/friend/etc. He’s got the goods. (if you want a full feed, add Robert Scoble as well.) 2.) ThinkUp is a free social tool that helps you digest your social media actions on the interwebs. That second part is the one that is probably most important here. ThinkUp allows you to track your social footprint, your digital footprint, digital engagement, or whatever buzz term fits your existence best. (I’m not here to judge, simply to pass along the awesomeness.)
Right, so: ThinkUp. Basically, ThinkUp is an open source beta that allows users to keep track of a cross section of social media accounts/tools to see what types of impact/engagement they are having on the rest of the world. Everything from tracking twitter accounts, facebook accounts, and now Google+. To catch your attention I have provided a few screen shot examples that demonstrate just what the tool can do. But if seeing some static screen shots just doesn’t do it for you, check out the live twitter demo! Whitehouse Twitter.
..and now..screen shots!
..Want to track your tweeks, replies, retweets, traffic, etc? Yeah, there IS an APP for that..
..The White House apparently averaged roughly 600 new followers a DAY in September..
Not sure about anyone else, but this looks to be an outstanding option to start trying to keep track of traffic type stats and in formats that are very straight forward use and manipulate. The latest version even does geo-location of content being tracked, when and if available.
Bottom line: it’s open source, it keeps adding features, and seems fairly simple to use. So, what are you waiting for!?
(Note: if you are already using this awesome tool, let us know what you think and how you’re using it!)
Let me explain: When considering building a bird house most of us probably know how to accomplish this task: Go to Wal-Mart and buy one. But, for those who adventure into their basement and/or garage to actually build something this example is for you. So step one would be to gather what you need to be successful at building your bird house: 1) Some plans 2)Some materials and 3) Some tools. Ultimately, combining all three of these things you will build a bird house and soon birds will be setting up shop and you can feel accomplished. However, most of us also know that it’s how we combine these three items that measures our level of success. 1) Plans need to be for what you actually want to accomplish and simple to understand 2) Materials should last and not create unneeded waste and finally 3) Tools should help you accomplish the task not make it more complicated. (Anyone see where this is going yet?) You then follow the plans, assemble your materials in the right way while using the appropriate tools.
This is simple people:
1) Like building a bird house, you need good plans to know where you are going and how you are going to get there. These are much like our business processes. Lacking solid business processes, you end up building a dog house when all you wanted was a simple place for a blue bird to call home.
2) Materials should be what you need to accomplish the job and should be of good quality. We all want to ensure the work we do lasts and answers the task at hand. If we don’t then we have failed ourselves and our customers by delivering a poor product.
3) And of course tools: Everyone wants the shiny new tool that’s on sale at Home Depot (or Lowes if you like..) but do you need it? Does it help you accomplish your goal or only look pretty, take up space, and cost a lot of money? Does it even do the task you need it to do? Have you ever bought a tool that claimed to do a bunch of things including the ONE thing you need it to do, just to find out it doesn’t even do the task you need all that well let alone the rest of the things it advertised?
So, maybe this is a little hokey..or is it? Often times I feel we are losing sight of our task, our customers, and the end state by the shiny new tool on the shelf that promises to do everything including slice my fresh bread before a meal. Knowing the task and how you are going to accomplish it is most important today along with delivering top quality to your customer whether that customer is your boss, another division, another organization, or what have you. Tools are supposed to help accomplish the tasks and support the process, not BE the process, etc. It’s time we focus on getting things done and producing results by way of using the correct tools for the job. Social media/web2.0/shiny web objects of choice are just that, tools: Some are good for accomplishing the mission, others are just new fancy tools that do too much for their own good.
Focus on the mission, the customers, and the outcomes and allow the appropriate tools fall into place to make the overall experience better. Don’t fall for what every pitchman has for you or what’s on sale at the front of the mega shopping center store this holiday season. Bottom line: Tools, no matter how shiny and awesome they are, should never be the solution, they are only the means to accomplishing the mission.
If you want to read more on related topics to this, click on over to Steve Radick’s latest on “Social Business vs Better Business”
With social media now a more common piece of every day information flow around the globe and very much so here in the United States, I am left to consider its impact on the PIO’s day-to-day job. As many are already aware, the PIO’s primary job is to act as the “official voice” of an organization and in this case we’ll assume the PIO to be a part of a governmental function. Therefore, during an emergency this person is the individual, or team of individuals, who should be providing the public with information on an emergency as the official source. (This is where Patrice’s article on approach, tone, and the like comes to play.) However, I feel that more and more in today’s technology laden landscape the PIO in many jurisdictions have either entirely ignored the social media space, misused it, or are just starting to grasp it. To this end, I think there are some key items that should be considered:
- Be the Official Source: This seems far to logical to be stated, but I feel a lot of jurisdictions have let this basic concept of PIO work go by the way side, simply because a new technology is at play. Think of it this way: The PIO’s job has not changed in the new social media landscape, it has simply been expanded. PIOs should not be doing anything more, less, or different than before. Social media is simply another tool in the tool box of a communications professional (the PIO) to use and reach his/her target audience. To this end, the PIO should work in social media, as appropriate, to their communciations plan and work with social media outlets to obtain “verified” and/or “validated” accounts where possible. This allows the PIO’s presence on the internet to be a confirmed, trusted, and official source for information.
- Open the Two-Way Street: For the longest time the job of a PIO was to push information. With today’s technology PIOs can act as a two-way conduit for information to the public and information received by the public. Opening up this two-way dialog during an emergency allows PIOs to get the important, validated information out, but also take in new information from the public. This allows response organizations to better plan for operations, but also allows the PIO and the emergency management organization to validate issues and reissue confirmed statements to the public writ large. Remember, this is a huge issue with social media: After a disaster many people will begin self-reporting information creating a cross section of accurate, embellished and completely false information that many people will take as accurate unless someone steps in as the official source and validation point for information. This is a function best owned by the PIO shop and is honestly the best place for growth right now in the SMEM world in my opinion.
- Be Honest: One item that used to be difficult for some PIO organizations was the ability to be 100% open and transparent during events. This is an older model of only releasing 100% confirmed information while remaining silent on unresolved/unconfirmed issues. To this end, social media has made it more possible for PIOs to obtain more information faster and get it back out faster and more widespread. (Just as mentioned above, the two-lane street is open for business and can some times be a super highway.) One of the greatest impacts of using social media is the ability to interact and be part of the situation. Often times PIOs are seen as the one on TV that just pushes random information while being separated from the event. Now, PIOs can be in the mix and engaging their public directly and one of the best ways to obtain trust and authority is to be honest in your transactions. I think you will find that many people will provide more information and be more willing to follow instructions and guidance if they feel like they are directly involved.
- Recruit, Standardize, and Innovate: Let’s face it, PIOs have it pretty rough some times and much like their host organizations they are generally drastically understaffed when things start happening. This is not lost on many of us, in fact there are many volunteer organizations out there that exist purely to fill the void during disasters, however it’s time we start looking at the problem in front of us and begin working on filling the gaps. Social media use in disasters have resulted in a flood of information at the one time that many shops down’t have the personnel to sort through the noise and find the information that is most important. To resolve this I am becoming a heavy supporter in the age of the “digital first responder.” A phrase, that the Red Cross seems to get most credit for coining, that basically means volunteers that will help become the PIO’s filter during an emergency. This cadre of volunteers can be brought together whether it be via existing Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers, Red Cross volunteers, or via standing up a specific volunteer group for this function. Train these individuals in the processes of you organization, basic emergency management, and put them to work in front of a computer helping to organize information as it comes in. This frees up the PIO, but also ensures that the public is heard and answers are provided. (They help the two-way street from becoming one-way and a potential hazard to your communications.) This is the greatest area organizations can innovate and help standardize their social media engagement during emergencies.
So, this may be fairly basic list, but I think there are many things to consider here and hope to spark a conversation or two. Everything from ensuring that PIOs and getting information out to the public aren’t being run over by the technology train that is social media, to not forgetting the basics of emergency communications. The methods of delivery may change every day, but the basics of obtaining, validating, then pushing out accurate information to the public will remain the same through the end of time. Being able to stay on task and ensuring the public gets the information they need, when they need it, and in a format they understand is key. Take some time and look at your organization and how you handle information flow. You may find your process needs tweaking, not the tools. (I recently wrote on this topic as well: Social Tools Do Not A Process Make) With a solid communications and citizen engagement plan in place, social media and other tools should simply fall into place and allow organizations to innovate as they see fit to best assist a public in need during a disaster.
UPDATE: Just located another blog on this topic from another influential #SMEM evangelist Kim Stephens. Check out here article and blog here: idisaster 2.0
One can argue that “2.0 technology” is so “large” or “innovative” that it’s a game changer, but this is a standard technology argument that is as old as the world it’s self. One must recall the definition of technology to understand my point: (According to Merriam-Webster) Technology=”a manner of accomplishing a task especially using technical processes, methods, or knowledge.” By this definition technology isn’t a “thing” it’s a how and this is important to understand in discussion. Changing how we do something requires good process, methods, and/or knowledge. Lacking any of these things technology typically serves to only make things more complicated instead of easier. (As stated, how many projects can one point to that has suffered this reality?) Thus, we suffer from the reality that technology can be a double edged sword if not applied correctly to resolve a problem and in fact can end up causing more problems than it was implemented to resolve. (If this is the case, then by technical definition you have already failed.) This is the root problem in technology innovation: We can be motivated to change process due to some shiny new object that promises world peace, when all we really needed was a tool/technology that makes our processes better.
So, I leave you with this: 1.) Innovation for the sake of innovation is typically doomed to fail as it doesn’t have a problem to solve. 2.) If lacking solid process, methodology, and/or knowledge technology will typically lead to frustration rather than solutions. and 3.) Tools/Technology: no matter how shiny and awesome they are, should never be the independent solution, they are only a means to accomplishing the mission/goal.
Technology does make our lives easier, but only appropriately applied technology to existing (and solid) processes change the world we live in for the better. What we need is a “Process 2.0″ driven work place, that uses the right techonlogy for the job and appropriately engages people while solving problems.
The Emergency 2.0 Wiki Project, as it has been deemed, is an international group of emergency management professionals from every corner of the globe and is current lead by Eileen Culleton an emergency management professional from Queensland, Australia. Like most organizations of its type, its followers and supports come together via multiple forms of social media including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and of course their brand new Wiki. However, unlike a lot of social media outlets, this one is specifically dedicated to the profession of emergency management and how to use technology to better keep citizens informed during disasters. With experienced professionals from all over the world inputting their lessons learned and best practices, people can search the wiki for just about any related topic and find input on just about any type of emergency situation.
The Emergency 2.0 Wiki has now been officially online for a few hours, but be sure to check in and see what’s going on. Eileen and crew have been reaching out around the clock for people to help provide content on different topic areas and many around the glob have answered the call. This is a huge moment for emergency management professionals the world over and even more so for those directly involved with the project. Like any wiki, the success of this tool will hinge on the community and those that choose to help support the efforts.
Bottom line here is that the #SMEM community grows almost by the hour and new professionals come to the plate to discuss what they are up to and/or issues they face. If you are interested emergency management and the use of social media, this is a great starting point to plug into a worldwide community of professionals.
Amateur Radio, also more commonly referred to as “Ham Radio”, has been around for quite some time and has often been one of the only means of communications after mass disasters around the world. (i.e., Hurricane Katrina, 2003 Northeastern US Black Out, 2004 Tsunami, and many others.) This community of tightly knit hobbyist have an urge to learn, create, and/or modify/manipulate just about anything electronic and/or can be used to communicate with the outside world. Tapping into this innovative spirit only lends itself in making emergency communications easier when things get tough. However, this should not be something new to of those who have been working with Amateur Radio operators for disaster response efforts in the past. Though, others may need to take a second look at this growing resource.
So, what makes Amateur Radio operators such a great resource? Simple: Have tech, innovative spirit, and will travel. This is a group of highly dedicated, tech minded, problem solvers that are up to just about any challenge if it can be fixed with technology. (..or duct tape, WD40, and a hammer..) It only makes sense that those who find their hobby based in finding new and innovative ways to communicate may in fact be the best place to find assistance in engaging the public during a disaster. Though its not just the innovative spirit that makes Hams a great resource, part of what separates Amateur Radio hobbyists from the pack is the fact that there are licensing requirements that require base knowledge in simple electronics, radio wave propagation, and the regulations that bind license holders. (This is no backseat quarterback hobby people.) However, the buck doesn’t stop there. This group of highly skilled volunteers are also well versed in emergency management, communications platforms, and some even already belong to organizations that provide this support today. (Possibly within your organization already.) Anything from the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS), SKYWARN, State and Local Emergency Management Support (Check out the State of Oregon and their integration), the Red Cross, and Amateur Radio Clubs themselves have looped in Ham operators for years to help provide communications during disasters. Even more important is that a lot of these organizations are in the Social Media space already and expanding every day. Bottom line, these individuals are near by and have been part of the system for some time and may be under utilized.
Taking this resource and applying it to the Social Media engagement side of the house may be just what the doctor ordered. Amateur Radio operators almost always want to learn something new. This want to always be absorbing new technology and how it works is one of the most promising aspects about adding Social Media to their skill set. What better to reinforce your Emergency Operations Center (EOC) communications cell than to take your trained volunteers and add another communication method to their ever growing tool box of options in helping get the word out? These individuals already are plugged into most organization’s situational awareness, command and control, and communications groups helping pass information, why not help empower these volunteers to pass important information back to the public as well?
Now granted this process may not come over night, but here are a few steps that can help bring the two together:
1.) Ask! If an organization doesn’t engage the available volunteers from local RACES, ARES, MARS, SKYWARN and other Ham Radio volunteers if there is any interest in learning more about applying Social Media to the same problems these groups handle every day, one may never know the interest level. So, get in there and engage.
2.) Educate! As stated previously, Hams are typically technologically savvy and love playing with just about any type of technology, though it is possible to run into situations where this is new ground for some of these individuals. Help bring these volunteers up to speed on what is going on and how the organization envisions using Social Media to better help communicate with the public in an emergency. It is highly likely that additional ideas will be produced from this group as they come up to speed.
3.) Train, Exercise, and Repeat! Once there is engagement with interested Hams and they are up to speed, now is the time to get a solid training regiment in place. Though some Amateur Radio operators have had training via organizations like RACES, ARES, MARS, and SKYWARN this is a great time to bring them up to speed on the organizational operating procedures and emergency management in general. Set up minimum training requirements: (i.e., FEMA EMI IS-100, FEMA EMI IS-200, FEMA EMI IS-700,FEMA EMI IS-704, ARRL EC-016, and ARRL EC-001) Once trained, practice and do it again until comfortable.
4.) Communicate! Once things are underway and there is an established process in place that the organization and the volunteers are comfortable with start telling people about it. People can’t volunteer for something they don’t know about. Amateur Radio is still growing strong as a hobby and more and more people want to know how to become more involved in helping out during disasters.
In the end, this is a great chance to bring together a group of volunteers that are already available within most EOCs to help engage the public with information, faster. Take the time to talk to these individuals, find common ground, locate the interest, make a plan of action, and execute.
Opportunity is knocking, is your organization ready to step up to the challenge?