Nixon: An Iconic Web 2.0 Figure?

Just doing my part. As a patriotic American, I’m making it my business to help jump start our economy. It’s my personal economic stimulus program. Truth be told, there are lots of good sales; too good to pass up. Last week I bought a new winter coat. I wore it to work one day and at lunch someone mentioned the new threads. I joked, paraphrasing Richard Nixon, that it was “a respectable, republican cloth coat.”

It’s a line from Nixon’s famous Checkers speech. What came as a surprise was the number of Gen X and Gen Y co-workers at lunch that recognized what I thought would be an obscure reference. I don’t remember Nixon’s nationwide broadcast from September 23, 1952. I do remember his leaving the White House in disgrace after resigning the presidency. What interested me was how many people, too young to even remember Richard Nixon, had seen the Checkers speech. Most had seen it on YouTube or seen excerpts on the news. Sociologists must be having a field day analyzing the impact of YouTube and other on-demand video sharing sites

“A respectable, republican cloth coat” at about :20

In a Web 2.0 world, on-line content is being produced and consumed in a way that has profound implications for individuals, families, and society. But, that’s way outside my pay grade. Closer to home, corporate communicators need to keep in mind there is an entire generation who have grown up in a totally digitally-connected world. Research by the Pew Internet & American Life project reported as far back as 2005 that “more than half of all teens who go online also create content for the Internet.” In Internet time, 2005 is practically a generation ago.

Advances in web-capture cameras and sites like YouTube and Flickr make content sharing easy… in some cases too easy. (My sociologist side is showing.) Social networking sites (SNS) allow an individual connection to friends and active participation in constantly evolving virtual communities. Our newly inaugurated president used the power of the web to help empower individuals and local groups to actively support his candidacy, all the way to the White House.

New channels of communication are opening at a mind numbing pace. The challenge for communicators is to develop creative ways of utilizing these new outlets. The tactics of the past will only take an organization so far. Today’s content consumers demand the opportunity to be part of the dialogue, part of the process. Finding ways to communicate an effective message, while at the same time welcoming consumers into the process, will be the key to effectively utilizing the new channels of an ever more interconnected world.


1 comment so far

  1. Twittering Away « Scanlines on

    […] Words of 2009 1.  Twitter 2.  Obama 3.  H1N1 4.  Stimulus 5.  Vampire 6.  2.0  (my take on Web 2.0) 7.  Deficit 8.  Hadron 9.  Healthcare 10.  Transparency 11.  Outrage 12.  Bonus 13. […]

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