Memetic Political Campaigns: Where’s Jack?

The Obama campaign has released an application for the iPhone that cleverly sorts your address book, prioritizing which friends you should call to convince them to vote Obama …. see the whole post at Social Capital Blog.

I see that Matt Ingram thinks this is cool too.

Can you believe that McCain has never used email or the internet?  Why isn’t that a debate question?

High broadband penetration rates.  Facebook crazy.  Geographic challenges to overcome.  A need to mobilize the youth vote.  The desirability of being associated with innovation.  The potential to shape broadcast media reporting.  There are lots of reasons why social media should be a big part of Canadian politics.

Apparently the threat of social media may be scaring off quality candidates, there are lots of fundraising appeals and I think is a good example of the potential to roll national discontent into a local campaign, but is it making a difference?

Do we have such a small population that we feel embarrassed scaling up our personal politics for fear of offending our neighbors?

What do you think?

Susan Blackmore TED talk, released June 8

A few memetic brand reflections that occur while watching this Susan Blackmore TED talk:

– good introduction to the foundations of memetics,
– we are the meme machines,
– what are the keys to selection? Variation is a key to selection. Mutation/variation is key to the survival and the spread of an idea, key to memetic branding but contradicts the traditional brand mantras of consistency, continuity and conformity … hmm,
– “don’t think intelligence”, “think replicators” … this would seem to point us as brand strategists, towards investing a lot more time and money on understanding and developing relationships with broadband empowered uploaders, we over invest in campaign creative and broadcast “push” because it is easier,
– “spreading memes is dangerous” but economic network theory (UPDATE: Just came across this related paper:, it’s new!) makes us hopeful that not only will we observe and replicate the behavour of our neighbors, there will be sufficient optimism to spur experiments, so that we will settle on optimum behaviours … hope matters. Elections like this one in the USA, matter …

Launch the video and please jot down your thoughts as they occur below …

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