Something strange happened to me last Sunday; something I believe CIOs (and knowledge workers in general) will be talking about for years to come. Not the specifics of Eric’s life mind you – I’m talking about the social-mediaization of our society’s venerable activities in general such as the Superbowl, and the elections process.
I had a wonderful time this Sunday with Brian, Jeremiah, Ben, and a number of other terrific folks watching the Superbowl. Like everyone else, we cheered, we ate wings, we laughed at commercials, and we cheered some more. But the superbowl itself and the commercials took a bit of a backseat to the rumble of communication through Twitter throughout the country we were also watching. It was funny watching a NY player make an amazing catch, and watching the reactions roll in. It was even funnier watching some of the reactions from the disappointed New Englanders. Forget the networks’ vision of interactive television – interactivity is here, right now.
Fast forward two days to an American election primary, and sprinkle on a bit of Google magic on top. What you get is a mashup where each time someone sends out an “I voted” missive, you see where they are on the map. I’ve been watching about 10 – 15 messages a minute roll across the Google map on my screen. Here’s one example.
Some of them are pretty entertaining:
I realize this is hardly the pulse of America, but this better. This is the pulse of early adopter Americans, which are Americans likely to vote.
So back to why knowledge workers will be talking about this: insight. Take a look at the work of Jeremiah and Josh at Forrester have compiled. Their summary of tweets sent during the superbowl is a “poll” of viewers instanly reacting to content. Now ask yourself the following:
If you’re a sales and marketing pro, would you like to access the wisdom of the crowds for free?
If you’re CEO spending 2.5 million on a 30 second superbowl spot, wouldn’t you like instant feedback?
If you’re a political candidate on a tight budget, wouldn’t you want an aggregate mood ring of the electorate for free?
If you’re a grassroots campaign worker, wouldn’t you want an easy way to find and connect with local voters?