The Debate, Social Media, and a Very Simple StoryOctober 4, 2012 @ 2:21 PM EST
I was watching the debate last night with my wife, initially thinking I really would rather be doing just about anything else. (No, not being with my wife, watching the debate).
But I quickly got into it and sat there with laptop open and two screens up, Twitter and a live streaming chart of the S&P futures.
(My wife was wondering what the heck I was doing. She was more annoyed at the moderator, Jim Lehrer, than anything else. Lehrer, of PBS fame, took a lot of hits for his performance and an AP lead this morning was, “Jim Lehrer may be regretting his decision to come out of semi-retirement and moderate his 12th presidential debate…he failed to keep control…The candidates talked over Lehrer's attempts to keep them to time limitations, and his open-ended questions frequently lacked sharpness.”)
Many of the Twitter comments were quite funny.
The quirky Jane Wells of CNBC had a lot of fun with her “Debate Drinking Game”, with participants required to take a drink at the mention of certain key buzzwords.
Ultra-Lib Bill Maher weighed in:
“@Bill Maher my rating: Romney won the debate, Obama had the facts on his side, and Lehrer sucked. Next debate, get @SethMacFarlane to host!”
He then added: “That was the line of the night so far: is Romney keeping his plans secret because they're too good?”
Jay Leno, although not a tweet, quickly weighed in, “Romney is like Tim Tebow and Obama is like Mark Sanchez (referring to the NY Jets QB controversy). One will disappoint, one is disappointing.”
And then one of our favorites from a GOP consultant: “Biden: "Don't worry Barack. I'm up next and I got this sh*t."
And any number of tweeters came up with the same thought, that maybe “Obama was employing the rope-a-dope strategy made famous by Muhammad Ali, lulling his opponent into a false sense of security.”
In any event, traders seemed to like how the debate was going, and in the absence of any big overnight global news, the S&P futures meandered around and then took off 5-6 points higher by the debate’s end. (in fairness, the Nikkei caught a second wind at the same time and it is sort of a chicken and egg question).
But here is part two of this piece. And if you consider yourself anything but a novice on social media and the use of mobile devices, read no further.
Several commentators were all over the fact that this was truly the very first Presidential debate where Twitter might have been as influential in “debate spin” as the traditional media outlets.
And that ties in nicely with some imagery we saw coming out of a recent advertising conference, where digital companies were trying to educate staid advertisers on the real-life benefits and usage of social and mobile media.
I will take a little license here but here is the gist of one of the stories they were trying to tell.
Let’s picture a 35-year old male fairly successful businessman who lives and works in Manhattan, NYC. Let’s call him Tom. Tom is active in social media and has a mobile device, but is by no means a real tech geek, just a regular guy. Tom is active on LinkedIn for networking purposes but also considers himself something of a foodie and has joined several LinkedIn groups concerning fine dining, food and restaurants.
Tom sees in a LinkedIn group a post about a new restaurant with a good review. The next evening after work, he and his girlfriend walk over to the restaurant and are studying the menu posted outside. Tom goes to Yelp to check out the reviews. He also uses his iPhone to ask FaceBook friends if anyone has been there and two respond fast with thumbs up. At the same time, GPS-oriented Foursquare fires him off a discount coupon for the restaurant. He and his friend go in, have a great meal. Tom tweets about it right after on Twitter and later that night posts his own review on LinkedIn, also posting photos of the uniquely designed restaurant on Instagram. (Now if Tom were a bit geekier he would have found a way to post a video of the tableside making and dramatic flames of Baked Alaska on You Tube, but we won’t go there).
Ok, did we fail to mention that Tom and his friend ordered using the restaurant’s Ipads, paid the bill using a Chase mobile payment app on his iPhone, and that he and his friend later caught a movie they checked out and paid for using movie service Fandango, also on his iPhone?
Ok, enough. You get the picture. Nothing outrageous here, but a demonstration of entirely reasonable everyday usage of social media and mobile. Makes my head spin at times, but this is where the world is heading.
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