There have been a few stories in the extant media about how this fancy new “Social Media” works, and what it means in the election. Speaking as either the local expert in social media, or the third best so far depending on which paper you read, I thought I would talk about the media, aside from the message…
I love social media, because it has been good to me. I enjoy writing, and it gives me an outlet. I love conversations and debates, and one is always available on-line. I have also met many great people through social media connections. Pretty much my entire campaign team (aside from my long-suffering partner and Financial Agent) are people I met in some way through social media, from the cool couple who make my “P@J” buttons to my exceptional graphic designer and the best darn Campaign Manager money can’t buy.
But if there is one thing I have learned on the doorstep (and there is more than one, but let’s avoid that tangent just for now) it’s that our hyper-connected social media worlds can give us a false sense of connection to our physical neighbours. Many people I meet on the doorstep have never heard of @NWimby, never mind the blog I have spent 5 years stuffing with words. To get those people connected, even in this on-line age, requires traditional media. You need to buy ads in the local newspapers (which is why we candidates sometimes beg for money), and you need to do the oldest form of advertizing ever: hanging out the shingle.
The shingle we hang out today is made of Coroplast (corrugated plastic), and we don’t just stick it in front of our own homes, but hope others will hang it in front of theirs, to get the name out into the wild. In a local election, when the TV and Radio exposure is nearly non-existent, this is still the most effective way to get your name out. Of course, I put my website URL on there, hoping to send folks to my website and other social media so they can find out who I am, but the Coroplast still rules.
So if you “like” me on Facebook, if you “follow” me on Twitter, if you read and enjoyed a “NWimby.blogspot.ca” blog post, then please spread the word, not just through the social media, but by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling me at 778-791-1002, so I can hang a shingle in your yard and spread the good news.