Ron Paul, The Internet, and getting people to do stuffOctober 20th, 2007
Ok, as readers of this blog have probably already figured out, Im a bit of an internet geek. I spend a lot of time on the internet, and am fascinated with books like “Made to Stick” and “The Tipping Point”. One thing that any beginning marketer, or afficianado of internet memes knows, is that it is really hard to get people to do anything. If you are selling something through the internet, it is a challenge to get people to that step where they finally take out their credit cards and fork over the dough. If you are trying to get readers for a blog, you have to post concise, interesting, relevant posts daily. And even then Google doesn’t even know you exist for six months. If you are trying to sell an idea, or get that idea stuck in someones head then you will most likely fail with 100 ideas before one finally sticks. To sum things up, it is extremely hard to get anyone to do anything.
Part of my daily routine is that I go to the YouTube news section, and watch the videos I find interesting. Then I skip on over to Digg and see if anything catches my eye. One thing that anyone who frequents either of these sites knows is that Ron Paul dominates the political posts by about 20 to 1. The mainstream media has called them RonPaulaholics, people who live in this mysterious land of the internet, and email networks to have him on their shows, record and then upload not only every Ron Paul appearance on television, but record and then upload anytime anyone mentions Ron Paul’s name. Now, why is this at all important, and why am I currently writing another post about Ron Paul? The answer is that Ron Paul for some reason gets people to do stuff. The idea is so strong that it has changed peoples daily schedules, peoples views on wars, and even got them to use their time uploading, blogging and spreading a political message.
Why is this so important? Currently only about 50 percent of eligible voters get off their asses and vote. One thing we’ve seen already with Ron Paul continuously showing extremely well at straw polls is that Ron Paul supporters will leave their house to attend a straw poll. They will spend 15 cents to send a text message after a debate. They will blog about him. They will take out their credit cards and donate money. They will make their own videos about him and post them on youtube. In short, Ron Paul supporters make the leap from thought into action. It takes very little effort to say who you support during a phone poll (which is how most of these presidential polls are done, not to mention the fact that they also call people who will are “most likely vote” in the upcoming election).
One thing that the mainstream media has forgot time and time again. It is that people who make elections are highly organized groups, these are the people who will actually get out there and vote. The republicans have the Christian Fundies, the democrats have the Unions and minorities. Both sides have a “get out the vote” campaign. Now, with Ron Paul, we see the first internet candidate. We are also seeing an anarchic synergy which has propelled an otherwise unknown candidate into the mainstream. Make no mistake, Ron Paul didn’t find the internet, the internet found Ron Paul.
If our numbers remain strong, we will be a force that will wake up the mainstream media. The idea I would like to spread is that Ron Paul motivates people into action, and that this should become part of the campaign. We are the people on Digg, and YouTube that make stories stick and others languish. We have the power to directly alter and help form a political candidate, let’s not lose this opportunity. Digg this story up, and watch how your participation on the internet can change a presidential campaign. My message is simple. If you agree with it, then start spreading it. Ron Paul makes people do stuff, and people who do stuff, will also get off their asses and vote.