Thursday's radio show featured a two segments with the founder of TopConseravtivesonTwitter Michael Patrick Leahy and my pal Rob Neppell of Kithbridge.com, who has been helping Leahy revise and improve TCOT.
Last week I wrote on Twitter and directed interested parties to David All's Beginner's Guide to Twitter. This week, practicing what I have been preaching about reconnecting the conservative movement and the GOP with new media's new communications tools, I joined Facebook and my senior producer Duane and senior engineer Adam joined Twitter, and I will continue the emphasis on engaging the program and the listeners in the new networks throughout the end of the year and the beginning of the next.
The reasons are explained in a piece I have done for Politico.com that will be up later today, and at greater length in a new book that I will have available shortly, GOP 5.0: Republican renewal Under President Obama. In a nutshell: The GOP has to learn how to use the new tools of communication or get left behind in the brave new world of media. Imagine not using radio in the 1930s, television in 1950s, or direct mail in the 1970s or 1980s. The GOP is perilously close to allowing the tech gap to become the tech chasm because the new tools are overwhelmingly associated with the young and are thus not being paid much attention by the old. Just because the expertise resides primarily with specialists below 40 --read the conversation I conducted between three of them last week-- those older than they hesitate. He who hesitates isn't lost --just cut off.
As discussed on air yesterday, one of the big fears is simple embarrassment at not being skilled or fluent in the language of the new tools. So what? Today's mistakes are forgotten in a nanosecond. What is remembered because it is impossible to disguise are those who refuse to adapt and adopt.
There is also the problem of hierarchy and the way hierarchies get paid --the crucial new expertise does not reside in the old firms but in the new ones, and acknowledgment of this one fact upends a lot of cash flows. Why exactly are America's businesses paying big bucks to PR and Advertising firms the senior partners of which don't understand the elephant-in-the-room significance of Twitter etc? Those firms are thus scrambling to ink young talent, but how, exactly, are they going to judge that talent from a position of near complete ignorance?
Did you notice that CyberMonday sales were very healthy compared to last year? How many retailers are kicking themselves for being slow to the race, but they cannot not compete, and most realize that the new media is so fluid that there are no huge obstacles to rising quickly --if they stay committed to new tools and communities.
A final note: Kithrbidge's Neppell is looking for an intern. All of those smart young conservatives eager for an interesting semester's experience should swarm him. It is like working at Google a decade ago.