I have been extremely vocal from his first speech launching his candidacy of my support for now President Obama. My respect for his jumped up a few more notches over the past few weeks as he fought to keep his Blackberry and succeeded.
To me, it is not just the fact that there is a president who is as tied to technology as I and millions of citizens are, but the fact that his ‘need’ puts him on a similar mind-frame as us. I can relate.
For the radio broadcast industry, if the leader of the our country feels strongly enough about his smartphone to force a change in Washington DC, then they should embrace the platform. Companies like Nobex, Flycast, Pandora, Slacker and others have shown the way so the stations do not even need to build from scratch, just leverage the intellectual property that exists by connecting with theses companies or the many others that pop up.
For the broadcast industry, the Obama campaign, transition and presidency should be nothing short of a public sector slap to their face. For my entire life, the media has always led the government in innovative ways to communicate with and inspire the public. It is safe to say that Obama’s team created a platform that simply blows the radio broadcasters out of the water when all of the components are put together.
Mobile media, SMS, social networks, YouTube were all employed by the Obama team but not just as props; as integral pieces of a communications strategy that relied on the feedback of the participants in order to work. It invested the users directly in the process and, as a result, made a resilient, expansive, cost-effective grass roots movement that will now help the team govern.
My friend Mark Ramsey has gone into impressive detail over the years about the future potential of radio. I am as optomistic as he is, but unless the broadcasters look at the environment holistically and not as a bunch of gagets; until they truly involve the listeners in the communication process and not just engage in one-sided dialogue, the assets will end up a part of the “bad bank” or just paper in the trash can.