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Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, Revised and Updated by Erik Qualman

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Chapter 4. Obama's Success Driven by Social Media

John F. Kennedy was helped into the White House by the increasing popularity of a new medium, television. The same can be said about Barack Obama. He was also greatly helped by a new medium, but rather than television, it was social media. Within minutes of Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama on October 19, 2008, it was posted on the Web. As mentioned throughout this book, this presidential election quickly forced traditional broadcasters on ABC, NBC, CBS, and so on to adjust how they covered election news; otherwise, people would find content elsewhere (YouTube, Wikipedia, blogs, podcasts, etc.). After Powell's endorsement on NBC's Meet the Press, NBC had the announcement ready to go on its sister property, msnbc.com.

NBC was also wise enough to post the video to the Web before the West Coast was able to see the interview on traditional television. It is essential that traditional broadcasters embrace Socialnomics; otherwise, they can quickly become less relevant. People use several media sources in combination to formulate an opinion—not just one source. Networks that recognize this and attempt to work effectively with the new forms of social media will survive.

"We should be careful of these zero-sum games where the new media drives out the old," said Andrew Heyward, a former president of CBS News who consults for the Monitor Group. "I think what we see is growing sophistication about making the channels work together effectively." ...

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