Given that the bulk of Futurismic‘s readers are US-based, I doubt we’re going to get much sense out of you for a few days while the smoke clears… and if you’ve come here looking for a respite from the election topicality, please accept my apologies and this uber-cute box of puppies. [No, for real, live webcam feed! Via MeFi, of course.]
But for the rest of us (and those of you tuning in regardless) here’s a topical (and pretty much non-partisan) note from the master marketer, Seth Godin, who notes that this year’s presidential election has turned a lot of old marketing truisms on their head. F’rexample:
TV is over. If people are interested, they’ll watch. On their time (or their boss’s time). They’ll watch online, and spread the idea. You can’t email a TV commercial to a friend, but you can definitely spread a YouTube video. The cycle of ads got shorter and shorter, and the most important ads were made for the web, not for TV. Your challenge isn’t to scrape up enough money to buy TV time. Your challenge is to make video interesting enough that we’ll choose to watch it and choose to share it.
Zing! Of course, most of us know that already, but hey – it’s nice to feel ahead of the curve sometimes, ain’t it? 🙂 [image by Scott89]
Undecided voters have probably made up their minds. They just don’t know it yet. U. Virginia psychologist Brian Nosek and colleagues got 25,000 people to take an online test (you can try it yourself). The test mixes up pictures of Obama and McCain with “good” words like “friend” and “bad” words like “enemy,” and asks you to press a key through several cycles of screens.
On average more undecided voters reported explicitly feeling slightly warmer toward Obama than McCain, but Nosek’s implicit measurements showed the undecided subjects had a slight preference for McCain over Obama.
Color me skeptical: I scored a slight preference for the candidate I already didn’t mail in my ballot for.
If you need something to stop you hitting refresh on the Financial Times frontpage as the stock markets do their best impression of the North face of Everest, maybe you should try reading “1337 in 2012”, a story that Jason Stoddard has just thrown up for free on his website.
It’s about financial meltdowns and elections, so it’s more than a little topical. Plus it’ll give you the chance to see how Stoddard walks the Positive-sf walk after hearing him talk the talk…
Here’s the opening few paragraphs:
“I want to know how she did it,” Alexandra Jetter said, almost pushing Gary McCabe down the narrow hallway with her refilled-from-the-lunchroom-for-a-week grande Starbucks. Not a single thank-you for calling him in at midnight.
“Doing it wasn’t hard,” Gary told her.
Alexandra snapped around to look at him, baring yellow teeth. “You didn’t vote for her, did you?”
“Of course not.” Though it had been really, really hard to vote for their pet candidate who promised the Bureau more funding, more growth, good times for everyone again, go back to buying Starbucks every day, hallelujah.
“Then how’d she do it?”
“She ran it like a campaign.”
“Of course it’s a campaign!”
“Not that kind of campaign.“
A snort. “She rigged it.”
Gary just shrugged.
A body of studies promises to explain a lot. In politics, people are willing to believe misinformation that reinforces their beliefs. And correcting misinformation sometimes seems to reinforce it. Examples exist from both major U.S. parties, so let’s pick on the Democrats for a change:
[Yale poli-scientist John] Bullock found a similar effect when it came to misinformation about abuses at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Volunteers were shown a Newsweek report that suggested a Koran had been flushed down a toilet, followed by a retraction by the magazine. Where 56 percent of Democrats had disapproved of detainee treatment before they were misinformed about the Koran incident, 78 percent disapproved afterward. Upon hearing the refutation, Democratic disapproval dropped back only to 68 percent — showing that misinformation continued to affect the attitudes of Democrats even after they knew the information was false.
[story tip: dday; image: Glutnix]
Privatizing the elections was a great idea, as Black Box Voting reminds us:
Diebold/Premier says [it’s] too late to fix a new voting machine 2-minute warning and “time-out” feature which can kick voters off the machine, forcing them to accept a provisional ballot. “At least 15” voters were booted off the machine in Johnson County, Kansas recently, and Diebold/Premier says this is due to a software “upgrade” which sets a timer on voter inactivity. According to the company, the machines receiving the upgrade are used in 34 states and 1,700 jurisdictions.
The average voter takes 4-9 minutes to cast a ballot, according to studies. [Thanks, Todd]
Meanwhile, in Michigan, members of a certain political party say they will use lists of foreclosed homes to challenge the eligibility of voters.
You have till Oct. 15 to submit your 1,000-word Election Day horror story to Apex.
[Image: Opening Count, hyku]