Monday, June 02, 2008

Presidential Profiles

[cross posted from Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence]

Imagine waking up one day in the future, firing up your Facebook account and learning that one of your friends has decided to run for President. Not a joke announcement like so many faux relationship statuses or parodies like Stephen Colbert’s presidential run, but a legitimate presidential campaign in its infancy. Maybe the candidate was an old friend from college, an overachieving history major who headed to law school and then fell out of touch. And now, in between your tagged photos and status updates is an invitation to join your friend’s group: March to the White House in 2020.

During a Q&A session at the recent Converging Campaigns event (covered in a previous post), a panelist wondered when America would see its first candidate with an actual Facebook profile. Not a profile manufactured for the purposes of a campaign tool but someone who built and maintained a Facebook profile and then subsequently decided to make a run for the White House.

Certainly none of the candidates in the 2008 election spent their college days tagging friends and updating the ‘where I’ve been’ application. However, at some point in the next few years or decades, there will be a candidate who had a presence on Facebook long before he or she ever considered running for office.

I’m not as myopic as to assume that years down the road there won’t be an application several derivatives away from our present-day Facebook, but no matter the tool, the personal narratives we create for ourselves via social media today will stretch long into the future.

No longer will a candidate have the luxury of misremembering a dangerous helicopter landing under sniper fire or lay awake at night praying those incriminating photos don’t surface. That content will live online — tagged, posted, and ready to be shared.

Regardless of what may live in the dusty archives of news footage or what an old professor remembers, social networking sites will not allow future political candidates to stroll far from the reality; the uber-social Facebook-like applications acting as the biggest sticklers for truth.

I wonder who is currently Facebook friends with a future US president? Looking at my newsfeed from over the weekend, I’m not holding out much hope for my network…

1 comment:

Jo said...

When will we get our first identity classes for kindergarten!