2012 is poised to not only be a big year for politics in light of this fall’s presidential election, this year is also shaping up to be a big year for political pundits savvy enough to tap the potential of social media and the mobile web.
This week, Pete Seat, the current Communications Director for the Indiana Republican Party and former Bush White House staffer, launched a much-talked about new venture called the TheFrontRowSeat, which aims to pose and answer questions “on the minds of pundits, prognosticators, insiders or voters in the Heartland for readers to debate and discuss.”
Seat, one of the most knowledgeable and respected young pundits across the American political landscape today, isn’t new to social media and the blogosphere, however. This sage of the mobile web has been toiling in the digital space since before the digital space was cool – or at least not as cool as it is today.
In November 2008, at the time of the last presidential election, Twitter had only four million users.
Today, President Barack Obama alone has more than 12 million followers (not as impressive as Lady Gaga’s 20 million followers, but not bad, nonetheless). Additionally, just four short years ago Facebook had only 50 million users, which is roughly 800 million fewer users than it has today.
All told, it means social media and the digital domains in which leading pundits like Pete Seat toil could dramatically influence the outcome of local and national elections this year and across myriad elections to come.
“The greatest effect of social networks on Election 2012 will take place behind the scenes,” says Andy Kessler of The Wall Street Journal. “Social networks, like real life, are driven by influencers—not necessarily those with the most friends or followers, but those whose thoughts, ideas and opinions have the biggest impact.”
What role does mobile play in how you follow and subsequently view politics and those who seek your vote? Please weigh in with a thought or comment below.