Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Palin the innovator

My oldest had an appointment with the eye doctor Tuesday, so I got to read old magazines.
I picked the Time magazine person of the year issue, then the prior week about Sarah Palin.
Mark Zuckerberg and Sarah Palin.
Both innovators.
I wonder if Time picked up the connection from their own pages.
Both are changing the way the game is played. Time goes on and on about how Zuckerberg's Facebook gives people what they want - a way to connect yourself in a technology previously based on anonymity.
He started Facebook as a way for people on college campuses to communicate with and keep track of one another — and occasionally poke each other and leer at each other's pictures — but in a broader sense he was firing the first shot in his generation's takeover of the Internet. Zuckerberg just wanted people to be themselves. On earlier social networks like Friendster and Myspace, identity was malleable and playful, but Facebook was and is different. "We're trying to map out what exists in the world," he says. "In the world, there's trust. I think as humans we fundamentally parse the world through the people and relationships we have around us. So at its core, what we're trying to do is map out all of those trust relationships, which you can call, colloquially, most of the time, friendships." He calls this map the social graph, and it's a network of an entirely new kind.
Palin has changed how politicians connect - directly through Zuckerberg's Facebook and without the army of consultants. She doesn't play the presidential game the way it's been played for years, so the establishment fears she would lose in 2012.
But she's thinking outside the box, where people are in 2011. When people are tired of the old things, working the same old way (Mitt Romney, I'm talking about you) may not work.
Palin's way is new, exciting and catching fire. Time does catch some of that.
While other Republicans followed predictable and even plodding paths toward the White House this year, Palin has moved along two parallel tracks, one befitting a candidate, the other designed for a celebrity. It is often hard to tell where one stops and the other begins, and that is by design. A presidential candidate used to need a central headquarters and satellite offices in all the early primary states; now all a contender like Palin needs is a cable modem. Working largely from her lakeside house in Wasilla, Alaska, Palin raised millions of dollars, produced three viral Internet videos and endorsed more than seven dozen Republican candidates (most of whom prevailed).
Palin and Zuckerberg are successful in taking the existing technology and putting their personal spin on it. And finding their spin is what people are thirsting for.

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