Monday, September 03, 2007

Welcome Politicians to the 21st Century

According to the BBC, Australian Prime Minister John Howard has posted a video on YouTube asking people not to join in violent protests during the Apec summit in Sydney.

The BBC article describes Prime Minister Howard as a politician from the black and white television age. Well it seems he just entered the 21st Century with a bang.

What do I think? Well aside from the whether or not people should be able to freely protest the Apec summit, I think this is an interesting case study of social networks and the Internet.

John Howard is either a very smart leader, or (possibly more likely) he has hired the right advisors. He knows that many of the protesters will be organizing and promoting their causes using the Internet as a tool, so he is using the same tool to try to appeal to them. Whether or not his appeal is successful, I think he is right to use the Internet, maybe this means he is trying to understand the people he helps govern.

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