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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Information, Social Networking, and Sarah Palin

Did you ever see Gone with the Wind? Remember the scene where everyone gathers in Atlanta, waiting for the "death lists" to be handed out on slips of paper? I remember seeing this movie when I was younger and thinking to myself how hard it must have been for everyone involved - those waiting on the news and those anxious to get it out. Boy, "information dissemination" has come a long way since then, hasn't it? I call it that because you can't really call it news anymore. With most of the mainstream media in the "progressive pocket," i.e. the White House, it's hard to get away with calling it any more than opinion or commentary. With the advent of the Internet, information dissemination has gone from taking days to taking minutes, even seconds. I was commenting to my husband last night how much I loved Twitter. Almost instantly after hopping on and pulling up a few of my favorite hashtag streams, I can know exactly what the political pulse is and what the hot topics are.

My parents grew up in a generation where many accepted the printed word as fact. If it was in writing, it must be true. I remember an English teacher once telling me to be cautious of that. It was common for all of us to believe what we read as fact. The older I have gotten, the more I have come to realize this is definitely not true. I think the nation is finally waking up and coming to this realization as well. Print is not dead, but it takes on different forms. Print in the Internet and on social networking sites is now much more alive than the paper of days gone by.

Why do I bring this up? Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites have enabled us to instantly gather the information we need to make informed decisions. With bloggers (myself included) in the mix, we have fact as well as commentary at our fingertips. Sarah Palin gets it. She knows that one of the best ways to reach "the people," the real people, is to use the site they use to reach each other - Facebook. Once she was freed of her constraints as governor, she began using Facebook as a medium for passing on her thoughts, ideas, and fact-based informational writings. Others are trying to emulate this, but they just don't get it - part of the reason this works is because it's Sarah Palin, and not them, putting the information out.

Last night while watching Glenn Beck, I saw a clip of a left-winger talking about using Facebook as a way to get his message out. Gee, I wonder where they got that idea? I love how they talk about Sarah Palin without really talking about Sarah Palin. Part of the reason Facebook works for her is because the people who embrace her are ordinary folk who see her as just like them - ordinary folk. They trust her. They believe her. It is only those who are jaded by the political rhetoric and those who have been involved in politics too long that have a hard time even listening to what she has to say. To them she is just noise. To those of us in the know, she is the conservative oasis in our nation's liberal desert.

Sarah Palin is a ground breaker, a "think outside the box" kind of person, and continues to refuse to be cast out of the same mold as all the other politicians. She will continue to do things her own way and Facebook and other social networking sites will continue to work for her and serve her well. Maybe this is the "Hope and Change" we all need. My "hope" is that more will come to embrace Sarah because she is the "Change" we all need right now.

- Check out my conservative Alaskan blog at http://www.findingmyselfinalaska.com

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