A pretty evenhanded bit of analysis of Trump, his followers, and social media from of all outlets, The New York Times.
I founded (and still run) Exelorix Consultants which initially helped small and medium sized businesses figure out what to do in social media. I founded it in early 2009 before many people had seen social media’s potential, especially from a business standpoint. For a couple of years I actually had to convince many business owners that social media was even important. Times change.
By 2007 (pre-Exelorix) I knew that social media was going to revolutionize the Information Revolution largely because of what I had seen with the rise of Ron Paul. I had watched video after video of the guy explaining what were often fairly arcane subjects, Austrian economics, the Fed, Etc., while racking up what for then were massive views. These were ideas which were important to me but they were ideas which were not broadly discussed. They were outside of what most media wanted discussed, and really, understood. And yet now END THE FED! comments were all over Youtube. The Ron Paul libertarians were going around the #oldmedia.
Flash forward to today. Trump is running a bootleg around the #oldmedia on an even larger scale. (For good or ill I will let you decide.) Zeynep Tufekci does a good job of examining the effective use of social media by the Haired One.
(From The New York Times)
Mr. Trump’s rise is actually a symptom of the mass media’s growing weakness, especially in controlling the limits of what it is acceptable to say.
For decades, journalists at major media organizations acted as gatekeepers who passed judgment on what ideas could be publicly discussed, and what was considered too radical. This is sometimes called the “Overton window,” after Joseph P. Overton of the conservative Mackinac Center for Public Policy, who discussed the relatively narrow range of policies that are viewed as politically acceptable. What such gatekeepers thought was acceptable often overlapped with what those in power believed, too. Conversations outside the frame of this window were not tolerated.
For worse, and sometimes for better, the Overton window is broken. We are in an era of rapidly weakening gatekeepers.
And thank God. If the gate keepers still kept the gates you’d hear little if anything about crony capitalism.