U.S. Senate: Which Party is the Most Tech-Savvy?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Scott Galloway, clinical associate professor at the NYU Stern School of Business and founder of, surveyed U.S. senators on their digital literacy and the Republicans came out ahead.


Scott Galloway

Comments [14]

Amalgam is correct -- the right wing jumped on direct mail 40 years ago, and online social media is the second coming of that approach.

But there are a few bothersome questions about any politician's use of so-called social media.

For one, it's generally not used socially; these are online soap boxes. Granted it would be nearly impossible for any politician to actually use social media socially -- it's always going to be a one-way conversation; but how the technology is being used is at least as important as how many followers someone has.

Second, having just looked at the report, it seems the majority of the social-media-verse is comprised of YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. If that's what politicians are having their interns build a presence on, that suggests they're still a few steps behind. There are constant security and privacy questions with Facebook, and how cutting-edge is Facebook when there's a major film out about it? Using Facebook today is about as avant garde as using a postcard. Twitter can never handle the heft of its own traffic, which has led to those who really use such technologies (socially, even) finding and developing similar technologies or ways around Twitter's incapacities (Friend Feed, Identica,, etc.). YouTube has its place, but only to embed into a launch page, because the site itself is a black hole of content.

But most importantly, what does having all those followers mean in a one-way conversation? This gets back to the direct mail question, where there is a public ready and willing to absorb any content from leadership figures and not respond with questions or requests for more info. There will always be a portion of the populace who sign up for such things just as a badge of identification, but don't really engage beyond the occasional cheer. On the flipside, those who are really into using social media today are always looking for ways of streamlining, limiting, and filtering their content stream, and they're savvy enough to follow a politician's online presence without having to get stuck on their mailing list and becoming a statistic.

Aug. 27 2010 07:54 AM
The Truth from Becky

side note : "Rethuglicans" - I love the name Dark.

Aug. 26 2010 11:33 AM
The Truth from Becky

DARK - first don't believe everything you see/hear on PBS...second, how can you say that when the Dems ran a whole Presidential campaign "online"? This was a major topic during the race for the whitehouse.

Aug. 26 2010 11:30 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Christians aren't anti-science, the universities started in Christian Europe. But sometimes the issues are so clear that it only takes a few words, like 'pro-life'.

Aug. 26 2010 11:26 AM
artista from greenpoint

digital IQ idea confuses the knowledge of the initiators of the media here (the senators as test group) versus the number of followers attracted.
Bad causative link!

Aug. 26 2010 11:26 AM

YES Brian!! YES. it doesn't require much thought to be on the right.

Aug. 26 2010 11:23 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

Actually Becky,

I saw a report about this months ago on PBS...the Rethuglicans have far outpaced the Dems in this realm and unfortunately it gives them a huge edge over the Dems who are really the ones who are a day late...

Aug. 26 2010 11:22 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

This is just using the latest technology (viz. direct mail in the '80s) to gain a following based on public sentiment/imagination. It is now just easier to be plugged in because of the expansion of our digital universe and the occurrence of social media.

The other thing is that - guaranteed - the staff, particularly young media/communications staff, are the ones crafting and posting the tweets, Facebook messages, videos, etc., based on the overall outreach and message that is assiduously developed by the candidate and the staff. It is simply a new outreach platform that these massive staffs operate.

Finally, you're correct, the so-called "energy" that indicates the movement and desires of the populace drives the use of social media in a positive feedback loop.

Aug. 26 2010 11:22 AM

Generally I have always found that republicans are better at messaging than the democrats. I think it is because they can boil things down into 3 or 4 core beliefs. I do not think you can say the same about the dems.

Aug. 26 2010 11:21 AM
James Quinn from Staten Island

I know that it was a "throwaway comment," but what you said about Sec. Vilsack stating that food prices would increase greatly if we as a nation did not have these undocumented farmworkers was right on the head.

What Sec. Vilsack laft unsaid is that the reason food would be more expensive is because wages would have to rise, and those who work the farms would have a living wage, rather than the near- or below-poverty wages they now are paid.

Rising wages for these workers is not, in my opinion, a bad thing. Perhaps to the "New Dem" crowd who happily turn a blind eye to the post-NAFTA/WTO/GATT "race to the bottom" wage scales, but to me, an AFL-CIO member, rising wages for these workers is a good thing.

Aug. 26 2010 11:18 AM
The Truth from Becky

The repubs are not the party of the techies, no matter how many times you say it Brian. Bunch of old farts and old fart heirs!

Aug. 26 2010 11:15 AM
The Truth from Becky

Day late, Dollar short repubs..

Aug. 26 2010 11:13 AM

How much of this has to do with the GOP being out of power.

Aug. 26 2010 11:11 AM

what is the average age of these grandpas and grandmas?

Aug. 26 2010 10:26 AM

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