For Bill Marriott, online acquaintance is all about being up to date with the changing times. “Online proficiency – with about 73 percent of Americans using the Internet – is very important because in today’s society it proves that you are current and you’re keeping up with the changing times,” says Bill Marriott, CEO Marriott Group of Hotels.
Writing for his blog – Marriott on the Move – Bill Marriott who himself is one of the most frequently blogging CEOs, believes familiarity with the new media especially the blogging world could be crucial for people who intend to disseminate information at a brisk pace. He believes that the impact is such that even the presidential campaign has a crucial web presence. Internet and the new media is playing a big role in the 2008 U.S. Presidential elections and with Barack Obama running his own blog, its time for John McCain to start his own blog, says Marriott.
Marriott talks about how Barack Obama has taken the Internet and the new media to new heights when he revealed his vice presidential running mate through text message, and he believes, John McCain should also make effective use of the new media overcoming his unfamiliarity with the technology.
“John McCain has gotten some grief because he’s not very comfortable using a computer, especially to communicate. I can certainly understand his reluctance, as I’m a Neanderthal when it comes to technology,” (sic) quips Marriott in his blog posting last week.
Based on his versatile experience, Marriott says, he’d ask John McCain to become a blogger because launching a blog has proven to be very successful for him. “I’m able to talk with our guests and our associates about whatever I want, and people can talk back to me. I think blogging brings people together, and I think that’s what campaigning is all about. It’s a conversation – an exchange of ideas,” says Marriott.
If blogging takes too much time, Marriott advises McCain to go for micro blogging – known as Twitter where people write quick “Tweets” about what they’re doing or thinking. According to estimates more than 70,000 people follow Barack Obama and his campaign on Twitter.
However, an article on “How Politicians should be using social media” with Social Times, a blog on creating awareness about the social technology industry, says that tweeting is not just the canned tweets the current politicians are using now, “so and so raises 50 million dollars” or that the politician is about to go live on CNN. “The politicians should twitter what they are doing at just about every moment, meeting with senators, kissing babies, having a lunch with veterans. Those are the types of things that turn a politician’s action into voice. He or she should also be engaging question and answer sessions to see what people are thinking at a given moment,” says the Social Times blog post.
Corroborating Marriott’s view on blogging, LoÃ¯c Le Meur, a French serial entrepreneur & blogger and CEO of a San Francisco based online video mimicking services portal Seesmic, feels that there are at least ten reasons why politicians should blog. Writing in his blog “Traditional media send messages, blogs start conversations” Meur says that by starting a blog, politicians can get closer to their audience, their supporters; create a permanent open debate with them; and enrich their ideas easily and quickly.
Considering how people and companies are relying more and more on the Internet to communicate ideas, especially to the younger people, Marriott says, it’s crucial to embrace new media channels as effectively as we can.
“Even Abraham Lincoln embraced new technology in his day – back then it was the telegraph. Who knows what channel the next presidential election will be waged on,” remarks Bill Marriott.