A hint about good presentations, Politics as an example of transparency? and OMMA Social

The best speakers bring authenticity through personal stories.

It was easy to focus on Rich Ullman‘s lunchtime talk during OMMA Social today as he creatively wove in stories and slides from his experience over the last 48 hours. (Sorry about that olive, Rich.)

He made a point about transparency making newly appointed U.S. Senator Gillibrand an example. With the news around her appointment, he’d just learned that as a congresswoman, her Sunlight Report broke ground making her the first to list her official schedule daily (who she is meeting with) and among the first to disclose all her earmark requests and post her financial disclosure reports.


Take it one step further:
I’d love it if every member of congress had a Twitter feed updated as they went through their daily meetings and proposed, amended, or voted on budgets or legislation. Following those I vote for would be manageable and give me a much deeper awareness and sense of engagement.

[Rich was kind enough to upload his slides to Slideshare within an hour of my request. Thanks!]
[You might also be interested in live blog posts about each presentation at OMMA Social by @dberkowitz]

Obama's Blackberry: "They're going to have to pry it out of my hands"

The NYT explains about Obama’s Blackberry: “Attached to his belt for years, he has vigorously argued, [it is] an essential link to keeping him apprised of events outside his ever-tightening cocoon.”

Obama on why he’s being asked to give it up: “This is a concern, I should add, not just of Secret Service, but also lawyers.”

I still propose that Obama should not give up his Blackberry, but keep it and put it to even better use. Don’t secure it, free it!

(UPDATE 1/12/09: a couple of interesting posts on the BarackBerry over at CrunchGear geek out on the issues today.)

Mr. Obama, don't give up your Blackberry! Use it differently.

We have never had an emailing President.

The New York Times reports today that Obama is addicted to his BlackBerry, but will be forced to give it up as President.  It has served as

…a singular conduit to the outside world as the bubble around him grew tighter and tighter throughout his campaign.

“How about that?” Mr. Obama replied to a friend’s congratulatory e-mail message on the night of his victory.

But before he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off. In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A decision has not been made on whether he could become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that seemed doubtful.

I say, don’t give it up. Use it differently.

Be not only the first emailing president, be the first to make all of your email instantly public.

Post the output of your Blackberry to a web page.

Obviously, this will change what you can use email for and how you can use it, but imagine the power inherent in making your electronic communication something you share with the world. The leverage of having each word spread so much further than the individuals on the To: line.

Be the most transparent and authentic leader the world has ever seen.

VP announcement via Txt: Do we care?

This afternoon I received a text message from the Obama campaign (I’d opted-in to text messaging programs for all candidates from both parties early in the year):

Barack will announce his VP candidate choice through txt msg between now & the Conv. Tell everyone to text VP to 62262 to be the first to know! Please forward.

I imagine this is intended mostly to try to get some extra publicity out of the announcement, to position Obama as being in touch with how Americans communicate, and to expand their list of txt opt-ins so they can ask for support and money throughout the rest of the campaign.  Mostly yawn.

I’d be interested to hear how this does in terms of new opt-ins, but is this news really compelling enough that people will want to sign up for it in particular?
As well, it’s too bad they continue to treat text as a broadcast medium and don’t invite any feedback, interactivity or community.  I’ve often suggested that a wonderful feature of text messages is that they force brevity. That frequently results in better thought out, poignant responses, and always makes it easier to read though what more people have to say.
When Obama reads and responds to some of the best SMS messages he’s received, then I’ll suspect his campaign might really be different and his White House more accessible to the people.
UPDATE 1, 10:26pm Friday, Aug 22:  So much for Text messaging being first… wire services report CNN says Biden will be the dem’s VP.  I’m still waiting to see the text message from Obama, but then I guess he hasn’t actually announced…
UPDATE 2: 1:02am Saturday, Aug 23: Barack has chosen Senator Joe Biden to be our VP nominee. Watch the first Obama-Biden rally live at 3pm ET on http://www.BarackObama.com. Spread the word! I like that they tried to respond quickly to the breaking news once there was a leak, but I’m not sure it is ever a good idea to send commercial or political text messages at 1am (4am ET).  I’m pretty sure that the only text messages kosher to send at that hour involve a booty call.  
They announced on Twitter even later. 
If all you are going to use SMS and Twitter for is broadcasting, at least be polite about when you do it. Better yet, get an @reply in your tweetstream once in a while, or mention feedback you read in a text message when you’re responding to a question or putting out a statement.

Once you start actually having a conversation with me, maybe I’ll feel like you’ve earned the right to hit me up for a 1am booty call.