Emergent Democracy and Viral Marketing: The Pirate Party
Posted under Smartmobs

george bush

The declining impact of TV advertising is having a positive impact on politics. A billion dollar war chest will no longer guarantee you an elected office. Now you need support from social groups and communities that are hard to influence centrally.

Collaborative filtering sites, like digg.com, del.icio.us, and even Google, are the political battle grounds of the future. A political candidate will have to gain approval of communities of decentralized, independent and diverse individuals.

Community reputation in these collaborative groups is difficult to buy with money. Political campaigns win or lose by whether their ideas spread, by whether individuals are recommending them. A politician will win if his ideas are new enough, potent enough to spread like viruses. As a leading viral marketing expert explains,

"Your political goals (right, left or center) don't really change the reality that marketing in politics is changing forever. The idea of a spend-and-burn candidacy is fading (how much more than a billion dollars per cycle can we spend?) and it's being replaced by a person-by-person, viral approach that relies more than ever on authentic storytelling and worldviews." Seth's Blog: Politics and the New Marketing

The efficient flow of information is giving rise to emergent democracy in politics, just it does to efficient markets in finance. Thus emergent democracy, as recently described by Joi Ito, will see the best representatives appointed to office regardlesss of party and financial backing. Representatives elected for the benefit of the whole, not the few.

Examples of smartmobs overthrowing governments in extreme situations are being replaced with popular ideas disrupting everyday politics to allow open society to self-organize without encumbrance from status quo institutions.

pirate party

An example of such a disruptive flash politics is The Pirate Party (Swedish: Piratpartiet). The party has gained wide support without institutional or financial backing. The idea that has enthused so many is to re-balance the power of copyright and patent laws in favor of the open society needs.

Politics is becoming an efficient market where support is earned through providing value to the community as a whole, and the status quo's high-context in-groups are loosing their lock on representatives.

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