March 20, 2011

The video portrays a different perspective on the Libya conflict by U.S. congressman Ron Paul.  It’s also a great example of why social media can be significantly more powerful and useful relative to communicating through traditional media outlets.

Among the key thoughts:

  • Enforcement of a no fly zone is an act of war
  • War is something congress must approve of, which it wasn’t done in the most recent conflict in Libya
  • Regardless of whether the UK or France heads the conflict efforts from a publicity standpoint, the United States is going to be expending the most resources in the conflict
  • The United States is going to bear the brunt of the financial drain of any conflict in Libya and will also be responsible if things go wrong at the end of the day
  • Given the current economic situation, engaging in a war in Libya is unwise

The progression of thoughts communicated by Ron Paul is logical, but it is long.  It isn’t something that can be expressed in six to nine words.  That’s why Paul was weaker in the past nationally in my opinion.  He liked to explain how he reached his conclusions, which required a preface / background.  The media rarely showed his thoughts in their entirety, which led to attribution of mostly incomplete thoughts.

Utilizing new media platforms like youtube, Paul can deliver perspectives without being misquoted.  He can also avoid quotations from being taken out of context.  This is especially important for Ron Paul as his thoughts are typically not among those commonly quoted.  Using social media, Paul has been able to avoid pitfalls with traditional media outlets that occurred in the past.

Paul’s lesson can be adapted in other avenues.  For any person (or entity) that is seeking to communicate a relatively longer statement, youtube (and other video platforms like vimeo) serves as a great method of communicating.  This is as opposed to twitter, which is better served for shorter soundbites.  A social media platform allows a person (or entity) to communicate a more in-depth message directly to its constituency without a third party (such as a media outlet) distorting the message (regardless of whether the distortion was on purpose or inadvertent).  You can communicate any idea you want in its entirety. Old media didn’t allow that.  That’s why old media is dying and new media is thriving as a communication medium.