By CHRISTOPHER PAPIALI
Internet is a communication protocol used by people to do business and communicate with other people on a 24 hrs 7 days a week schedule. Through this communication medium the mega benefiters are now Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, MySpace, Tagged, Google +, DevianArt, LiveJournal, and other social networks that continue to revolutionize very effective and fast communication channels.
And it was virtually true when we examine how some of our winners of this year’s national election strategized their election campaigns, it was through Internet, print and social media networks.
Two individuals, although there may be others, who stood out in this category was Peter O’Neill and his PNC party, and Michael Malabag.
O’Neill’s method of marketing and selling himself and his party was his excellent graphical design campaign images with a small growing tree placed in his palms and his well-shaped beard. His black jacket with a beaming face must have also played a significant role in maneuvering voters. Further, O’Neill had his advertisement run for couple of weeks leading up to few weeks before voting.
On the other hand, Hon. Michael Malabag was conversing with many people through Facebook, much to the joy of his Facebook friends and groups. Even during campaigning and after voting he was the active user of Facebook and which he is still today.
The average population of PNG is now using newspapers every day to find out what is going on in this country. The number of readers is increasing and it is certainly impacting how people think and do things unlike before.
Young people in particular are very curious and excited about trying out new things and Facebook presents the ultimate satisfaction partner even to moments of dissolute situations. Already, young Papuan Guineans through Digicel mobile phones download, upload and access stories, news, photos and other online services at their fingertips.
Even in the campaign strategy of Barrack Obama, what did we see?
One of the many ways that the election of Barack Obama as president has echoed that of John F. Kennedy is his use of a new medium that will forever change politics. For Mr. Kennedy, it was television. For Mr. Obama, it is the Internet. The magic to Obama winning the 2008 US Presidential Election was his intuitive utilization of social media.
I am led to believe that Politics in PNG is changing as more and more people are using Internet and other social media networks to communicate. It is also fair to state that the two leaders mentioned in the preceding paragraph should inform their supporters and voters of what there are doing through the print and social media platforms even to the point of them not performing well in their election duties. Their social media friends can become a rock for them to lean on through advise and criticism.
For those who are planning for 2017 National Elections, kindly jump on the social media wagon, it will carry you where you want to go because it is now proving very successful in countries where their governments prioritizes ICT education, training and usage.