First Facebook, then the world

Both Washington Monthly and Obsidian Wings have derisive posts this morning about the conversation the prospective leaders of the Republican National Committee are having about the future of the party. There seems to be this belief that the key to electoral victory lies in mastering the newfangled technological obsessions of Today's Young People.

"We have to do it in the Facebook, with the Twittering, the different technology that young people are using today," Duncan ventured.

"Let me just say that I have 4,000 friends on Facebook," contributed Blackwell, putting his hand on Dawson's and Anuzis's knees. "That's probably more than these two guys put together, but who's counting, you know?" Acknowledged Saltsman: "I'm not sure all of us combined Twitter as much as Saul."

Anuzis claimed he had "somewhere between 2- and 3,000" Facebook friends, which prompted Blackwell to remind the audience that he has 4,000 friends on the social networking site by waving four fingers behind Anuzis's head.

First of all, it shows how meaningless the concept of being "friends" on Facebook is when a political failure like Ken Blackwell has 4,000 of them. (Assuming I'm not alone amongst Facebook users, I frequently see various of my own "friends" pop up on the side of my profile page and wonder how the hell I know them in the first place.)

This also demonstrates how lost the GOP is, and how little they truly understand about the technologies they covet. Again assuming that my experience is typical, Facebook users are frequently inundated with requests from fellow users to add all manner of applications and support all manner of causes, most of which end up being ignored and serially deleted. I certainly didn't support Obama because I was invited to by a friend on Facebook. True, I got a little bit of information a bit more speedily because I had added the "support Obama" application, but I supported him already. The conversation the GOP is having is a cart-horse problem, since their party lacks a message to disseminate in the first place, but they're trying to blame their failure on the means of dissemination.

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