"Candidates Out of Tune in Social Media Use," shouted the May 27, 2007, headline of a PRWeek article I'd happened to come across. Intrigued, I read on.
Brian Reich, director of new media at Cone and the former briefing director for Al Gore, was analyzing the use of the Internet by the lead presidential candidates of the day. "The Internet staffs of these campaigns haven't proven anything yet," opined Reich, who went on to predict that "…it will be a couple more election cycles before politicians get the hang of it (the Blogosphere)."
Ouch. Talk about being dead wrong.
Of course, at the time, the leading candidates were Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and John McCain. A certain Illinois senator wasn't even mentioned in the PRWeek text.
It's easy for me to do a Monday morning quarterback assessment of Mr. Reich's prediction but, man, oh man, did Barack Obama prove him wrong, or what? Obama's absolute digital mastery was a key ingredient in his successful campaign and continues to be a hallmark of his administration (can you believe we have a president who is not only addicted to his Blackberry, but also Twitters at will?).
I'm sure someone can dig up some predictions of mine that stood the test of time about as well as Reich's, but this one has to be right up there with the movie and radio moguls of the 1930s who predicted that television was nothing more than a passing fancy.