I recently Skyped with Kirk J. Torrance, who devised the Scottish National Party’s New Media Strategy and lead the digital campaign in the 2011 Scottish General Election. Kirk is now Executive Director at Industrial New Media Ltd; which helps large corporations, non-profits and political parties (including the SNP and the Scottish Independence Campaign) make the best use of new and emerging technologies. We discussed his introduction to NationBuilder.com, the [political] ‘Revolution in Scotland’, and why NationBuilder is the campaign tool everyone has been waiting for (even if they didn’t realise it)…
I’d heard the podcast you’d done with Adriel Hampton about NationBuilder and the SNP. I’d love to hear about how you first heard of NationBuilder and what your experience was.
I’d worked in the film industry in LA, helping The Studios and companies use new media to be most efficient and productive in what they do. I recall first hearing of Jim Gilliam when he was still at Brave New Films – I was interested the people-powered movie distribution model he was describing because I was working on a similar concept at the time. I’d had the ambition to work directly with new and emerging filmmaking talent to crack open the industrial film complex by using new media technologies. Reimagining a more democratic model in the production of content rather than the status quo of the “Old Boys Club” exploiting filmmakers, who often chipped away for years in the hopes that one-day their projects would finally get green-lit.
Former US Vice President Al Gore and serial entrpreneur (and NationBuilder investor) Sean Parker spoke at #SXSW about politics, technology and social change.
Below are some of the highlights.
“To the extent that these new mediums and new media are going to have a role in reforming politics, it’s going to happen because … those systems will make politics more efficient,” said Parker (via @techcrunch)
"[Sean Parker] has gotten into politics by investing in Votizen, an online network of voters that leverages social networks to campaign for their issues. He also sits on the board of NationBuilder, which also seeks to organize political change. (via AJC)
“I don’t think change comes in the obvious ways,” Parker said. “Changing the way senators get elected, changing the way these big-budget, top-down, mass media, TV-dominated elections get run, I think is an important but long-term task.” (via @techcrunch)
“Just having large numbers of people on social media doesn’t mean we’re going to do anything more than create virtual farms and innovate newer and more psychologically addictive ways of wasting people’s time.” (via All Things D)