The shocking killing spree in Oslo is a stark reminder of the fact that violence is an extremely effective way to draw attention. Some of the media attention is due to the sheer number of casualties (77). However, Breivik is not, or not only, a psychopath going on a killing spree to satisfy a deeply felt need for revenge. While he probably used a ``rationalization’’ of the killing, his main intention seems to have been promoting his political ideas on multiculturalism. A killing spree by someone who looked reasonably normal beforehand is already very unsettling. Finding that it was meant to further stir up an emotional issue like immigration, and the treatment of the (perceived) cultural and political elite of society, makes it even more unsettling. I think Breivik was fully aware of this and made it central to his planning, because I believe what he did was planning a cross medial marketing campaign using an event as a medium to attract attention. In a perverse sort of way, he did this very well as he is so far out of the ordinary that he will not be forgotten in years to come. Needless to say, that should not be taken as a recommendation of his methods. Instead I want to begin analyzing what makes us so vulnerable.
› Continue reading Terrorism is crossmedia
Coming up: the provincial elections. On March 2, I again have to decide who gets my vote and especially why. Right now I am a true undecided voter. For that reason I am looking for the politician and the party that is able to convince me. So for the last few weeks I’ve been looking on Twitter and television to find the most reliable politician and party.
› Continue reading Who gets my vote?
In front of the Golden Wall where people are teeming in the raucous chaos of everyday life, it is all messy improvisation. That not everything runs afoul is due to the mysterious world behind the Golden Wall. There lies the world of power, like the eye of the hurricane, in mysterious silence. Restrained, reliable, as meticulously organized as a chess board, it is like a purified world of platonic ideas. At least, such is the impression of the powerless. It is reinforced by the black suites, the noiseless limousines, the guards, the protocol, the perfect organization, and the velvety quietness in the palaces and ministries. […] Once you break through the Golden Wall, what do you see? Nothing special: the ado of ordinary people, neither more interesting, nor qualitatively different from the practices of the powerless. Unlike what the powerless think, they do not yield their power in “powerful”, inescapable ways as if proceeding with mathematical certainty, but just as messy and improvised as the powerless mind their own business. Mildred and Guy, formed a cabinet over dinner, Churchill and Stalin divided up the Balkans with a stiff drink.
› Continue reading Wikileaks and Cablegate
A few months ago I wrote about the use of Twitter by politicians. It was election time. Politicians all wanted to influence the public opinion by posting tweets, and they did. Tweets and retweets followed each other rapidly. During some debates on national television, the debate itself was the subject with the largest number of followers on Twitter worldwide. Meanwhile, the battle for the votes was fought and a government has been formed. Our new prime minister Rutte was one of few politicians who didn’t use Twitter during election time. Will he be using Twitter? And how active are the other politicians at the moment?
› Continue reading What happened to the political Tweeps?
It already seems an eternity ago that former Prime Minister Kok took an e-mailcourse on public television. At this moment, you can’t think of a politician that isn’t active on the internet. Only a few days before the national elections, it’s rush hour among politicians in social media. It seems like a politician without a profile on Hyves, Facebook or Twitter, in advance has no chance of winning votes. What is the value of social media for politicians and citizens? What audience is reached? Is the gap between politicians and citizens getting smaller? Are there differences in activity between the politicians? How will the activities continue after the elections?
› Continue reading Politicians and Twitter: are they aware of the possibilities?