Dean’s Dismal Campaign

Clay Shirky is commenting on Dean’s dismal, this time essentially questioning the role of social software in this campaign. He wonder “whether Dean has accidentally created a movement (where what counts is believing) instead of a campaign (where what counts is voting.) ”

“There are many reasons for this, but the main one seems to be that the pleasures of life online are precisely the way they provide a respite from the vagaries of the real world. Both the way the online environment flattens interaction and the way everything gets arranged for the convenience of the user makes the threshold between talking about changing the world and changing the world even steeper than usual.

We also know from usability testing that the difference between “would you” and “will you” is enormous — when “would you use this product?” changes to “will you use it?”, user behavior frequently changes dramatically. Apple’s eWorld imploded after the beta testers all dropped the service once it started charging, despite enthusiastically declaring that they would pay for such a service. ”