Changing The Shape Of The Political Space
What is a digital city? The phrase itself may confuse some people. It is all about applying new digital technologies to digital mediums. However, the term digital city refers to any place where new and improved digital products and services are applied.
The phrase digital city refers to the integration of information technology, computer systems and social media. The idea behind using digital media in the cities is to apply digital technologies on existing systems to make them more effective and efficient. To do this, it uses a combination of the three digital media namely – audio visual, and internet. These three combine to create new digital media solutions for citizens.
Digital technology is being applied to a number of areas. These include but not limited to education, enterprise, healthcare and other domains. All these applications help in making the city more efficient and customer-oriented. The use of digital media in cities helps business models to be developed which provide a better user experience. The first step towards implementing digital technologies in cities is to analyze the current situation and look for opportunities in the market.
There is a widespread belief that the digital media boom is going to sweep away most of the traditional media players. This is primarily because the digital media boom comes at a time when people have been demanding real change and a revolution in the way things are done, especially in the social media domain. The digital boom, if we correctly define it, is the result of the fact-checking and information explosion that has resulted in citizen knowledge empowerment. In a sense, it is a fact-check on public figures who seem to get things wrong at a crucial time in history.
As mentioned earlier, the social media has played an important role in this process. The rise of social media and digital media can be correlated with the fact-checking explosion in the public sphere. The digital media has helped citizens to fact-check their politicians who seem to get things wrong at critical times. They use the digital media to spot inconsistencies in the performance of public figures. As a result, people are able to weigh the facts and come to conclusions based on their personal experience with the public figure.
Public officials have also learned that using digital media to communicate with the general public increases their legitimacy and therefore, the trust factor. They also face a tough challenge, as citizens tend to ignore facts that do not conform to their politically correct view. The end result is that public officials now have two challenges in one: one to explain their performance and the second, to convince citizens why they should trust them. This is where communication technologies such as social networking sites, podcasts, videoconferencing services, and online press releases can make a difference.
To a certain extent, the rise of digital media has also reduced the role of public officials. The traditional PR professionals are finding it difficult to survive in a world where social media and other digital technologies have made it very easy for citizens to access and express their opinions. The traditional PR professionals are finding it difficult to rise above their personal experience level in the public sphere, as everyone now knows that they are not as good as their image suggests. In fact, many of them are guilty of committing tactical mistakes that alienate their already shrinking fan base. The key here is for officials to realize that the digital technologies available today are changing the rules of engagement in the political culture.
What all this means is that there is no longer any use in denigrating the impact of social media and digital tools, because these are actually making citizens better politically. The key is for officials to understand that the political space is changing, and that they need to be willing to adjust their mindset to embrace the changes and make them part of their everyday lives. It is no longer sufficient for officials to ignore the new digital tools that are changing the landscape of the political space. They need to learn to embrace digital tools in a way that makes them part of the process, not the entire process.
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.