A while ago tipping points were all the rage. Malcolm Gladwell’s book had captured the public imagination and points were to be seen tipping all over the place. I was reminded of this when I saw in our recent survey that 24% of MEPs write a blog. My first reaction was, is that all? Here is an ideal way of reaching out to the European citizen, particularly the young, the majority of whom are not going to bother voting in the forthcoming election. Here is a way of personalizing the seemingly impersonal European Parliament and of bridging the democratic deficit. Why would an MEP not do a blog?
I suspect the answer to this is more apathy than antipathy, but I also expect the elections to be a digital tipping point. The world of politics was galvanized by Obama’s use of social media in his winning campaign and many of the new MEPs will have used similar techniques as they sought election. They will understand the technology, appreciate its ease of use, and be comfortably in the posting rhythm. Politicians are herd animals at heart and it won’t take long for an MEP not blogging (or tweeting) to be considered a digi-dinosaur. And nobody would want that.