Amid the hype about social media, there’s one thing social media has changed, and that’s the tone and temperature of the entire process of building and maintaining community relationships. For many business, commercial, or other interests working to influence community attitudes and decision making, robust engagement by individuals from inside and outside communities should be forcing the rethinking of many old-fashioned techniques so many have taken for granted for so many years.
Where political connections were thought to matter significantly in the past, now they are only valuable to the politician if you can prove you can control the temperature of the opposition and the bullying, bloviating and bellyaching of an ever-growing number of virtual participants through social media.
Another artifact of the old days is having frequent private contacts with political and elected officials, and other decision makers, on pending and current matters with significant public impact. Increasingly, all encounters are watched, counted and reported by someone, forcing an ever more intense transparency; in fact, the transparency has all but stopped these meetings.