A Facebook apology, message delivery using technology at its’ best

I have been spending considerable time thinking about the GOP and technology for the future which is a direct result of Erick’s Posts here and here. The basic fact is that with more and more people dropping their land lines for cell phones, turning to social networking sites for information and news it is no surprise that  even in the hallowed halls of the US Congress members will use this avenue for message delivery.


Let me introduce you to the Survivors of the Purple Tunnel.

Many arrived five or six hours before the noon swearing-in, and were told that gates would open at 8 a.m. They formed themselves into a line that stretched south, more than a mile by many accounts, into the city’s 3rd Street tunnel, which is part of Interstate 395 and runs under the mall.

It appears, [Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terry Gainer, the Senate’s chief law enforcement officer] said, that the tunnel backup occurred because some people with silver-colored tickets were misdirected to the parade route and had to be redirected to the mall.

Eventually it became clear that not only was the line not moving, but that they had no way to get to any part of the mall in time to take in the inaugural moment.

All in all, approximately 5000 people, with inaugural tickets, by a direct error by the police were directed down a route that would not allow them access to the festivities and they subsequently missed the inauguration. Considering that over 240,000 tickets for the inauguration were issued, this error affected only 2% of the ticket holders. Sure, it’s unacceptable, and likely the result of a simple error, but that’s not the point. Message delivery reached across America.


Let me introduce you to Terrance W. Gainer, the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper, of the US Senate. he is "elected by the members, serves as the protocol and chief law enforcement officer and is the principal administrative manager for most support services in the United States Senate”. As the Chief Law Enforcement officer of the Senate “is responsible for all Senate computers and technology support services, recording and photographic services, printing and graphics services, and telecommunications services. The Sergeant at Arms also provides assistance to all Senate offices with their staffing, mailing, purchasing and financial needs. The Sergeant at Arms offices responsible for providing these and other services include Capitol Facilities, the Operations Division, Customer Relations, Financial Operations, Human Resources, and Information Security”. Without going into great detail, the the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper is as important historically as the congress itself. The Sergeant at Arms can force a quorum in the Senate and under the authorization can arrest other Senators and the President. Basically, MR. Gainer is one powerful individual.


As the chief director of the inaugural festivities, he looked at himself, his office for failing to provide for the public a quality service. In the spirit of connecting in a digital age he took his message to Facebook (requires Facebook account). There were subsequent forums opened there as well for survivors to discuss what happened. It’s not everyday a Messiah is sworn into the Office of the President (twice). Naturally we are now finding other sites spawning to talk about the event. Those confused about the event. What would words be without some photos too!


Had Mr. Gainer, Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the US Senate opted to take the traditional route by making a public statement issuing an apology few if any would have ever known about the event, especially considering there are only a few hundred news reports. But today, the message has some buzz. Many people, a vast majority who did not attend the inauguration personally are talking about it. Arguably this has not “gone viral” but the potential that it could is there. And if it does, combined with a fawning MSM to boost it up, Obama & Co® has scored a marketing coup with all Americans; his government is perceived as responsive.


We, as a party, group, blogsite and individuals need to approach message delivery in a whole new way in looking for people to carry that message to the masses. No longer is message delivery reserved for campaigns or influential members of the party, it is upon each of our shoulders. It may be a quick video, a directive, or an Email Carpet Bomb, to persuade not the individual, but a group.