If you’re a commentator on just about anything, the day after a Federal Budget is your day.
If you use one of the standard social media monitoring platforms you can see plenty of commentary from peer groups, industry groups, political groups and the media.
But what is it that individuals are saying, who has an axe to grind, who has no axe to grind, and what are their connections?
Using our technology we’ve taken a peek into the post-budget commentaries on just one platform, Twitter.
And we see personal comments about Wayne Swan, some of which we can’t reproduce here.
We see a variety of personal responses about tax, roads, and the baby bonus.
We see comments from singles without children, who firmly believe the budget has passed them by.
We see concerns about climate change, and questions being asked about why the budget doesn’t do more to curb it. About the mining tax. About how refuges and asylum seekers will be further disadvantaged, and from some, complaints about why more wasn’t diverted away from what they see as money wasted on processing asylum seekers.
And we see concerns expressed about reduction in overseas aid.
Interestingly, we see little comment about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the schools reforms (the Gonski).
In other words, we see a disparate, spontaneous, authentic, passionate set of comments from hundreds, and ultimately thousands of individuals, all having their say, on their terms, from their perspectives. If we dig deeper we may see trends, but we may not. We may see organized groups, and we certainly plenty of individuals.
We can tell that some are activists, some cynics, and some simply commenting because it’s the main event of the evening.
All different. All valid. All of differing levels of interest to different organizations.
This is a snapshot of what individuals are choosing to say about their budget from their government.
Their biases, prejudices and interests are clearly visible. There are no filters between us and their views.
They have freely chosen to make these comments to the world at large, with the intention that they be read, and arguably the expectation that someone, somewhere, will take notice and take action.
The social web is a goldmine of intelligence about what individuals actually want, expect and demand. Connect with that intelligence, take action, and you can deliver on their expectations – whether you’re a commercial organization or a political party.
Power to the people indeed.