Earlier today, Brigade’s CEO Matt Mahan and President James Windon joined New York Times best-selling author and entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg on her weekly SiriusXM show “Dot Complicated” for a post-election conversation about technology and politics. During the interview, they discussed why people — particularly young people — aren’t going to the polls and how social technologies like Brigade can help put citizens back at the center of our democracy.
“It’s not for any lack of connectivity,” James said, referencing a recent Pew Research Center study that found cell phones and social media platforms are playing an increasingly prominent role in how voters get political information and follow election news. “People have an interest in the space and are using mobile technologies to consume that content but the biggest hurdle is how do you take that motivation, that passion and interest, and turn it into action?” he said.
Brigade’s leadership knows technology is a crucial part of the solution, but so is understanding the social dynamics that exist between people offline. “We want to take those offline social dynamics that bring people together into communities where they can pool resources, make decisions, and get things done — sometimes around politics, sometimes around other issues,” Matt said.
Changing content consumption habits are also top of mind as Brigade marches toward launch next year. Consumers have become category and channel agnostic, James argued. “They no longer think: ‘Is this from TV, radio or a mobile device?’ They no longer put certain types of content in certain buckets – social, civic, entertainment.” That means companies, political campaigns, and advocacy organizations are all competing for one thing: attention.
The Brigade team believes that in this new era, the focus should be on the relationship between people and how they’re exchanging information and opinions about issues that matter to them and affect their daily lives. “We want to create a new norm for interacting civically online, but it’s [also] a recreation of a norm that existed offline throughout much of the last couple hundred years,” James said.
Missed the show? Randi’s “Dot Complicated” interview with Matt and James will rebroadcast Friday, Nov. 14 at 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 15 at 6 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 16 at 10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 17 at 12 a.m., and Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. (all times Eastern) on SiriusXM Channel 111.