Archive for augusti, 2013

BOK | Benjamin Disraeli, premiärminister 1868 och 1874-1880, tillhör en av de riktigt stora i Storbritanniens historia.

Benjamin Disraeli - Earl of Beaconsfield (1804-1881)

Douglas Hurd, som själv var minister under både premiärminister Margaret Thatcher och John Major, har tillsammans med Edward Young skrivit en biografi om hans liv och karriär.

I en intressant intervju i BBC History Magazine berättar författaren om Disraelis politiska åsikter och vad dagens politiker skulle kunna lära sig om man studerade honom lite närmare.

Intervjun – daterad den 1 augusti 2013 – hittar man i listan över tidskriftens podcasts. (En kortare version av intervjun finns även i augustinumret av tidskriften.)

Bild: Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield (1804-1881) fotograferad av W. & D. Downey.

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STRATEGI | Alla är överrens om att Barack Obama och hans kampanjteam var överlägsna när det gällde att mobilisera väljare via sociala medier.

The New York Times Magazine 23 juni2013

Men även när det gällde TV lyckades man – trots begränsade ekonomiska resurser – tillhandahålla information som gjorde det möjligt för dem att få ut större effekt för sina reklampengar än teamet kring Mitt Romney.

Jim Rutenberg skriver i The New York Times Magazine:

Political marketing has usually lagged behind commercial marketing. Companies that spend billions of dollars a year developing ways to make many more billions of dollars a year tend to have little to learn from presidential campaigns, which are generally start-ups aimed at a one-day sale. But the (re)selling of the president, 2012, was an entirely different matter. The campaign recruited the best young minds in the booming fields of analytics and behavioral science and placed them in a room they called “the cave” for up to 16 hours a day over the course of roughly 16 months. After the election, when the technology wizards finally came out, they had not only helped produce a victory that defied a couple of historical predictors; they also developed a host of highly effective marketing techniques that were either entirely new or had never been tried on such a grand scale.


Previous campaigns would make decisions about how to direct their television-advertising budgets largely based on hunches and deductions about what channels the voters they wanted to reach were watching. Their choices were informed by the broad viewership ratings of Nielsen and other survey data, which typically led to buying relatively expensive ads during evening-news and prime-time viewing hours. The 2012 campaign took advantage of advanced set-top-box monitoring technology to figure out what shows the voters they wanted to reach were watching and when, resulting in a smarter and cheaper — if potentially more invasive — way to beam commercials into their homes. The system gave Obama a significant advantage over Mitt Romney, according to Democrats and many Republicans (at least those who were not on Romney’s media team).


To understand how it works, you must first understand the vast technological engine that powered the campaign but remained largely out of view of the public and the press. Messina, the campaign manager, often boasted about how the Obama 2012 effort would be “the most data-driven campaign ever.” But what that truly meant — the extent to which the campaign used the newest tech tools to look into people’s lives and the sheer amount of personal data its vast servers were crunching — remained largely shrouded. The secrecy around the operation was partly because the president’s strategists wanted to maintain their competitive edge. But it was also no doubt because they worried that practices like “data mining” and “analytics” could make voters uncomfortable.


The concept for the “optimizer,” as it was known in the campaign, was born: a system that could determine with more precision than ever what swing voters were watching in the greatest concentrations and how to get commercials in front of them in the cheapest advertising time slots possible.


Unlike Facebook, where users were at least giving the campaign explicit permission to collect personal data even if they had not read the fine print, television watchers were making no such agreement.


The optimizer software would then comb advertising price and viewership data to figure out the top-rated time slots among those on the Obama persuadable list — which could vary from market to market — and then rank them based on which produced the highest concentration of the Obama swing voters at the best rates. The results were striking. The campaign determined that two of the top shows to buy were 1 a.m. repeats of “The Insider” and afternoon episodes of “Judge Joe Brown” — shows that were far cheaper than the evening news or anything being shown on the networks in prime time.


In the end, an analysis by the Republican ad-buying firm National Media found that Obama paid roughly 35 percent less per broadcast commercial than Romney did. Kantar Media CMAG, an ad-monitoring firm, showed that Obama and his supporting super PAC got nearly 40,000 more spots on the air than Romney and his super PACs did despite spending roughly $90 million less.

Tidskriftsomslag: The New York Times Magazine den 23 juni 2013

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EU | Catherine Mayer har skrivit en intressant artikel i Time om David Camerons vånda över Storbritanniens medlemskap i EU.

Time (Europa upplagan) 3 juni 2013

Mayer Skriver:

Cameron says on Europe he’s ”been pretty consistent. Hardheaded, practical engagement-not [a] starry-eyed dreamer about the European Union, but recognizing it is in Britain’s interest to get the best out of this organization.” Euroskeptic Tories have cause to disagree. They remember the smooth young orator who gave a bravura speech at the party’s 2005 annual convention. Cameron won the Tory leadership in no small part because of his undertaking to withdraw the Conservative Party from the EPP, the grouping of moderate, center-right parties in the European Parliament, the EU’s legislative arm. That decision caused him problems later, when he led the Tories out of EPP in 2009, straining relations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other EPP members just when he needed a close working relationship with them.


Another of his decisions could lead to the downsizing of the United Kingdom itself: a plebiscite next year will allow Scotland to choose wheter to stay in the U.K. In agreeing to that vote, Cameron gambled that Scots will see that their interests lie in remaining part of a union that provides access to a big internal market and more heft and profile in international affairs than a small country could achieve on its own. Now, if only he can persuade his countrymen-and more immediately, his party-to think that way about Europe.

Tidskriftsomslag: Time – europeiska upplagan – den 2 juni 2013.

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BOK | Charles Moore, författare till första delen av Margaret Thatchers officiella biografi, intervjuades i juni av BBC History Magazine.

Margaret Thatcher - Getty Images - Graham Wood

Intervjun, som är daterad den 20 juni, hittar man i listan över tidskriftens podcastsändningar.

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HISTORIA | När en premiärminister avgått erbjuds han eller hon av tradition alltid en fin titel.

Winston Churchill

Föga oväntat erbjöds Winston Churchill något alldeles speciellt när han lämnade ämbetet.

I tidskriften Allt om Vetenskap Tema Historia skriver man:

Churchill avgick som premiärminister 7 april 1955. Drottning Elizabeth ville utse honom till Hertig av London, men hans som Randolph övertalade honom att tacka nej eftersom han inte ville ärva titeln. Då utsågs han till riddare av Strumpebandsorden, den allra finaste hedersutmärkelsen i Storbritannien.

Någon Duke of London hade aldrig tidigare funnit så erbjudandet var en alldeles extra stor hedersbetygelse.

Anledningen till att Randolph Churchill inte ville att Winston skulle acceptera erbjudandet var tydligen att det skulle ha varit mycket dyrt att upprätthåla en sådan titel.

Dessutom skulle det hindrat Randolph från att göra politisk karriär. Han skulle automatiskt ha förlorat sin plats i House of Commons om han ärvt titeln.

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