Coverage of elections flood social media

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The day that many have been anticipating, but most have been dreading, has come and passed.

Election Day.

Amidst the sea of political attack ads, there have been efforts to actually enact change in the states this year via the voices of politicians leaving the same automated recordings on voicemails, activists and supporters hassling college campuses, and recently, candidates' usage of social medias to penetrate the desired voting demographics.

While this may seem like a valiant effort to stay 'up with the times,' in actuality, social media looks to be the most effective way of sharing information related to this year's elections.

Traditional broadcast news does a good enough job cluttering the airways and news stations with debate after debate and ad after ad, which can seem mind-numbing and mundane after months of over stimulation. But what social medias like Facebook, Twitter, & Foursquare are doing instead is making it possible for potential voters to have an active say in their voting activities.

When I logged onto Facebook this Election Day-morning, this is what I saw first: A vote counter. Awesome? Yes. It was.

After the initial annoyance-factor wore off, I realized, "Hey, this is a good reminder for 20 somethings like myself and other young people to vote. How clever, Facebook."

And guess what: I guarantee it worked for many people my age to go out and cast a ballot... But it didn't just stop there.

According to LostRemote.com, big news stations and corporations like ABC, CBS, and CNN are taking advantage of the social media channels by making special Twitter feeds and encouraging self-reporting on sites like twittervoterreport.com where users can update information on their Twitter accounts about their voting activity and poll sites. There was also a day-long trends of hashtagging #election, #votereport, or #ivoted to raise continuous support for the voting cause.

In addition to the Facebook voter count, there's also a link through Google Maps to find the user's nearest polling site. Foursquare also created an "I Voted 2010" badge for users who checked in at registered polling places.

Big news corporations are also projecting live polling results by the hour on sites 'broadcasted' over Twitter. This surge of advocacy over the ever-growing-popular social media sites has shown politicians and news corporations that in the future 2012 elections, THIS will be the target to hit, and not the traditional direct mail marketing schemes or attack ads on Primetime television.

So while some people may have thought they were in the clear from political campaigns, by hiding in their social media bubbles, they were sadly mistaken. It seems that the new trend of journalism in social media has only made it more possible for politicians to hit up these channels for their professional gains.

As journalism and the news industry evolves to fit cultural dynamics and changes, so do the politicians who participate in it to help uphold its 'values' by persuading the public to vote for them. And as votes become more important to keep those values in tact, so do the ways in which they are obtained.

4 comments:

Victoria Jones November 2, 2010 at 7:49 PM  

I also saw the voter tally when I logged onto Facebook today. I think it's a pretty genious idea to remind people.

I'm also very happy that election day has finally come. I'm very tired of all the political ads. It seems 99% of them were "Don't vote for so and so because they did so and so".

I also noticed many people using the #ivoted hashtag on Twitter. These little things on social media are helpful and cool.

Paul Salais November 2, 2010 at 7:54 PM  

This goes back to news and obtaining the younger generations' attention with new tactics.

The fear of the younger generation not voting was one of the main concerns in this elections personally. Using the modern forms of technology, such as social media, to grasp that attention is very smart.

Although this covers one concern, many of the younger generation also don't know what exactly is going on nor do they care so what do we do then?

taramaurer November 2, 2010 at 8:43 PM  

In regard to Paul's question about what we do to let younger generations going on, I think that social media can also help with this. I have never been one to seek out news on websites, especially not politics. However, being a member of Twitter has kept me informed. When I follow people who are interested in politics, I notice their tweets about different subjects. I click on the websites provided, and wham, I am informed about a certain topic.

I think this is a very interesting blog. I agree that social media is the new way to grab voters' attention. I can't tell you how many messages I heard while at my parents house encouraging them to vote. I think that social mediums like Facebook do such a good job because they show how many other people are voting. When you see that how many of your friends voted, it encourages you to do it too.

Kati Herr November 2, 2010 at 9:45 PM  

I agree with Tara, but I also know that when I was younger than 18 I really didn't care about politics. I think the ONLY way to get an interest for politics and societal issues into the minds of youths is through Social Media. We have to go to the core of their world...and Social Media was and is the core of ours.

I also agree with Victoria. I'm sick of seeing the bashing. I wouldn't know a single good thing about any candidate or anything we voted on if I hadn't looked anywhere else. Politicians should care more about how THEY look and less about how their oponents look.

Great conversation starter, Erin.

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