Conversational Campaigning

johnedwards2.jpgThere are more than 200 videos posted on YouTube by user JohnEdwards.  If you take a look at his profile, it says he is a democrat from North Carolina who enjoys basketball, running, reading and writing.  He also enjoys listening to Bruce Springsteen and has been a YouTube user since March 23, 2006.  And, oh yeah, he’s running for president.

Current candidates for president are beginning to understand how to reach the young voters.  Social media. They all have MySpace pages with hundreds of “friends” and links to official campaign sites and YouTube videos.  The friends post comments and send messages directly to campaign headquarters. This time around, campaigning has become a two-way conversation.  

hillary.jpgAlthough she may have missed the boat on gather.com, it looks like Hillary Clinton has jumped on the bandwagon with using Web 2.0. “One month ago I began a conversation with all of you, and so far we haven’t stopped talking…” Begins a podcast from Hillary Clinton, or a “HillCAST,” if you will. 

It’s conversations like these, where voters can voice opinions and get a response, that are going to help win this election- or at least the New Hampshire primary….

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Conversational Campaigning

  1. John

    OK…but how does it make you FEEL?? Do you think social media will encourage and motivate an age block (18-30) to vote that has historically been apathetic come election time? A group who in 2004 had a higher percentage of NONVOTERS compared to voters. Also, a group who can’t rival the baby boomers in total population, let alone voting population. Does your dad have a myspace page?? Does your grandma use the internet? The most dependable and vocal voting block still gets their news from the networks at 6 pm and 11 pm. Successful campaigns are geared to an older voting block.

    More importantly, can social media convince me to vote? Does it create awareness of registering to vote and giving me the where, when, and how? “Tom” hasn’t sent me a message on myspace yet. Candidates may use a format I prefer to deliver their message, yet I still have to show up to the local fire hall to cast my ballot.

    Your blog is a wonderful PR piece for the benefits of social media, I’m not convinced it can have a noticeable effect on the 2008 election. Like I said, “I don’t have to look at it” and judging by past voting trends of my age group, I’m not going to.

  2. election20

    Oh John, don’t be so pessimistic. I really do think social media will encourage and motivate 18-30 year olds to vote. I mean, historically they have been apathetic and have had a higher percentage of nonvoters than voters, but that doesn’t mean something can’t be done about it.

    In the 2004 election more than 2 million people in that age bracket voted. And it was the second election in a row where the number increased. Yeah it was only 24 percent of the entire 18-30 population. But no matter what the statistics are, that’s still 2 million more people who voted.

    And social media is not just directed toward the 18-30 population. In response to your questions, no my father does not have a MySpace page, but my mom does. And as for my grandma using the internet, well she called me and asked me to e-mail her my Christmas list, so she must be using it a little bit. The 60+ population is the fastest growing age group when it come to internet usage.

    I’m not saying the social media is going to be the only thing that impacts the next election, but it is keeping users informed. The more informed people in the 18-30 age bracket are, the more they are going to care about issues and find candidates who support those issues. If you are passionate about a subject, you’re not going to mind going a couple miles to the fire hall to cast your ballot. I’m sure you’d travel a lot further than that to go to a NASCAR race….

  3. You know, it used to be that parents were the main influence on a person’s political beliefs. I don’t think that’s the case anymore. I know that I’ve had an effect on my parents beliefs, and I know that even my cousins and others I know have had an effect on their parents beliefs.

    I think the reason for the reversal is the fact that younger people are now better informed, in large part because of social media. So, I would agree that social media does and will continue to have have an effect on a good number of people when it comes to voting. Some may not get the message directly from social media, but they will get it from its consumers.

  4. Hello this comment is amazing.
    I like your blog..
    Regards

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