Tag Archives: social media and politics

“2.0 Politik: Do Democratic Candidates Make the Grade?”

“Sri Lankan Elections Commissioner” by indi.ca on flickrThe Hillary/Big Brother Mashup Video from last year ushered in a new era for political campaigns. No longer content with televised debates, citizens everywhere raised their mouses in unison and called for a technological perestroika. 2.0 Politik was born, giving citizens direct access to politicians…Ok, maybe not, but candidates not hooked up with social media are missing out on influential demographics.

On Wednesday, socialTNT gave you the 4-1-1 on Republican social media campaigns. Today, socialTNT directs our browser to the Dems to find out who makes the grade and who gets held back.

Barack Obama, Most Likely To Succeed (Overall Grade: A+)

  • Online Video—At time of writing, there are 572 videos on Barack’s YouTube channel full of debate clips, campaign stops, direct conversations with the camera. On the site, you can find BarackTV, a really pretty player integrated by Brightcove . Don’t miss the interesting, YouTube-meets-digg-style “citizen generated campaign” called YouBarack. Chris was let down at the lack of streaming video. [UPDATE: Obama does stream some campaign stops through ustream.tv] Grade: A-
  • BloggingActive blog with some posts receiving an impressive 1000+ comments, but our reviewers couldn’t find any posts older than Jan. 31st. The “older posts” link took us nowhere, and no archive–what?! Mad props for asking for feedback from readers. Extra credit for allowing citizen blogs hosted through my.obama.com community. Grade: A-
  • Social NetworksObama’s Facebook profile supposedly has the more friends than any other candidate, but his Wall is full of teeny-boppers spouting racial epithets (Where are the chaperones community managers?). Surprisingly, his MySpace has a clean look with more commenters actually adding to the dialog. Oh, and widgets for everybody! Flickr is current. Extra credit: With LinkedIn, MiGente, Eons (Boomer SocNet), AsianAve, and BlackPlanet, he has all his demographic bases covered Grade: A+
  • RSS—You can subscribe to the blog. No RSS for Press Releases or coverage, and what about an Events RSS?: B+
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Ok, so he’s got a Twitter profile that gets updated every coupla days. That’s worth something, right?

Hillary Clinton, Most Studious (Overall Grade: B+)

  • Online Video—Of course, has a YouTube channel with a so-so 232 videos at time of writing. There is also a clunky looking player with Hillary commercials videos called HillaryTV. Most interesting attempt to seem human: The videos section link to “The Hillary I Know,” a Web 2.0-style site with video interviews of friends of Hill Grade: B+
  • BloggingHillary’s blog seems to serve as a news room, with mosts post consisting of news round-ups. Unlike Obama’s blog, the comments are pretty low, with most posts receiving 30-100. Clinton’s team should try to make it more about conversation, less about messaging. Grade: B-
  • Social Networks—If I were trying to guess messages based strictly on social network membership, Hill is looking to win over the college age and boomer voters. MySpace, Facebook and Eons pages are all pretty standard, but we do love the behind-the-scenes, not super-produced flickr page. Grade: B+
  • RSS—The blog has its own RSS feed and–gasp!–so does the news room. No feed for HillaryTV, but we’re still in shock about Newsroom RSS! Grade: A
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—There is a Twitter page, but “Hillary” isn’t following anyone…shame!

Now that John Edwards and his ustream.tv are out of the race, the Dems aren’t quite as cutting edge. But how can any hip Dem hit the town without an Obama ringtone?If you could give a piece of social media advice to the candidates, what would it be? What is your primary source for political news? TV? Friends? Blogs?

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[The above photo, “Sri Lankan Elections Commissioner” by indi.ca on flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]

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Filed under 2.0 Politik, Democracy and Media, Future of Media, Marketing, New Media, Politics, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media

“2.0 Politik: Do Republican Candidates Make the Grade?”

Today’s post was written by socialTNT Contributing Writer, Marie Williams. I promise we’ll get personalized bylines showing soon. 🙂

“vote for this guy” by switch_1010 on flickr

With Rudy Giuliani’s withdrawal from the Republican presidential campaign yesterday evening, the competition for the Republican nomination is heating up. Social media tactics have the possibility to tip the balance, but which candidates are using social media to their advantage and which are missing the boat? Today, socialTNT separates the cool kids from the amateurs.

Ron Paul, Class Valedictorian (Overall Grade: A)

  • Online Video—up-to-date and frequently refreshed YouTube channel, a Justin.TV channel (although that hasn’t been updated for two months), and Mogulus Live Streaming Video. Impressive, Ron! Grade: A+
  • Blogging—There’s a hidden bloggish section called “daily updates” (click here and scroll down to below the Flash-animated banner to find it) and a very difficult-to-find blog called The Daily Dose campaign HQ blog. While not very aptly placed, both blogs are well updated and contain some good, meaty posts. Grade: A-
  • Social Networks—Very active Facebook profile updated with hundreds of posted items and notes pertaining to Paul’s campaign. While his MySpace page is definitely not as snazzy as his competitors with all the bells and whistles, it is very personal and includes all pertinent links to more information on campaign activities. Grade: A
  • RSS—You can subscribe to the daily updates blog, as well as The Daily Dose, although the newsroom sections don’t have RSS feeds available. Grade: A-
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Unlike all the other Republican candidates, Ron has an official Twitter page.

Mitt Romney, Second in Class (Overall: B+)

  • Online Video—Of course, Mitt has the token YouTube channel, but the Mitt TV section of Mitt’s site is what sets it apart in terms of visual online content. The section is incredibly well-organized and catalogs videos by category, including events, interviews, news, and even a section for “fun” videos. Grade: A+
  • Blogging—Mitt’s “Five Brothers” blog, which includes posts from Mitt, his wife Ann and five sons, is updated on a regular basis, sometimes more than once a day. The posts are often made by Mitt’s sons (Mitt himself hasn’t updated since 9/11 of last year), and add a great personal element to the blog even if Mitt isn’t the one posting. Grade: A
  • Social Networks—Facebook profile? Check, and it’s well fleshed out and updated with news and videos to boot. MySpace page? Check, and also very well-organized with personal profile info, a video welcome, and Slide photo show. Mitt also has a Meetup page and a Flickr account that includes photos from the campaign trail. Grade: A-
  • RSS—While the “Five Brothers” blog does have separate RSS feeds for all authors (click here and see lefthand corner), there’s no RSS feed for Mitt TV and no RSS feed for the news section. Bummer! Grade: B
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Nope! But if Mitt decides to jump on the Twitter bandwagon, someone’s already parked the MittRomney username and has 34 followers (no updates to speak of).

Mike Huckabee, Average Abe (Overall: B)

  • Online Video—Typical YouTube Channel and a video archive in the newsroom. Nothing special, nothing innovative. *Yawn* Grade: B-
  • BloggingMike has a very consistently updated blog that runs the gamut from video posts to general news announcements to calls to action. Also includes a great, incredibly lengthy blogroll of other blogs supporting Huckabee’s campaign. Extra credit for some cool blog widgets for supporters to load on their own blogs. Grade: A+
  • Social Networks—Very basic Facebook profile, but brownie points for the active discussion boards. Standard MySpace profile with a video welcome as a nice personal touch. Mike goes for the basics but could stretch his social networking skills much farther. Grade: B-
  • RSSRSS for the blog, but nothing else. Eh for minimal effort to syndicate content. Grade: B
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—No dice. Not even a parked page for this one.

John McCain, Barely Passing (Grade: C)

  • Online VideoYouTube channel and some videos on MySpace. Blase, much? Grade: C+
  • Blogging—The blog is a very basic set of general updates and video posts with little to no personality. Grade: C
  • Social Networks—Blah Facebook profile, although his MySpace page boasts some multimedia facets and a few videos. Overall pretty weak. Grade: C
  • RSSFeeds are available for the blog but there’s no feeds for the newsroom or any other part of the site. Grade: B
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Nope, but as with Romney, someone’s parked the JohnMcCain username and already has 28 followers (no updates to speak of).

And that’s a wrap. No doubt as the race for Republican nominee continues to heighten in intensity, candidates will consider additional social media tactics as a way to boost their visibility among their wavering constituents.

But don’t worry Dems, we haven’t forgotten about you. socialTNT will be posting on the Democratic candidate reviews this week. In the meantime, tell us how you’re following the presidential race using social media technologies. Is it Twitter? Blogs? Online video? Let us know in the comments!

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[The above photo, “vote for this guy” by switch_1010 on flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]

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Filed under 2.0 Politik, Future of Media, Politics, Social Media, Social Networking

“iPrez.TV: A Utopian Vision of Democracy?”

Max HeadroomWith presidential primary season picking up steam, we bloggers have started contemplating the effects of social media on the primaries. Some candidates are using ustream.tv to have live videochats with voters. Other candidates have put up flickr streams or delved into Twitter. The forerunner among younger voters even sends mobile alerts and provides mobile wallpaper and ringtone downloads. Exciting times, but what if this social media frenzy went past the elections and carried over into the presidency.

Imagine if you will, a world where government is fully transparent. The president videocasts his life live, turning off the cam only when discussing matters of national security. He polls the populous Twitter-style to get feedback on upcoming proposals. Cut the weekly radio address–Radio? What’s that?–the president of the Social Age does a weekly Seesmic post.

New Media President meet your new staff member: Director of Community Relations. The Director and his underlings are responsible for all outreach and relations with the populous. Just like any good community manager, he follows all online dialog and responds thoughtfully. This doesn’t mean spitting out spin at negative postings. Instead, he actually listens to and addresses the concerns of the populous-at-large.

Doctor WhoThe Director of Community Relations is also responsible for maintaining and tracking feedback. Like Dell’s Ideastorm, the web community can post ideas to the appropriate department and also vote digg-style on submitted ideas. All ideas get tracked through completion. A idea/policy development wiki will also be set-up, allowing interaction between thought leaders, academics and government agencies.

As long as it’s not top-secret, all government employees will be encouraged to blog. As much as the Social Age president would like to blog daily, he simply can’t. His style is more micro-blogging through Twitter or Utterz. Instead, his full cabinet will blog, each member responsible for content every two weeks. Supreme Court justices and Senators will blog in the style of TechCrunch’s CrunchNotes, allowing the world to see the back story behind or reasons for decisions and opinions.

What’s the public thinking? Instant polling and voting through SocNets get immediate response on hot topics. Voting in elections may also be done through cell phones. OpenID coupled with YouService-like security prevents voter fraud.

Finally, forget having to go to DC to see the National Archive. The New Media National Archive (lovingly dubbed Archive 2.0) stores the Prez’s videocast and flickr stream. All government documents will be able to be searched and accessed from anyone’s home computer.

Because more people can get involved, disenchantment is low and voter turn out is high. Yes, the government of the Social Age will create a more true, transparent democracy where politicians and citizens interact.

How do you think social media could be used in government? Would it create a government for the people, by the people? Or would it create a 1984 nightmare?

[All you Sci-Fi Buffs should check out Vengeance on Varos, a Doctor Who episode where citizen vote instantly by touching the TV!]

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Filed under Citizen Reporter, Community Manager, Community Relations, Democracy and Media, Future of Media, New Media, Social Media, Social Networking