One of the main points that we have hit on in class this entire year is information being available to everyone because of the rise of the internet. The Internet is a wonderful tool but in today’s society we are still trying to figure out how to use, control, and maintain effectively on different topics. On topic that the Internet and social media in particular is still trying to find its niche in is politics. In politics everything is suppose to be transparent but honestly we know that it is not and when it comes to the Internet everything is open source.
Politicians have not found a way yet to truly utilize the Internet effectively yet expect for President Obama. With the Internet politicians have opportunities by the web to have an open communication platform. But how do they do that? The best blueprint was laid out in our past general election. President Obama was very active on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube promoting his message and campaign ideas. This was huge! Never has a presidential candidate before utilize social networks to reach the American people. The president would hold speeches and later on that night the speech would be uploaded to Youtube for everyone to watch over again or for the first time if you missed it.
Then polices that the president want to get pass were posted in his Facebook group. There many of his voters were able to find the information on his campaign and comment on how they feel about it with others. The president was the first president to hold a town hall meeting where he took questions from Facebook and Twitter. This town hall meeting was essentially global because it wasn’t city or state limited but open to everyone. Yes, this information might have been placed other places before the rise of social networks but in these communities there were very easy to locate and find and to interact with. There was no password needed or no level of clearance you had to have. This information was at your fingertips.
Here is where the voters got really involved and started to care about the issues more. Voters were engaging in citizen journalism by blogging, re-posting, commenting, recommending, rating, tagging and liking information. The citizens started getting involved in the actually coverage of the news mostly because they could not trust if the news they were receiving was accurate and non-bias. The news stations all have their own agenda and political affliction so people want to get my news from other people like them. But in everything good in the world you have its bad as well. And with the Internet this is harder to control and punish the evildoers. This is why most politicians stay away from the Internet. The Internet is unforgiving and has a memory that last forever.
These citizen journalists can take the news and do what they want with it. They can make a video about their opinion, or take it to a site like Digg.com and have people vote on if their opinion is good or not. Lilleker and Jackson both argue that social media interactivity can lead to more positive reactions to your campaign and brand but it can also hurt it if misrepresented or misunderstood. For most politicians the Internet has to many variables that’s why it has not be properly been applied yet. I do want to see how next year’s general election uses the Internet it should be very interesting.