Vote for @BarackObama!

By: Kimberly Cervone

It has been noted by hundreds of observers that President Barack Obama has an impeccable presence on the Internet, through social media. The role of social media and the Internet played a huge role in Obama’s success during the presidential campaign, post-inauguration and still today. “Obama decided that he wants to make social media tools a permanent part of his political strategy.” [1] Obama’s promise to the people was to be an easily accessible president through social media. His image and ideas were all over Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and the blogosphere.

Barack Obama joined Twitter in April 2007 prior to the election. During the campaign there was an abundance of Twitter use by Obama, he updated his account at least once a day with news, information and videos.  Soon after his inauguration the @BarackObama account seemed to be less of a priority and the @WhiteHouse account became the main focus. The Obama Team tweets constantly from this account.

 

Obama’s usage of Facebook and MySpace during the campaign was to reach out to Obama’s social media followers. “Barack Obama has made history with his Facebook/MySpace usage.”[2] Since MySpace has slowly become less used as a site in general. His Facebook updates are still flowing with newsfeeds, videos, links, and pictures. Barack Obama is the number one most “liked” page on Facebook. Obama’s inauguration was posted on Facebook, and was viewed by millions of people.

During the campaign Obama used YouTube to add touching stories and to give people a look at his personal life behind the scenes. These efforts were beneficial because they were both personal and very active. Although Obama does still use his personal account, most of the posts come from the user The White House Channel. Practically, every day a new video is posted, whether it is his weekly video addresses, live video press conferences and town halls. These are much more effective as easily accessible visuals, then a simple radio address. These videos have certainly increased his social media press conference.

During the 2008 Presidential Campaign, both candidates had a strong blogging presence. Post-inauguration, Obama worked from two primary blogs Organizing for America Blog, and The White House Blog. The Barack Obama Team frequently updates both of these blogs. However, it has been discussed on numerous sites that the people see a personal post from Obama himself every now and then, rather then his team.

Barack Obama’s use of social media has been phenomenal.  He started with a strong online presence, and his image continues to flourish. With the help of his team, Obama will be remembered for his great quantity of social media use.

 

Resources:

Ostrow, Adam. “How Will President Obama Use His Massive Social Media Influence?” Social Media News and Web Tips – Mashable – The Social Media Guide. Web. 11 Nov. 2010. <http://mashable.com/2008/11/05/obama-social-media/&gt;.

Parr, Ben. “Obama: Does He Pass the Social Media Test?” Social Media News and Web Tips – Mashable – The Social Media Guide. Web. 10 Nov. 2010. <http://mashable.com/2009/07/04/obama-social-media-scorecard/&gt;.

 


Giving You A SMAC Into The Future

This is the Global SMAC! We’re working to bring you into the future of Social Media And Citizenship.

The Global SMAC has the noble goal to slice through the noise and find out just how social media has pushed us in a new direction of participation in democracy and the community. You may think social media just includes Facebook and Twitter, but you’d be wrong. Social media is everything we know and love today. It is everything from Youtube, Twitter and Facebook, to Digg, iReport and Storify. The crown for some of the most savvy usage of social media must go to Barack Obama….although Her Majesty The Queen of England did just got a Facebook.

Global SMAC’s Mission: To research, delineate, and report the information about how social media and the Internet have shaped our opinions, perceptions, and attitude on politics and community involvement.

Citizenship and democracy go hand in hand, but our view of them is being altered because of digital mediums like the Internet, specifically social media. For politicians the question is no longer, How many people can I get to my rally? It has become, How many follows can I get on Twitter? How can I spread my message to places without spending millions of dollars in TV adds? Democracy relies on the participation of its citizens to function properly. The idea of democracy has not changed, we have.

Our ideas of participation have morphed into something very different than what our founding fathers could have ever conceived. The majority of Americans have moved off of the street corner and onto the web in an attempt to support their candidates. Global SMAC will explore the reasons for this shift in participation, and how it is changing American politics.

Do we now choose our leaders based on how many people create movies and remixes of them on Youtube? Has Twitter become the “winning” factor in political campaigns? Whatever the answer it really doesn’t change the fact that social media has become a driving force behind people’s decisions regarding politics, and how the country should be run.

This “revolution” is not just in the United States, but all over the globe. More and more people are chiming in on everything dealing with Western policies, and political regimes in countries like Iran. Examples of how social media has influenced participation in world events and local ones alike are explored by our researchers. From simple case studies a clear reason for how Twitter working in the “Iranian Revolution” or how much weight Youtube had during the elections in the United States between McCain and Obama.

The data found from the research conducted by Global SMAC will either support or overthrow the ideas that have been put forth by many people. Some questions that will be answered are as follows:

1. Has social media made the public apathetic about politics and democracy?

2. Are Social network sites contributing to the conversation or masking the true problems in society?

3. Has voting been affected by social media (have more people voted because they felt empowered by social media)?

4. Do people know more information about politics and the candidates, or have they become politically polarized?

5. Has social media given people a false sense of understanding about politics and issues around the globe?

Citizenship is part of democracy, but Global SMAC is treating it as a separate entity, focusing on the individual rather than the collective outcome of whole. A simple example is a blog, or a personal web page. The internet has allowed people to develop their own personalities online, and project their voice beyond the town square and into the global conversation.

Global SMAC will explore if one person’s thoughts actually have an affect on what others do an say. Is the social media they use an effective way to deliver their message to the public, or does their voice get cut down by bigger voices like major news networks?

It is through the use of social media that many people in today’s society have been able to “voice” their opinions. Major criticisms about that often cite that almost no internet traffic goes to the majority of the public blogs. Even if that were true, does it matter? Should the value of being a citizen be measured in the amount of popularity that you have? The Global SMAC says no. Everyone has a voice, and everyone should be able to tell their story.

Global SMAC is dedicated to delivering accurate up-to-date information that is relevant to everyone living in the digital age. To learn more follow us on Twitter, or subscribe to our channel on Youtube.

The Global SMAC

~Know Your Media

The Online World

Eric Ivanov