Archive for November, 2012

The Israeli Defense Forces social media director is catching a lot of heat for the picture he posted on Facebook showing his face in mud with the caption “Obama style”. Social media is taking a toll on Canadian politicians, writes the Montreal Gazette. Meanwhile, some are arguing that bad management of social media is worse than not using it at all.


2012 Election Via Social Media

Posted: November 16, 2012 in Multimedia, News

The historic 2012 election is finally in the books. The democrat and incumbent candidate, Barack Obama, earned another four years in office after a grueling campaign that was headlined by his great social media strategy.

University of Kansas journalism professor David Guth is quite impressed with the way both parties handled a new era of politics.

“I follow both Romney and Obama on Twitter and YouTube, and I was getting more stuff out of Obama. I think Romney did an incredible job, but Obama is the master of this,” Guth said. “For a guy who is supposedly a non-traditional candidate and with new politics, he plays the old politics really well. He understands how important a good ground game is, and get out the vote. That’s what won him this election: his exceptional ground game.”

Guth believes social media played a big part in Obama being re-elected.

“By all historical precedent, he should have lost this election. It’s not that good of an economy, and his record isn’t all that outstanding,” Guth said. “Yes, he killed Osama bin Laden, but what have you done for me lately? But, he made the race about Mitt Romney, not about his own record, and that’s how he won.”

While Romney did a better job at using social media than the previous republican candidate, John McCain, did in 2008, he still couldn’t outduel Obama, who appealed more to the younger generations in the polls.

Social media took the election to new heights in which had never been seen before. People were tweeting at an all-time record pace.

While some were tolerable on social media, others did more than just protect their first amendment rights, creating an unnecessary buzz and picking fights that shouldn’t have ever occurred.

“You’re always going to get a little bit of both. There were people I saw out there who were way out in left field rushing to judgments by calling Obama a hippy, and then there were those saying that they believe in Romney’s policies, for example,” Washburn University pre-law student Tomlinson said. “That second group was just voicing their opinions, and the other one was extremely excessive.”

According to Guth, who happens to teach campaigning courses at KU, social media serves as both an aggregator and an amplifier for a political campaign.

“It’s a good organizing medium. In particular, especially in the early stages of the campaign, when you’re trying to build a community, sometimes a candidate or his/her candidacy is not that well-known,” Guth said. “It’s a way to start building a community of followers, and in the late stages of the campaign when you have to move quickly and you may have suddenly decided ‘I have to have another rally in Ohio’, it’s a way to marshal the troops.”

As is the case with every aspect of life, ignorance can be bliss.

“I got annoyed with people who voiced their opinions but completely bashed those with other opinions in a demeaning way,” Tomlinson said.

Tomlinson was adamant that the key to elections and political conversations in general is to be all ears.

“I was raised in a family of politicians so I was brought up by learning how to listen and respecting others’ opinions and being able to decipher everything about them just by attentively listening.”

In Tomlinson’s eyes, the two main avenues of social media have their own advantages.

“Whenever I get onto Twitter, I like the instant value it provides, but I found some comical post-election things on Facebook,” Tomlinson said. “However, sometimes the 140 characters or less on Twitter doesn’t tell you the whole story.”

One way or another, social media created a clear line to be able to communicate with others, whether it be expressing your political beliefs or getting updates from trusted news sources.

As we move forward and approach the 2016 election, the republican party will have to do a better job of modernizing its approach by reaching out to young voters through social media. Doing just that could result in a momentum swing that will make that race even closer than it already appears it will be.

A writer thinks the 2012 election will mark the final social media election. Another blog gives a look back at some of the more memorable moments in the election, seen through the eyes of social media. Meanwhile, made its own list of unforgettable moments from the election.

The landscape of social media is ever-changing. The number of users and the things they can do on it is growing to epic proportions. This infographic should give you a better understanding of the global impact it’s having on people.


This year marks the final social media election, and votes will soon be cast online, writes Paul Sloan of CNET. Forbes looks at this election’s top 5 moments in social media as well as some detailed statistics regarding the two campaigns’ approaches to social media in trying to sway potential voters. Meanwhile, social media saved a small town of Long Beach, NY, and many, many more during Hurricane Sandy.

Different Uses of Social Media

Posted: November 1, 2012 in News, Uncategorized

The growing presence of social media around the world is certainly having an impact. Everyone has their own reasons for how they behave themselves on social media, and that’s what makes it such a great, diverse place on the Internet.

After yet another victory for the volleyball program in its historic 2012 season, University of Kansas Athletics’ Assistant Communications Director Alissa Bauer described what it’s like to run the school’s official volleyball and softball Twitter accounts.

“It’s a great way to relay messages to the fans,” Bauer said. “We always give game updates and answer any questions the fans may have, and it’s a very active way of communicating with the fans.”

In the day and age of laptops, smart phones and tablets, social media has become one of the main lines of communication. Whether it’s following your favorite celebrities on Twitter or giving important personal updates to your many followers or friends, social networks always provide entertainment.

“I like to joke around a lot with my friends, but at the same time I like to be able to just relay my opinions on sports,” University of Kansas freshman Ben Allen said. “With Twitter, everything is a little more compound and compact on what you can say, only having 160 characters.”

Allen, an out of state student, believes Facebook and Twitter are the most efficient ways of updating friends and family.

“If you’re just trying to get a basic message of what you’re doing or how you’re doing, I think it’s easier to just, you know, go on to Facebook or Twitter and just do a quick update of what you’re doing so you don’t have to go scroll through your contact list on your phone,” Allen said. “Basically, you can make one post and they can all comment on it and say, ‘thanks for sharing, or, hope you’re doing well.’”

The Twitter page for KU volleyball has more than 1,500 followers, while the softball page has about half as many. Being up and running for the past couple of years, its popularity continues to grow.

“Whether it’s during the season or in the off-season, reaching out to the fans is always fun,” Bauer said. “They are a big part in helping to make the program as successful as it is.”

Social media can also serve as a marketing tool for what’s to come in the pursuit of a professional career down the road.

“There’s no doubt that, being a major in journalism, that kind of helps people look out for your articles and links that you post,” sophomore Chris Hybl said. “So you know they can find all sorts of information since it’s public. It’s definitely a way to market yourself for the future and the job market.”

However, what you post on social media is important and should be monitored with care.

“I would say I am cautious on Facebook and I’ve become more conscious on Twitter now that if you don’t have a closed account, people can find those tweets even if they’re not on Twitter,” Hybl said. “So I definitely try to keep my presence of mind open to try and keep open those opportunities with future employers or people that could have an impact on my life.”

Indeed, nothing should be posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other social media website or app without considering potential future ramifications for any wrongdoings along the way.

We are reminded daily about why social media is so important to the current generation. It’s how you handle yourself on it that determines whether it will reward you or burn you in the long run.

So, whether you use it for leisure or serious business, just don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want to come out of your mouth in a job interview.




ANDREW CURTIS: For most of its users, social media can be an effective way to communicate with others. Alissa Bauer, Assistant Communications Director for KU Athletics, oversees the public relations side for volleyball and softball.

ALISSA BAUER: We can’t reach out to recruits or anything like that, but it’s one way for them to say, “Hey, this is what they do on the road. This is really cool, like, ‘oh, a team dinner, oh, pumpkin carving’, you know, just a lot of different things that they can see that we do, and, we want to interact with fans.

CURTIS: Students have their own ideas in mind when it comes to social media.

CHRIS HYBL: For social media, my purpose for using it really is to connect with friends. I would have to say, basically why I’m on it is to make me laugh, essentially, and get news. So, on Twitter, following my friends and news sources is the extent of what I do there. Facebook is more (for) friends.

CURTIS: Whether using social media for school or personal uses, students are finding new ways to enjoy it.

BEN ALLEN: As a freshman, I was blessed with the opportunity to anchor. One thing I do is I usually give an update of, ‘hey, the show is going to be on at this time or I’m going to be able to go on and record and be an anchor this time’ or when I’m stage directing, or, helping you (Andrew) for instance, and just what I’m doing that kind of stuff and just letting my family and friends know back home, what all I’m doing out here in Kansas.

CURTIS: This is Andrew Curtis reporting for Socially Web Savvy.