Archive for the ‘Multimedia’ Category

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.

Imagine a world without the most popular social media sites. It would be a cold, dark world to live in. For college students, it would be a deep hole to climb out of. Facebook launched in February of 2004, while Twitter came two and a half years later, in July 2006.

Since then, each social media website has grown at an astronomical rate that would have never been thought imaginable just ten years ago.

In fact, according to their website, Facebook now has around 1 billion users worldwide. Meanwhile, it has been widely speculated that Twitter passed the 500 million user mark, but that number continues to climb, while Facebook’s numbers remain stagnant.

From a closer perspective, I’ve noticed that the popularity difference between the two has seen an increased gap, especially in the past year, among college students.

University of Kansas senior Nathan Fordyce prefers to tweet.

“Most people on Facebook are really stupid about what they post and it’s just annoying to go through,” Fordyce said. “Twitter, you can just scroll through. It’s not as much about what people are actually posting.”

Social media can be a big distraction for students. Kyle Rosberg, a sophomore at the University of Kansas, sees it quite often.

“All the time, you probably can see in class, people just sit there, whether it be on Facebook or Twitter, and not pay attention. It’s easy to kill time on both websites.”

Social media can also be a dangerous game.

“I’ve started to get more aware of what I put on Facebook,” Rosberg said. “When you start applying for jobs, they look at your Facebook and search for anything that you have, so I don’t want anything to be held against me.”

Fordyce is also cautious as to what he posts on these sites due to potential future employers who might check out his profile.

“We live in an age of social media, so, I mean, anything you put on it can be seen by anyone, so you have to be careful,” Fordyce said. “I don’t post anything that I wouldn’t want anyone else to see because, writing for the Kansan, I try to keep it appropriate content, try not to swear and stuff like that. My Facebook is private, and even so, I still don’t think I have any photos on it that would make a potential employer go ‘oh my gosh, I can’t hire him because of this’.”

So, which one is dying out? Rocco Pendola of forbes.com calls Twitter the ‘modern day version of the newspaper’, and goes on to say that it will sustain. He believes that Facebook will live at least another decade, but that it will die and eventually come back reincarnated as something else.

“You can do everything on Twitter that you do on Facebook, plus stuff that’s actually useful,” Pendola said. “And there’s much less mindless minutia to wade through.”

As to which one, Facebook or Twitter, will go away first, Fordyce chose the latter of the two.

“A couple years ago, I would have said Twitter,” Fordyce said. “But, since Facebook has gone public and what not, and they are going to start charging eventually, Facebook is eventually going to fizzle out and Twitter will take over.”

The consensus is that Facebook isn’t worth paying for.

“If Facebook started charging people to use it, things probably wouldn’t work out,” Rosberg said. “I wouldn’t pay for it.”

So, it’s clear that Twitter is the number one social media site for the time being. With its content-driven approach, that should be the case for a continued extended period of time.

Of course, you never know, though. Facebook seemed to be an unstoppable force just a couple years ago, but it’s already being lapped.  To put it in school terms, the pupil is ahead of the teacher.

Facebook, the predecessor, is giving up its reigns as the world’s top social networking site, slowly but surely. As expected, it will be a test of time to see what will happen next in this ever-changing online social media world.

Audio

Twitter is currently outdueling Facebook.

Transcript:

ANDREW CURTIS: In the last five years or so, social media has been taken to new heights.

SOUND BITE: Facebook chat sound, followed by Twitter notification alert sound.

CURTIS: University of Kansas sophomore Kyle Rosberg prefers Twitter over Facebook.

KYLE ROSBERG: I probably prefer Twitter over Facebook, because it’s, I don’t know, it seems more fun. You can, like, follow all the celebrities, NFL players and MLB players, and they all get on there and, sometimes they will even tweet you back.

CURTIS: KU senior Nathan Fordyce sees one as being more popular than the other.

NATHAN FORDYCE: It depends, it’s like, so many people have smart phones, I mean, you’re always on one of them (Twitter or Facebook), so I’d imagine Twitter is more popular but, with everyone having, you know, an iPhone or Galaxy (Android) or something like that, both of them are always at your palms.

CURTIS: Fordyce says that he would rather access social media through a mobile device than his laptop.

FORDYCE: I hardly ever use my laptop. The only time I ever  use my laptop for social media is if it’s like, links and stuff, that I want to post. You can do it, it’s just that it’s easier to do it on your laptop than on your phone.

CURTIS: Fordyce says the difference between the two is very simple.

FORDYCE: I use them both the same (in a similar way), mostly for, I mean, Twitter is more, obviously, more repetitive. I mean, you can post things, like every second if you really want to, and it’s socially acceptable. But, if you do that on Facebook, those are the people I absolutely hate and hide those comments because it’s annoying to read what you’re doing the whole day, so.

CURTIS: Rosberg believes that one can use social media to build a portfolio.

ROSBERG: I think it could, because, you see, if you follow any of the ESPN guys, they will always post columns and articles that they write, to get it out there more.

CURTIS: Andrew Curtis for Socially Web Savvy.