Friday, April 06, 2007
YouTube Dedicates Space for Videos about Candidates
I came across an interesting article while looking through the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, April 4, 2007. It is titled "New Outlets For Political Junkies." The Wall Street Journal does a wonderful job highlighting the key sites which will have a huge impact in the 2008 presidential election. Additionally, it talks about different ways that candidates will try to engage voters. For example, presidential candidate Barack Obama posted a question on a new Yahoo election portal asking voters how to better engage people in the democratic process. A voter named John Atkins posted a reply: the country should ban lifetime politicians. The article also mentions a variety of contests that social media sites such as YouTube and MySpace will run to increase traffic and promote awareness.
YouTube is dedicating space for videos by and about the various presidential candidates. Also, MySpace announced it will hold a virtual election on Jan. 1-2 and AOL is pulling together bloggers posting about the 2008 elections. YouTube, MySpace and AOL are dedicating a lot effort to the social media aspect of the 2008 presidential election. I think this is a clear indicator that social media will have a huge impact on the 2008 presidential election results.
I like the fact that MySpace will hold a virtual election; however, I question the amount of MySpace users who are actually registered voters. A virtual election on MySpace may not be very accurate due to the low numbers of registered voters between the ages 18 and 24, MySpace's core demographic. Therefore, I feel MySpace should ask a "screening" question to make sure only registered voters are participating. Nonetheless, I will still be interested in seeing the results of a virtual election at MySpace. I feel the 2008 presidential candidates will want to know as well.
2008 presidential candidates must continue to keep a close watch on social media during the upcoming election. Candidates and voters alike will be able to post content (i.e. text, podcast or video) online. Some of it may be good and some of it may be bad. The presidential candidates will need to find ways to minimize the impact of any negative content about them as quickly as possible. Additionally, presidential candidates must continue to find new ways to reach out to voters.