Week 7 Notes – Tu

  • Lecture/Discussion (ppt)
    • As the ASUW elections come about, how do you think the two tickets have used the Internet to their advantage? How is this similiar or different to governmental campaigns?
    • Will people soon be able to vote online for elections? Would it save time, money, and paper? Would it be more accurate or less accurate than traditional voting?
    • Is Kathy going to do another quadrennial assessment?
    • Are campaign candidates such as Bush and Kerry involved at all as to how their websites are set up or structured? My guess is that they just hire a team of people to do it for them but I feel like it could be a good way to gain more votes if they made people aware that they helped make their website

  • Discussion Leaders
  • Discussion Questions (complete list of questions)
    • How do you think the impact of using the internet will change from the 2004 election to the 2008 election?
    • What are the qualities an ideal campaign website should embody? What would be the most important information a candidate or elected official could give you on their website?
    • Has the internet benefited politicians more than it has hindered politicians? Explain.
    • Do you think a political candidate with a MySpace profile adds or detracts from their credibility or attraction in any way?
    • Do you like using the Internet better than T.V. and other media sources to find political information? Why or why not?
  • Assignments:
    • If you have not yet done sorecord your voice! Start experimenting with your podcast.
    • Everyone except discussion leaders:
      Pick one of the questions above — respond (using the comment feature on this page), referencing (narrative, not hypertext!) material raised in one of the individual discussion groups you participated in today; 250 words or less! Please do this by the end of today (otherwise, you’ll forget!).
    • Discussion leaders: reminder: please double-check your citation format. Remember to post your reflection on the experience of being a leader by Friday — and tag all discussion-leader-related blog posts as “discussion leader.” If you used YouTube or other web sources in your presentation, please link to them as well.
    • Thursday we will work on the media assignment in lab.
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Posted on May 8, 2007, in Class Notes. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. I think the internet will indeed change the 2008 election. I enjoyed the conversation in discussion groups surrounding YouTube and political candidates. The leader posed the question asking if we believe YouTube is changing the way campaigns are run. I think that it is changing campaign, for the better! Personal accountability and transparency is something I value, and want my politicians to value. YouTube is an asset to our community.

  2. Political candidate or person, a MySpace profile can attract or detract from one’s credibility depending on the content of said page. But it’s an interesting step in terms of attraction.

    Not everyone is in the MySpace community, but it does seem to possess and younger generation of users. Thus a political candidate could potentially open up a new realm of following and reach an otherwise unaffected audience. Typically TV pushes towards adults, the Internet attempts to hit all, but as we discussed in one of the groups earlier, it seems to provide more benefit to either the die-hard political activist or the naïve politically unaware individual. What about all those in-between? Maybe MySpace is one of the answers to that question.

    But with MySpace, validity is always in question. So how does one ever really know if the real candidate is the host such profile? Or if the information is factual or even in line with said party’s beliefs? Only those who are in-the-know about party opinions and policies would really be able to validate claims made on a MySpace page. Those unaware may just sit back and absorb what could potentially be falsely written. As such, an unknowing kid could come to think a Republican amazing, a Democrat and idiot, or vise-versa, based on whatever material is (or is not) present on said profile and what one believes.

    So again, it’s an interesting concept that could do potentially good or bad as a somewhat untapped resource. But validity is the real question.

  3. Myspace is very much a part of society today. People from all walks of life are now creating pages to promote their new album, talk about political issues or just talk about their personal interests. Though I have no evidence of this, I would assume that a majority of Myspace users are from a younger demographic, perhaps from the 15 to 30 age group. If I am not mistaken, this is the same demographic that has the smallest representation in recent voting polls, so why not meet the problem at the source? If young people aren’t going to seek out political candidate websites, like I suspect many of them will not, approaching this demographic through a medium that is proven to get through to them may provoke many of them to read about the issues and gain a better understanding of the campaign. If nothing else, it seems a Myspace profile would point readers in the right direction of a more extensive look at the politics of a candidate, like to their official campaign website. I don’t think having a Myspace account would detract from a candidates credibility in the least. How many of us spend hours procrastinating on Facebook and Myspace? I know that I do, so why not reach out to those people and give them a little bit of education about your campaign. Barack Obama does have a Mypace profile, and it appears to be very informative on some of the more personal aspects of his campaign, it offers pictures, videos, links to order campaign merchandise and a blog space. He has more than 21,000 friends, perhaps many of whom would otherwise not bother to research a presidential candidate.

  4. I think a candidate with a MySpace profile is trying to do two things. 1. Market themselves and 2. Reach a younger demographic. I think that a MySpace page may add credibility to a candidate for a young person. A young person may see the page as the candidate directly reaching out to a certain age group. That may make that person feel “special.” This may make them seem more credible and more real.
    On the other hand, having a MySpace page may be just seen as a marketing tool. After seeing past that people may feel like a candidate is doing nothing but trying to get people to vote for them. I think that this mentality could detract from the candidate’s credibility and make them seem less credible.
    I think that there is two ways to look at what a MySpace page can do for a candidate.

  5. Qualities an ideal campaign website should include are message boards to fascilitate conversation among those that think similarly, polls to tally what the people want/need, and news briefs so readers can keep up with the candidate.

    You don’t want to smother the viewers with information and make it too difficult to navigate, so a simple layout with an easy-to-use format would be ideal to have. It definitely has to be user friendly for even the most novice computer users, as you want to appeal to everyone who is willing to give you his/her vote.

  6. I couldn’t believe that the first presidential elections to have web-sites was the 200 elections. That just seems so weird to me. I guess for me when I am looking for information I go to the internet first and TV later.

    TV takes to much time to watch just to find out the information that you are looking for. I think also being a com major all of our classes are geared toward telling us how bad TV and giant media owners of TV is, and how the internet is a free for all. This makes me not trust TV as much.

  7. Lindsey Marsh

    I really like using the internet as opposed to TV for getting my political information. I feel that it is easier to narrow your search and find specific information that you are looking for. I also feel like I can get a better feel for the candidates personalities from the internet because of the bios and being able to search for the history of their votes online.

    I also feel like if you were to miss something on TV, such as a debate, youtube and other internet sources allow you to watch them at your conveniance. I feel like people are able to be better educated on the politics at hand because they can do it on their time.

  8. For what I have see and looked at as I research my topic I have noticed that blogs are having huge effect and will have even more effects on the presidential campaigns. They are the spot where those with different views can all express their side of the story. It is turning in to the area for freedom of speech and also has the benefit of being able to reach a lot of people to get your view out. There has been a lot of information already with the presidential campaigns for 2008 which have revealed information from the past of the candidates. This is information then the candidate him/herself can evaluate and decide what they want to explain further about on their own website. Blogs are turning into the ability for the voters to feel a little more connected by learning more personal views farther than just what they talk about in debates. I think it is great how blogs are changing the campaigns. Having the ability to discussion and comment on other’s thoughts gets more people involved with politics which our country is not as well turned in as we should be. I think blogs are impacting and will impact even more campaigns in the future which is beneficial o voters.

  9. I would personally pick using the Internet over TV and other forms of traditioanl media in order to search for political information. Not only would you be able to find more unbiased information on the Internet, but it would also be more convenient to do so. For instance, in the presentation that talked about political campaign websites, there was a wealth of information you could find on the candidate’s campaign sites that would be hard to find on a television ad or newspaper article. Not only that, but the Internet allows people to come together and form communities which could lead to sharing more information with one another. Also as discussed in class, the Internet gives the control to the user to see and hear what they wish, rather than having to deal with things you don’t care about.

  10. In regards to a political canidate having a MySpace account it is my opinion that that does not add to thier credibility or attractiveness. However I do understand why political cantidates are creating these types of profiles. There are a considerable amount of people out there that use the internet primarily to go on Myspace or Facebook and by having a profile this is yet another outlet for political canditates to take advantage of. It is my personal opinion that having one of these profiles does not make a canditate anymore appealing to me but it is nice to see that they are making an effort to connect with younger audiences and are taking advantages of new communication technologies.

  11. In one of the groups, we talked about how political candidates having myspace, facebook, etc. The leader posed the question of whether we thought they had these sites to reach to the younger audiences. I think theoretically yes, but in reality no. I do not think that most people would turn to myspace to look up a candidate to get their political views. I would think they would go to their political website. I had no idea that they even had these websites. I guess that it is common for political leaders to follow the rest of the crowd. If one leader joined facebook, then the rest would have to as well.

    As far as Utube goes, I think it has positives and negatives associated with it. For one, it is a good way to get people to watch political candidates, but it shows one sides of many issues or makes someone’s whole personality summed up in a 30 second video clip. It can be dangerous to reputations!

  12. With regards to the last question I think it depends on what kind of political information I am looking for. The Internet provides convenience and is easy for me to access. I would visit websites of political candidates to find out their stance on certain issues or to find out their biographical information. The Internet is also a timely source of news.

    However other forms of media like television and newspaper can provide in-depth coverage on the politician, such as providing expert opinion in analyzing his or her strengths or weaknesses that the Internet may not be able to offer. Also it depends who is the author of the source of political information on the Internet – if it were written by a general member of the public providing his opinion I would find him to be less credible than someone who was authoritative on the subject that was interviewed for the newspaper, television or radio.

  13. I would hope that the increased use of the internet by candidates would get more people to vote. The exposure that the candidates get from their campaign sites is limitless. These sites allow people to see a candidates stance on an array of issues rather than just the controversial ones that are brought up in there television ads or campaign signs. Also, candidates are creating spanish versions of their speeches and ads on thier sites which is a huge step forward in getting a more diverse voting demographic.

  14. I am sure way down the line in the future people will be able to vote online. However right now with the current technology we have I do not think that it would work. I mean from the presentation I learned that it would not be scaleable for them to have blogs on their sites. Imagine if there was a site where everyone would have to go to vote. Being able to vote online I think would save lots of time, money and paper. I bet it would even get more people to vote because they could be lazy and still vote.

  15. I believe that the web will draw even more people to gain their own information regarding political events and elections. Because of this, political parties need to learn what is the best information for their websites and how to present it. I think that having a MySpace account does draw away from their credibility to a certain degree. As far as I know, anyone can go on MySpace and say they are a certain person and create an identity. Personally, for me, a MySpace account would not be the place I would go for credible information on a candidate. However, why MySpace appeals to some candidates is not completely unreasonable. There are so many people on MySpace, with a considerable amount of these people being under 30, that a MySpace page might get people interested and would allow them to want to further their knowledge of that candidate. So in regards to this aspect, I can definately see both sides of the story.

  16. I do not believe a presidential candidate should have a MySpace page. While this might be a clever way to reach a younger audience, all the information on a MySpace page (and so much more) can be found on their campaign page. While their page is to promote their campaign, visitors are free to post messages that may hurt the candidate and his/her campaign. Although there is the option to remove all negative comments, I think this would be too frustrating to maintain. I also feel that the information is not as trustworthy and not as professional. Overall, I do not think it’s a good idea.

  17. I like using the internet better than TV and other media sources to find political information because, like most other things digital, it is more convenient. Working two jobs and going to school leaves little time in the day for me to get my fix of CNN or the NY Times. It’s way easier for me to check my NY Times RSS throughout the day, or to visit candidate’s websites to see what’s new. As Deric demonstrated in his ppt this week, Barack and Hillary both have very up-to-date websites that have fast, quality footage linked up of their public appearances and speeches. This ease of access is particularly appealing to me, and I think the Internet is the only way I am able to stay connected with the political happenings around me.

  18. Do you think a political candidate with a MySpace profile adds or detracts from their credibility or attraction in any way?

    To me a candidate with a myspace profile would detract from their credibility to me. I believe that myspace is a social place and since anything can be done on myspace you don’t know who really is doing it and there is no way to know if it is credible or not.

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