Sunday, April 6, 2008
Social Media Consuming Politics
In a recent New York Times article "Finding Political News Online, the Young Pass It On" writer Brian Steltzer discusses the proliferation of political news on the internet. Young consumers e-mail videos and stories to friends by sending out a chain e-mail or message on social networking websites. They rely on these messages to stay current with the political race. Internet users are adopting a social filter while using mainstream websites and nontraditional media. This provides a constant viral chain and can be an advantage and disadvantage for political canidates.
You can have user generated content like the Obama Girl Video which spread like wildfire across the internet and the Steven Colbert for President facebook group which had more members than any other political candidate. Nevertheless, it can backfire on a candidate. The article "John Edward's Web General" explains how Edwards was attacked by not a politician but by a youtube user. The person posted a speech Edward's made and set it to the song 'I Feel Pretty'.
This demonstrates the capability the internet has to ruin a candidate's chance in the race. Politicians must be viral 24/7 if consumers are viral 24/7. A politician's career can begin to plunder just by the click of send to all friends in a facebook message.