Today, I began sifting through my resources I found for my first ever independent study! I am so excited and cannot wait to see what results I find. I decided on a topic about Social Media and Politics because I am very interested in political campaigning and politics, as well as social media and its many benefits. I am intrigued by the use of technology in political campaigns today and the difference it has made with voters and results for candidates.
I started my research by reading an article from the New York Times, Campaigns use Social Media to Lure Young Voters that talks about the use of Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and Instagram in the recent presidential campaign between Romney and Obama. They emphasized that most of the controversy during the campaigns was mostly between candidates on Tumblr with funny, querky videos where one candidate points out a flaw of the other and so on. This apparently appeals to the young voter because the videos are funny and dramatic. Also, photo based social media sites like Flickr and Instagram are used mostly for presidents to post joyful pictures they take while traveling across America during the campaign, not so much for controversy between candidates.
The second article I read was one by iSchool based on a local political campaign in Syracuse, New York, Exploring Tech Behind a Political Campaign. I really liked this article because it focused mostly on a local perspective of campaigning and emphasized that candidates use social media to build personal connections with voters. This is very important because the policies presented by the candidates in a city or county will rely heavily on voter choice and social media allows voters to keep track of who they agree most with.
I plan to keep reading research related to the above in this study and I hope to find out more in depth details. I am also currently trying to set up a meeting with Congressman Doug Collins to interview about his experience using social media during his political campaign. I am waiting for a call back now!
Wish me luck! 🙂