Wireless Social Media Rewrites Election Rules

County by Cont Iowa Caucus Results

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In late 2007, as the Democrats made final adjustments to their campaigns in preparation for the Iowa Caucus, Democrat Barack Obama was a third place candidate, behind John Edwards and Hilary Rodham Clinton.  After losing the Iowa Caucus, he was expected to fade into another also-ran.

To the surprise of pretty much everyone, that didn’t happen.  Obama went on to win Iowa.  How did he manage to beat two veteran campaigners, especially considering how much more money, influence and (apparent) support each had?  He had a secret weapon.

The gadget of choice in those days was the Blackberry smart-phone.  Obama had one.  So did thousands of his followers and, more importantly, his campaign team.  His team used mobile social media to talk to each other, to get a feel for what their supporters were concerned with and to get the message out about what their candidate stood for.  This type of campaigning was entirely new and it appealed greatly to a severely underrepresented demographic in elections: the young.  It drove people who not only normally didn’t vote, but didn’t even pay attention, to get involved.  Neither the Clinton nor the Edwards campaign had taken advantage of the new technology; neither had any of the Republican candidates.  The result was a huge surprise, probably even to the Obama team.

After winning Iowa, the Obama camp did something else unexpected.  They re-purposed their existing (and growing) network to send out an appeal for more money to fund their suddenly surging campaign.  This, again, was unexpectedly (and spectacularly) successful.  Obama had outflanked his opponents again.  Other candidates of all political stripes would try desperately to catch up, just as they would try to catch Obama up in the polls as the year wore on—all to no avail.

The 2008 federal election was the first one anywhere to be decided by Facebook and Twitter.  What does this mean for the future of politics in America, and around the world?

What’s Next?

Time rolls on and the march of technology waits for no one.  In the 2010 mid-term elections, more than half of those polled admitted to using the internet to get information as well as to get involved in the campaigns.  These numbers were impressive, especially for mid-term elections.  By this time, it wasn’t just the kids paying attention, either.  Almost as many 45 year-olds as twenty-somethings were surfing, blogging and pledging their support.

This was still only the beginning.  The trend to fully mobile internet access that started before the 2008 federal election was just picking up steam.  The explosion in both the quantity and variety of smart-phones was just the beginning.  Today there are net-books and tablet computers and things in between, like the Blackberry Playbook, that allow the full internet experience anywhere.  Equipped with 3G connectivity, either natively or through mobile internet sticks (for those with notebooks), these devices don’t rely on a Wi-Fi signal to stay connected.

For someone running an election campaign, both the increased online presence of the electorate and the increasing mobility of the internet is a Godsend.  It means that, no matter where they are, they can keep track of what the voters are thinking, what the important issues are and what questions potential supporters are asking.  Not only that, campaigners can come up with thoughtful, well-researched answers to those questions almost as they are posed, reducing a turnaround that might have taken days—and cost a lot of money.

In fact, having a largely virtual campaign means saving tremendous amounts of money on almost everything from prime time national ad campaigns on television, radio and print media to lawn signs.  This means that smaller candidates with much more limited budgets are no longer at a disadvantage compared to their well-funded competitors.  Consequently, as we’ve seen in 2008 and 2010, these smaller candidates are doing much better.

What’s the Future Look Like?

We’re already seeing the end of the hit-or-miss style of campaigning of past elections.  Targeting the right voter with the right message used to be a time consuming process that wasn’t very efficient.  The problem was getting up-to-date data on potential voters—and keeping it up-to-date.  It took months to build a database of potential voters’ views and voting trends.

Flash forward and a completely different picture emerges.  Mobile computers, like tablets and net-books, and software that integrates names and addresses with programs like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare—in real time—eliminates the need for all that work.  The guy knocking on your door to sell you on his client not only knows whether or not you’re likely to vote, but what the odds are that you’ll vote for his candidate.  (Hint:  he wouldn’t be standing outside your door if he had any serious doubts about your likely choice).  In fact, if you’ve posted it on your Facebook page, he likely already knows what your friends call you—and even your favorite color.

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Technology’s Impact On Politics

President Barack Obama and Senator John McCain...

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We are all aware of the fast pace at which technology moves. During ones lifetime we can name several technological changes at different points in our lives. At least every five years, if not closer, there are very notable changes in technology which help us to keep our personal time lines in order. Technology is probably the third most referenced subject when trying to recall a time or an event; right after music and movies. How many times have you said, “The time that I did…. was when…. (technological reference)”, associating memories in your life with the technology of that same time? Many of us do. Just as it is easy to recall a song or movie you so enjoyed, it is just as easy to recall a change in technology.

Technology enables and actually even promotes changes in every aspect of our lives. Through the years technology has changed what and how we eat by way of the microwave, how and where we work by way of the internet, how we educate our children, how we appreciate music, how we are entertained, how much free time we have, and even how we keep in touch with friends and family. (You gotta love those social arenas like facebook!) Sometimes these changes can be quite difficult and even expensive to keep up with for those who even try. Either way, these changes have definitely been noticeable.

However, are we just as aware of the changes in politics throughout the years? Though the political game may not change as quickly as the pace of change in the technological game; there are definitely some notable changes in each one’s lifetime as far as the political area as well. Have you noticed any changes in the way politics are handled during your time? Changes in campaigning, fund raising and so forth? You don’t really have to look hard to find them. If you concern yourself with political history at all, I’m sure you could list a few.

Though many people notice the quick advance of technology throughout the years, many may not notice how technological advances have tied into changes in the way politics have been run. Much like every other area in life, technology has enabled or even promoted advances in politics too. The most noticeable changes occurred during our most recent Presidential campaign no doubt, Obama vs. McCain. Can you name some of the dramatic advances in campaigning during this time? There were many to choose from. The 2008 campaign year absolutely stepped up the political game and no doubt changed the way politics will be run forever. Still, I’m sure there will be more advances yet to come as technology continues to develop.

For a great article with more information on the tie of technology and politics, please read “Technology and It’s Political Impact”. This article is very interesting, informative, and enlightening.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/politics-articles/technologys-impact-on-politics-1771792.html

About the Author Eboni

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Don’t Mess with Politicians

After a hard working day we come home, ready to drop from fatigue, and fall hopelessly on your sofa in front of the TV. Mechanically you take the remote controller and check your nine hundred channels for news or something interesting to lift you up. On your favorite channel there is a news sequence and a good-looking woman explains the current situation. There is a strike somewhere in your neighborhood; you could hardly drive through the crowd. They want a wages raise or more suitable conditions or something else. Though your problems have to be the top priority for you, you still think about what is going on in your community. A crowd on the screen disappears and you see a clean-shaved face of some spokesman or politician commenting on the situation. His words are very considerate, carefully chosen and pleasant to hear, though his explanation of the problem is quite contradictory. Against your will you become involved in what he says, you almost believe him and ready to think of those on the streets as idiots, but another picture appears. Angry police tries to make people leave the street. Not as pleasant as the face of a spokesman. You turn the TV off and go to the kitchen to have a break and get your thoughts together. You just had a lesson of politics and obviously its ways are not to your taste.

Now we are quite satisfied with our lives and don’t think about anything else but our profit. Politics or dirty games, if it doesn’t harm you, why should be concerned? We peacefully sit in our rooms, order term paper and play with our children. But this is until elections come about. Then you forget about your custom term paper and go into the anxiety of what is going on. Your head almost explodes because of the amount of information. Every day you see debates and read interesting articles in different sources. You imagine the fortune that was spent on all of this and its meaning makes you forget about your duty in front of your country. As a concerned citizen you care about the leaders and political parties within power in your country. And you behave like a concerned citizen: read articles and brochures, study candidates’ biography and contributions, listen to their plans of campaigns and think: who will be the best. The truth is, none of them will meet your requirements, for not everything you hear is truth.

Power is a strong drug to get addicted to. This can probably be the most truthful statement that you hear during elections. To get power a person is ready to do almost anything to get it. Dirty games and black PR is a common thing. Blackmailing, cheating, overuse of the law happens on every step of the political career ladder. No one knows about dirty facts of one’s life until elections come. Once a politician comes out into a light, his voters can get to know everything about him, including the size of his bedroom. But again this is quite usual. And God prevent you from messing with one of the famous names. You won’t be able to look around when you’ll be left without property, family and hope for the better future. No matter how democratic elections are, you still can be sure that dirty games are involved. If you are still faithful to your leader that is very good, but sooner or later you’ll stop believing in nobility of his/her intentions and if after a series of tries to label your leader you still believe himHealth Fitness Articles, you must be a real patriot.

Source: Paul Jones from ArticlesFactory.com

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The Technology Behind Politics

In New Hampshire, Politics is Sport — and we take it very seriously.

This week, we answer how technology is playing a part in our political landscape and how can we use that technology to help us participate and become better informed citizens as we elect leaders to represent our interests.

This week’s Guests include:

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