Sunday, October 30, 2011

What role does media play in politics?

Social media has clearly become about more than keeping up with high school friends, following celebrity gossip or emailing jokes. Candidates and elected leaders at national, state and local levels are using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even blogging to connect with potential voters and current constituents.

Gone are the days when the only way to find information about a local election or politician was through lawn signs, public access TV, local newspapers or snail mail — now a candidate without a social media presence will likely be at a disadvantage.

Though the last Presidential Election wasn’t that long ago, social media has come a long way since 2008. How so? Well, while the two political parties were doing some of their most intense campaigning, MySpace was still the number one social networking site on the web. Oh how times have changed. Today, Facebook reigns supreme and according to the rumor mill, MySpace is on life support and struggling to survive. The point is that social media has evolved tremendously, so it would not be surprising to see candidates utilizing tools like Twitter and even LinkedIn, in addition to Facebook to help drive their campaigns for the upcoming Presidential Election.

Of course nothing is for certain, but from the looks of it, the battle for the next U.S. President could very well be decided on the digital playground. President Obama’s campaign has sparked a trend future hopefuls are sure to follow all because it was so successful. This will essentially level the playing field and make for some very competitive political showdowns. The next big election should definitely be interesting to watch from the sidelines.

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