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MySpace, Facebook and YouTube: 21st Century Electronic Democracy in Action Hiltz Turoff Festschrift Cathy Dwyer 1960: Television Changes Politics Radio listeners though Nixon won this debate Candidates had to succeed on television in order to get elected First televised presidential debate

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Myspace facebook and youtube 21st century electronic democracy in action l.jpg

MySpace, Facebook and YouTube: 21st Century Electronic Democracy in Action

Hiltz Turoff Festschrift

Cathy Dwyer


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1960: Television Changes Politics

  • Radio listeners though Nixon won this debate

  • Candidates had to succeed on television in order to get elected

First televised presidential debate

© Dwyer 2007


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2008?

  • How are candidates, political parties, advocacy groups and voters using the Internet for the 2008 presidential election?

  • In one example, voters can submit video questions to YouTube for a Presidential Debate(file) (link)

Jackie and Dunlap of Red State Update

© Dwyer 2007


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Asynchronous Politics

  • Contribution of Network Nation was insight that computing technology provides new opportunities for dialogue

  • It documented the move from synchronous communication towards “Conferencing”

  • Processes can change in radical ways when opportunities for asynchronous dialogue are available

  • 2008 – The Year of Asynchronous Politics

© Dwyer 2007


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Synchronous

Expensive

Centralized – pundits define “success”

Candidate must communicate through sound bites

Meager source of fundraising (net loss of funds)

Asynchronous

Inexpensive

Decentralized – attention is “viral”

Candidates can provide videos of appearances, policy statements and discussion forums

Half of candidates’ funds come from Internet (net gain of funds)

Television vs. Internet

© Dwyer 2007


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Internet campaigning

  • Each candidate has an e-campaign director

  • Candidates have blogs, web sites, YouTube sites, Facebook sites, and MySpace sites

  • Use Eventful

  • Can target audiences

  • More informal

  • More opportunities and forums to get out their message

Barak Obama uses LinkedIn to connect to business professionals

Ron Paul’s Eventful page

© Dwyer 2007



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Widgets are everywhere!

Hilary Clinton

Duncan Hunter

John McCain

Barak Obama

© Dwyer 2007


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MyBarak takes a turn from MySpace

MyBarak takes a turn from MySpace

© Dwyer 2007


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What’s on YouTube?

  • Videos can be posted by supporters -- like Obama Girl -- and detractors (file) (link)

  • Mashups like the Clinton/Apple Ad make an impact

  • Hilary is caught mangling the Star Spangled Banner

  • John Edwards cares about his hair (file) (link)

Views: 3,881,010

Views: 919,316

© Dwyer 2007


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YouTube Provides Viral Outlet

  • Quick distribution that is cheaper than TV

  • Google trends saw spike of interest in Clinton after this video spoofing the last Sopranos episode was released (file) (link)

© Dwyer 2007


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Internet enables quantitative analysis

  • Web analytics can capture impact of events

  • TV pundits say McCain and Giuliani “won” 9/5/07 debate

  • Viewers’ text messaging poll says Ron Paul won

  • Who was right?

© Dwyer 2007


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Fred Thompson declares 9/5/07

Ron Paul

Little blip is evident for other candidates (like McCain and Giuliani)

Fox Republican Debate, 9/5/07

Internet traffic on candidate’s web sites, August-September 2007 (data from alexa.com)

© Dwyer 2007


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Blog mentions – Sept. 2007

Ron Paul

Fred Thompson

© Dwyer 2007


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YouTube views

Cumulative for 9/7/07

Ron Paul 3,778,389

Romney 2,067,594

Giuliani 656,838

McCain 559,167

© Dwyer 2007


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What will the impact of the Internet be?

  • Will the Internet support the long tail of politics, supporting more candidates then the past?

  • Edwards has recovered from his hair fiasco

  • McCain has recovered from fundraising problems

  • But George Allen lost his 2004 election after his “Macaca” speech (file) (link)

© Dwyer 2007


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Where to watch:

  • Google Trends

  • techpresident.com

  • Hitwise Election 2008 Data Center

  • Twitter Election Blogs

  • MySpace Election 2008

  • techrepublican.com

  • And Youtube!

(file) (link)

© Dwyer 2007


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Do the numbers add up?

  • Bush’s margin of victory in 2004: 3,012,499 votes

  • Barak Obama’s friends on Facebook:149,421, friends on MySpace: 178,508, channel views on YouTube: 11,202,339

  • Ron Paul’s YouTube channel views: 4,356,406

© Dwyer 2007


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McCain’s favorite book is Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls

© Dwyer 2007


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Signs of Change

  • 60 Million in US used Internet to find political information (2006)

  • Networked citizenry is showing its force

www.youtube.com/youchoose

© Dwyer 2007


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Candidate’s youtube sites

John Edwards published his response to President Bush’s address on Iraq on YouTube

(125,165 views)

© Dwyer 2007


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