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

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  1. MySpace, Facebook and YouTube: 21st Century Electronic Democracy in Action Hiltz Turoff Festschrift Cathy Dwyer

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Follow Fred Thompson’s every move with Twitter © Dwyer 2007

  8. Widgets are everywhere! Hilary Clinton Duncan Hunter John McCain Barak Obama © Dwyer 2007

  9. MyBarak takes a turn from MySpace MyBarak takes a turn from MySpace © Dwyer 2007

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Blog mentions – Sept. 2007 Ron Paul Fred Thompson © Dwyer 2007

  15. YouTube views Cumulative for 9/7/07 Ron Paul 3,778,389 Romney 2,067,594 Giuliani 656,838 McCain 559,167 © Dwyer 2007

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. McCain’s favorite book is Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls © Dwyer 2007

  20. 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

  21. Candidate’s youtube sites John Edwards published his response to President Bush’s address on Iraq on YouTube (125,165 views) © Dwyer 2007