Election 2012: Campaigns, Coverage & the Internet

A rockstar panel spoke at the AT&T Conference Center for South by Southwest Interactive on how social media is giving the presidential race a much needed makeover.

Claudia Milne with BBC, Micah Sifry with Personal Democracy Media,
Michael Scherer with Time Magazine, Teddy Goff and Zeynep Tufekci all gave compelling arguments for how candidates for the 2012 election are capitilizing on social media to spread their message and gain supporters.

Both Republicans and Democrats are both capitilizing on the amazing resources that lie at their fingertips.

The panel said that Facebook and Twitter are the most used means for social media, but Google + and the other plethora of sites out there can and should be used to gain the biggest advantage over competitors. Social media isn’t unique to the presidential race this year. Presidential candidates in 2008 began to take advantage of it, and since then every candidate that has any hope of being elected, from mayors to state senators and of course presidential candidates, better be Tweeting and sharing.

And it’s not just about the immediate contact from one campaign to potential supporters, but also the effect that a Tweet or share can have down the road. When Candidate X posts something on Facebook or Tweets it, media outlets can pick this up and if newsworthy, they might publish in print, online, on radio or t.v., which is priceless.

The room was overflowing with two dozen people sitting in the hallway outside the door to listen. Hopefully the politicians are taking this much interest in the topic or they might be left in the past because social media is the future of politicking.