With the 2008 Presidential election only 48 days away it has been a rather unique one as no other election that I can recall has gone on this long or leveraged mobile and web technology so resoundingly. I previously called this Election 2.0 as it is leveraging the new Web 2.0 technologies as they race for the White House. Today I participated on a super panel discussion at the NVTC Cool Tech event focused on the effects of social networking sites on the election 2008 and I was joined by:
The panel was moderated by the very polished, Wyatt Andrews, a veteran CBS News reporter. It was a pleasure to meet Wyatt and to learn of his experiences, including, his experience serving as White House correspondent for George Bush Sr.
My focus points during the discussion were about how social mobile technology has:
- Engaged more people in the election by keeping up with videos online or just by following my trusted friends on Twitter or Facebook.
- Created a real-time feedback loop for monitoring feedback. Twitter and Facebook status message are great for getting up the minute updates and feedback.
- Enabled candidates to connect on a more personal level through the channel of their choice. Whether it be on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Email or via text message candidates can personalize their messages and meet followers and supporters on a number of different channels.
Overally, it was a very interesting discussion. We all felt this election will be a case study for years to come, but it is not one hundred percent clear how much of an impact social media and networking will have come election day. It is pretty clear that Barack Obama has been winning the online social media race but it is not clear as to how it will translate to voters on election day. It is also worth noting that many voters are not on social networking sites to begin with so the use of social media and networking statistics to determine a clear victor is very difficult. Every vote counts so I hope you can make it out to polls in November.
Aside from following candidates on Facebook or Twitter, here are a couple of additional political "shiny objects" or products you might also want to check out: TechPresident, Politics4All and C-SPAN's Convention Hub.