The readings for this week discuss how President Obama used social media to aid in his campaign. For instance, The Social Pulpit by Monte Lutz discusses how the victory of Obama can be greatly attributed to his online campaign. Obama supporters were encouraged and had the ability to engage in conversation and debate via text messaging, online videos, and through his website Change.gov. The article also discusses how both the McCain and Dean campaigns fell short to channel the use of Internet to encourage a greater number of supporters that resulted in votes.
The Social Pulprit suggests that Obama properly “harnessed the power of public engagement to influence the conversation across various spheres of cross-influence” (Lutz, 4). This means that people had the opportunity to participate and respond to new policy ideas, which encouraged important discussion leading many people to loyally follow his campaign. His campaign allowed them to receive updates through text messages and emails. They could even participate socially by adding comments to other follower’s opinions or positing feedback on policies. Additionally, they could advocate the Obama campaign and recruit more people to follow. When comparing Obama’s campaign to the reading The Real Lessons of Howard Dean: Reflection on the First digital Campaign, by Hindman one can see how the differences in the use of the Internet in the Dean Campaign inhibited his ability to win true followers and voters.
What do you believe were the biggest mistakes of the Dean Campaign after reading about Obama’s successful tactics? If the Dean Campaign were to have enhanced public conversation as the Obama campaign did, do you believe the results could have been different? I believe the use of the Internet has dramatically increased in recent years; therefore, the public may have not been ready for the use of social media during the Dean election. What are your opinions and why? Do you think every presidential election needs to use social media to win an election?