A Different Look at Obama’s use of the Internet

When thinking of new media and the Obama campaign the first thing that comes to my mind is the efficient use of it by the campaign to directly reach out, communicate with and call on supporters. Daniel Kreiss’s article Acting in the networked public sphere: the Obama campaign’s strategic use of new media to shape narratives of the 2008 presidential race reminds me that this was not the only way that the Obama campaign used the Internet in the new media environment. I found this line to be particularly thought provoking in that regard:

“As this paper revealed, much of the campaign’s work in the networked public sphere can be conceptualized in terms of network building, cultivating relationships with ideological allies to use as resources to disseminate and promote particular content and staffers’ favored readings thereof. These complex acts of network building and maintenance strengthen ties between allies and help them align their goals,” (26).

It made me think: the way that Obama used the Internet during his campaign was actually quite similar to the way that previously campaigns used the television and other mediums. It was rooted in relationships with gatekeepers, which are, as the passage states, heavily grounded in networks that exist between humans. This idea, that these networks are used to generate and then distribute content piggybacks off Katz’s idea that new media is actually just a tweak on the way information has flowed for years. Do you think that Katz’s two-step flow can be applied to the distribution of information in the blogosphere and for people that read blogs such as The Daily Kos? Do you think it is important for the campaign to spend an abundance of time and money to promote certain stories on blogs? Describe the irony in a campaigns effort to do this. (Aren’t the readers of the blogs are perhaps the most politically engaged and partisan individuals in the electorate?) Explain the importance of controlling the stories that make online news sites, partisan ones in particular, as it relates to Katz’s 2-step flow.


About Katie Jennings

Katie Jennings
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2 Responses to A Different Look at Obama’s use of the Internet

  1. brittanyverner says:

    If you can get blogs that promote your campaign on well-respected news sites, then I think this can be very crucial to a candidates campaign. If a site is well-respected then it makes the blog article more credible.

  2. I feel as though getting blogs that promote a specific campaign on a respected news site would be an excellent thing for campaigns to do, however, I think that it may be challenging if even possible at all. If the news sites are well respected, for example The New York Times, I believe that it likely employs journalists with the highest integrity. If a journalist has high integrity I think that he will not take bribes or incentives from campaigns to promote them.

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