In his paper, Lutz outlines the individual social media interactions in the way they were hyped by much of the media and the Obama campaign itself. His portrayal acknowledges the new frontier pioneered by the campaign, capitalizing on successes of the McCain campaign of 2000 and the Howard Dean campaign of 2004. These strategies allowed supporters a sense of community and connection with the campaign and fellow supporters. While inspiring and encouraging, this represents an idealized vision of the campaign’s unpaid social media strategies. The behind the scenes of these seemingly nebulus relationships reveals a tight network of carefully vetted relationships with journalists and media distributors. This is outlined by Kreiss, who acknowledges the importance of the more superficial readings of the posts and comments to social media contributors, but believes that these voices must be “amplified” by institutional actors.
This article reminded me of the Romney campaign’s 47% debacle. The video was rumored to exist and then sought out by former President Jimmy Carter’s grandson who used his connections at Mother Jones to get it published. This (almost suspiciously) mirrors the Obama campaign’s strategy of creating or finding content and then passing it along to progressive news sources who feed larger, more objective sources with a broader audience. This has proven effective for both official content, such as campaign commercials and endorsements and for furthering negative attacks, such as anti-Muslim bias amongst Clinton supporters.
For this week’s discussion I’m interested to know if you can think of any other examples of these tactics in the 2012 campaigns?