Web Campaigns

In examining the campaign of Howard Dean in this week’s readings by Shirky and Joe Trippi, we find that Dean’s push toward utilizing the Internet in his campaign sparked a shift toward online candidacies. These two authors differ in their views, essentially by saying there’s a fine line between seeing the Internet as this new, special tool that has this sort of utopian allure and by seeing it as a non-predictive measure of an election’s outcome. 

I’m inclined to side with Trippi here because since the 2004 Presidential election and the publication of these two articles, we’ve only seen an increased drive toward more web-driven campaigns. But the reality of the situation is that the true “normal” or what we actually observe is somewhere in between these two extremes. 

In the age of Internet activism, it can be easy to assess web support as sure votes, when this might not actually be the case.

My question for the class is on a more micro-level scale.  How can candidates for office on our campus analyze their Internet support to best determine how to focus their net presences?

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3 Responses to Web Campaigns

  1. emilyod17 says:

    I think that a good way for candidates for office on our campus should really make use of blogs and social media networking sites. For example, Facebook and Twitter are both outlets for which students express their views/likes/dislikes about the goings on of our campus, so campus groups should monitor these sites and adapt. Networking on a campus like ours is huge, and if your friends are thinking it, there are probably others thinking it as well. Also, creating blogs for comments would be useful to get feedback on campus developments.

  2. alfein says:

    I think your post and the comment above mine both raise really good points. Using Facebook and Twitter are both two essential outlets that our society is consistently interacting with. However, as mentioned in class on Monday, you would have to make sure that you are attracting new potential voters, not the voters that you already have gathered. I think that some system would have to be thought about on how to distinguish and monitor the new type of buzz you are getting for your campaign. But as mentioned above, networking on a campus such as this should be far easier than other places and can be used to the individuals direct advantage.

  3. ksoisson says:

    I think candidates would almost have to take to social networking outlets, particularly Facebook. I say Facebook because it is much easier to reach your audience than a site like Twitter. Many students are part of the different graduation class groups and other Umich groups on Facebook. For example, I am in “Accepted: University of Michigan Class of 2014” and “Class of 2014” on the site. People are always posting different things about groups they are in and urge others to get involved. It’s a great way to reach Michigan students, so this might be a good start to a campaign for someone on campus. It may also make sense to create a website in addition to a social network presence.

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