Category Archives: Weekly Responses

A Spring Into Action

The “Arab Spring” has shown how mobilizing new digital technologies and social media sites can be.  “The Role of Digital Media” by Philip N. Howard and Muzammil M. Hussain explains how individuals from North Africa and the Middle East, the … Continue reading

Posted in Week 13 | 4 Comments

Iran: In Need of Resources

The evolution of the internet and social media has proven to be effective in terms of political change in some countries. This change, however, has yet to be seen in Iran, where there is still a great struggle for democracy. … Continue reading

Posted in Week 12, Winter 2012 | Leave a comment

Twitter War

Not all criticism is constructive which is definitely true in the Republicans’ use of Twitter in 2012 to contradict statements Democratic political figures said during speeches.  “Republicans Embrace Twitter Hard for ‘12” by Jennifer Steinhauer points out the differences in … Continue reading

Posted in Week 10 | 1 Comment

You Win Some, You Lose Some

The readings for this week do a great job of explaining the ways in which President Obama used the internet and social media to enhance his campaign and ultimately win the presidency. By comparing these readings to last week’s reading … Continue reading

Posted in Weekly Responses | 3 Comments

Images Can Be Deceiving

Political campaigns have become a lot trickier today with new technologies like the Internet.  Like in the case of Howard Dean, a 2004 candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, there was an overwhelming sense that he was going to win … Continue reading

Posted in Week 8 | 5 Comments

A Mind of Our Own

Realizing the Social Internet? Online Social Networking Meets Offline Civic Engagement by Pasek, More, and Romer is a study about social networking sites (SNSs) and how they help or hurt users social capital.  Looking specifically at MySpace and Facebook and … Continue reading

Posted in Week 5 | 5 Comments

Selfish or Supportive?

Nature says as humans we have a tendency toward our own self-interests considering that we are rational beings.  This is according to political philosopher Thomas Hobbes as described by Rheingold in Chapter 2: Technologies of Cooperation.  When it comes to … Continue reading

Posted in Week 3 | 2 Comments

Reduced Barriers to Social Capital

In “Solving Social Dilemmas” of Here Come Everybody, Shirky focuses on social capital, which he defines as habits of cooperation. When the U.S. was experiencing declining social capital, Heiferman noted “people would take steps to increase their communal participation if someone … Continue reading

Posted in Week 3, Winter 2012 | Leave a comment

Are There Problems with Free Collective Action?

“Your corn is ripe today, mine will be so tomorrow. ‘Tis profitable for us both, that I shou’d labour with you to-day and that you should aid me tomorrow.” (David Hume/Reingold 29) In the increasingly interconnected and global Internet age, … Continue reading

Posted in Week 3, Winter 2012 | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Weak Tweets

The message in these readings is that social media sites are not capable of creating revolution, which seems somewhat kind of obvious after reading them. Anything put up on Twitter or Facebook can be found by the government. It does … Continue reading

Posted in Week 12, Winter 2013 | Leave a comment

Social Networking and Political Campaigns

Online social networking has become a key ingredient in social capital, especially when launching a political campaign to endorse either a political issue or even a political candidate. Facebook and Twitter have become, in the modern era, very influential in … Continue reading

Posted in Week 5, Winter 2013 | 1 Comment

Social Capital and Cyberspace

Social capital, as described by Shirky in Chapter 8, is when people interact together, resulting in more earning potential and happiness. This social capital, in today’s technological society, comes in the form of an alternate reality, cyberspace. And although cyberspace … Continue reading

Posted in Week 3, Winter 2013 | 4 Comments

The Development of Activist Technology

In his article entitled “Political Factors: Digital Activism in Closed and Open Societies,” Tom Glaisyer discusses the role of social media in political and governmental activism. In particular, he touches on the efforts of several regimes and their successes (or … Continue reading

Posted in Fall 2012, Week 5 | 1 Comment

The Digital Divide and Social Media Content

In a study about political campaigns and their use of social media, Hernson, Stokes-Brown, and Hindman begin by tracing the origins of new technology in campaigns. They explain Howard Dean’s smoke-and-mirror use of technology that eventually exposed his shortcomings as … Continue reading

Posted in Fall 2012, Week 10 | Leave a comment

The Arab Spring and Social Media

The Arab Spring, even with the radical differences between countries as Anderson points out, was largely influenced by social media and networking with available technologies. While reviewing the arguments presented in these readings, Clay Shirky’s idea of collective action should … Continue reading

Posted in Fall 2012, Week 13 | 2 Comments

Where is the Egyptian voice and experience in the use of social media in political activism within Egypt?

Last week the Elthman and Burns’ article explored the importance of Twitter during the 2009 election in Iran, how different political actors and protestors used the social media site and how political actors responded to its use. While other theorists … Continue reading

Posted in Week 13, Winter 2012 | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

How the Internet helped – not initiated – the Arab Spring

The ability to rise up and demonstrate is not a new idea, but can be taken to greater depths with improved communication. By looking at the Arab Spring and the various protests that were had, we can see how Shirky’s … Continue reading

Aside | Posted on by | 1 Comment

In her article “Demystifying the Arab Spring,” Lisa Anderson describes the false concept that the Arab Spring uprisings across the Middle East are all connected by similarities. She explains how the revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya were all rooted … Continue reading

Posted in Fall 2012, Week 13, Weekly Responses | 4 Comments

Can we employ digital media to drive protests?

After studying the social-movements in the Arab world, I believe that social networks were partially responsible for the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. In the journal “Role of the Digital Media” Phillip N. Howard and Muzammil M. Hussain illustrate how … Continue reading

Posted in Week 13 | 1 Comment

The Role of Social Media in the Arab Spring

In The Role of Digital Media, Philip Howard and Muzammil Hussain discuss the impacts of social media on the uprisings in the Middle East. Echoing Shirky, they believe that new technology has facilitated the democratization of underdeveloped countries. Digital tools … Continue reading

Posted in Fall 2012, Week 13 | 1 Comment

Social Media, Democracy, and the Arab Spring

This weeks readings discuss the role that social media played in aiding in democracy in the Arab Spring. Howard’s article, “The Upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia: The Role of Digital Media,” delves into the ways in which digital media played … Continue reading

Posted in Fall 2012, Week 13 | 1 Comment

Pushing Weak Ties to the Side

The readings this week continued to build on the issue of how much social media helped in the Arab Spring.   While the readings last week centered around the use of Twitter in “Iran’s Twitter Revolution,” this week’s focus is on … Continue reading

Posted in Fall 2012, Week 13 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Do Emerging Tools Increase Votes?

It is easy to think that because the Internet is has demolished transaction costs, less broad campaigns like those for lower-elected officials could utilize emerging Internet tools to increase political mobilization in their favor. Many political campaigns are excited about … Continue reading

Posted in Fall 2012, Week 10, Weekly Responses | 1 Comment

Are Web Firms Like Blue State Digital a New Political Necessity?

While many researchers focus on which candidates and how candidates use social media in their campaigns, it is more important to look behind the scenes at how companies like Blue State Digital are affecting political campaigns. Scola says Blue State … Continue reading

Posted in Fall 2012, Week 10, Winter 2012 | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Media in Presidential Elections: Beneficial or Damaging?

In “Republicans Embrace Twitter Hard for’12” Jennifer Steinhauer investigates how new media technology has shaped message sending in presidential elections. Specifically, she studies how Republicans have affected politics with insta-Tweets about Obama.  Obama’s 2008 campaign “masterfully capitalized” on social media … Continue reading

Posted in Week 10 | 3 Comments

How Important Are Those Sites, Anyways?

As a first-time voter this year, I am trying my best go stay aware and involved with the race and the coinciding facts. Similarly to many others my age, the main media that I access to learn about what each … Continue reading

Posted in Fall 2012, Week 10 | 1 Comment

Internet Campaigning

In Campaign Politics and the Digital Divide, Hindman et al. examine the conditions under which state legislators use the Internet in campaigning. The researchers found that, among other things, constituency characteristics, whether or not the candidate is a challenger, how … Continue reading

Posted in Week 10 | Leave a comment

Nielson vs. Lutz

In Nielson’s “Mundane Internet Tools, Mobilizing Practices, and the Coproduction of Citizenship in Political Campaigns”, he seeks to explain which Internet practices are most useful to a campaign.  Neilson’s argument is that “when it comes to mobilization, mundane internet tools … Continue reading

Posted in Fall 2012, Week 10 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

State Legislators and the Digital Divide

While most of us are very aware of the Internet use by our Presidential candidates, especially after the success of Obama’s social media campaign in 2008, the Internet use by lower-level elected officials sometimes goes unnoticed by the everyday citizen. … Continue reading

Posted in Fall 2012, Week 10 | 1 Comment

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Fall 2012, Week 9 | 2 Comments