Thursday, March 8, 2012

This online media campaign seeks not just revenue, but action

Today in the New York Times an article about the Obama/Biden presidential campaign echoes many of the themes we've been talking about in our media fluency course.  Read the first two paragraphs:
With a “chief scientist” specializing in consumer behavior, an “analytics department” monitoring voter trends, and a squad of dozens huddled at computer screens editing video or writing code, the sprawling office complex inside One Prudential Plaza looks like a corporate research and development lab — Ping-Pong table and all. 
But it is home to the largely secret engine of President Obama’s re-election campaign, where scores of political strategists, data analysts, corporate marketers and Web producers are sifting through information gleaned from Facebook, voter logs and hundreds of thousands of telephone or in-person conversations to reassemble and re-energize the scattered coalition of supporters who swept Mr. Obama into the White House four years ago. 
The rest of the article is accessible here.   Beyond helping to raise money for one party or the other, or helping to build support for one candidate or another, what consequences do you think such online strategies might have for our political process over the long term?  


  1. Some people might look at this campaign process as intrusive and 'too much' but given what we have recently been studying, I think it's kind of awesome and really creative! The Obama campaign obviously has a vast amount of resources and they've just found the new way to utilize them and reach their target voters in this election. I found the work that they're doing with mobile devices and even the color of webpages to be particularly interesting. These are the little details that sometimes get overlooked when trying to reach an audience but actually end up making a big difference. Who knows, it could end up being what changes the election.

  2. This kind of online saturation can have a major effect on what sources people view as credible. Less informed voters may begin to see reliable information coming from Obama's camp online and think that more political commentary, from people's personal blogs for instance, is equally as reliable when in reality they could just be spewing personal opinions and spin. In a world where kids grow up learning, "Don't trust everything you read on the Internet", the integration of legitimate political campaigns onto the world wide web may begin to blur the line between reliable and non reliable information on the Internet.

  3. I think it is just a way that the people in charges of campaigns can take advantage of the way the media world is trending right now. I think that there are tons of people who use Facebook today, so that would be a good source of information for the campaign. Facebook could also be a good way to campaign for candidates. There are a lot of people who are not informed when it comes to elections. If there is candidate information on Facebook, perhaps more people will learn about the candidates and perhaps more people will vote. Overall, I think it is smart to adjust to the new ways in which social media runs the country.


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