Social Media Turn Election Night Into a Conversation

November 09, 2012 By: seeta Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Science/Technology

President Obama’s campaign tweeted a photograph of him embracing First Lady Michelle Obama, which became social media’s most shared image ever. (Gabriel Bouys, AFP/Getty Images / November 7, 2012)

From LA Times:

Nearly 67 million people tuned in to watch network news coverage of the elections, ratings firm Nielsen reported. But social media was also a big draw: 306 million people flocked to Facebook and more than 11 million turned to Twitter, a big jump from a day earlier, according to research firm Experian Hitwise.

And that has begun to disrupt the familiar rhythm of political campaigns and national elections that used to play out on TV, radio and, more recently, the websites of news organizations. On election night, people who turned on a second screen did so to chat and connect with others on social media, and in doing so they had a very different experience than those who did not.

And social media gave people the feeling they were engaging directly — not just with each other, but with the candidates. After Obama’s campaign tweeted a photograph of Obama embracing First Lady Michelle Obama, it became social media’s most shared image ever, shattering even Justin Bieber records. The image has been retweeted more than 725,000 times and got more than 3 million likes on Facebook.

“This is really the first time election night became a conversation,” said Joe Green, the 29-year-old co-founder and president of NationBuilder, a Los Angeles company that builds online organizing tools for campaigns. “I was in a room with 50 people watching TV, but I was having a conversation with thousands of people on Facebook.

The Mobile Election: How Smartphones Have Shaped the 2012 Election

October 16, 2012 By: seeta Category: 2012 Election, Civil Rights, Eco-Justice, Economic Development, Education, Intersectionality, Science/Technology, Voting Rights

The Pew Center just released a report showing some interesting figures:

As of late September, 88% of registered voters own a cell phone of some kind-and significant numbers of these voters are using their mobile devices to get information about the 2012 election, to interact with the campaigns, and to converse with other voters about political issues:

27% of registered voters who own a cell phone have used their phone in this election campaign to keep up with news related to the election itself or to political issues in general.

Three quarters of these cell-owning registered voters use their phone to send or receive text messages, and within this group:

  • 19% have sent text messages related to the campaign to friends, family members, or others
  • 5% have signed up to receive text messages directly from a candidate or other group involved in the campaign
  • 5% say that they have received unwanted election-related text messages that they did not sign up to receive

Smartphone owners are using their mobile devices as a tool for political participation on social networking sites and as a way to fact check campaign statements in real time.