I haven’t made any posts about the Election 2008 class. This isn’t because it hasn’t been awesome, because it most certainly has. The main reason I haven’t been posting is that I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. Sure I’ve been busy with other stuff, but even with that it’s just hard to come to grips with the impact of social media on the election in the (current) absence of hard numbers. Hopefully by next year there will be all sorts of awesome studies to dig through. Until then, we’re mostly speculating.
Still, I figured I might as well share the final paper I wrote for Clay’s class. Here’s the summary:
User-generated media is not all that powerful a tool for a campaign, at least not yet. However, communications technology is changing incredibly fast, so it is conceivable that user-generated media will be an incredibly powerful tool by 2012. Further, supporting user-generated media is so cheap in terms of a campaign’s time and money that there is no reason not to make the minimal necessary investments to get it up and running. Finally: the most successful campaigns will be those that are flexible and ready to adapt quickly to a changing media landscape. This has always been true, but as the landscape changes more and more quickly it will become even more important.
I guess if any of you are interested in reading it, you could grab a PDF of the paper YouTube and You (~2200 words).