In the United States, with every successive political season, social media becomes more intertwined with the centuries-old democratic process. Microblogging websites like Twitter offer politicians the opportunity to fire off hundreds of short, simple posts every day; Twitter has become a virtual platform for politicians that’s always open, a place where someone is always listening. During the latest Republican debate, Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders found quite an audience on Twitter.
With a US Presidential Election this fall, along with 1/3rd of the Senate up for re-election, and the entire House of Representatives, could 2008 truly be the year of the political blogger?
Beginning Monday, hundreds of bloggers will descend on Denver to see Barack Obama accept his party’s nomination. Next week, hundreds more will travel to St. Paul to witness John McCain’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. But now these online partisans, many of whom are self-financed, must contend with all the logistical and financial hurdles just to get there — not to mention the party politics happening behind the scenes.
This year, both parties understand the need to have greater numbers of bloggers attend. While many Americans may watch only prime-time television broadcasts of the convention speeches, party officials also recognize the ability of bloggers to deliver minute-by-minute coverage of each day’s events to a niche online audience.
To put this into perspective, the 2004 DNC in Boston credentialed only around twelve bloggers. This year, hundreds of bloggers have been credentialed at both convention. The micro-coverage from the smaller blogs and in-depth coverage provided by the larger blogs is going to elevate the artform of political blogging to a whole new level.
I can’t wait to watch..
Much was made of the Obama campaign’s plan to release the name of their VP nominee via text message before the mainstream media published the message.
That’s why, of course, I was reading about the nomination of Joe Biden as Obama’s Vice Presidential candidate on CNN and nytimes.com long before the text message was sent out from the Obama campaign at 3:00am.
The Washington Post reports the issue:
It was the text message read round the country — for those who got it.
Many of those who signed up to receive a text alerting them of Sen. Barack Obama’s vice presidential selection had to wait minutes, if not hours, to learn that Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. was the pick. The problem was most likely a scaling issue, mobile experts said, with carriers’ messaging systems overwhelmed by the number of people receiving the text.
“It was one message that had to reach any number of devices,” said Stephanie Vinge-Walsh of Sprint Nextel. She added that traffic on Sprint’s short code for the Obama campaign — 62262, which spells O-B-A-M-A on cellphone keypads — rose more than 250 percent within an hour of the announcement.
The message was sent out at 3am, at least 5-6 hours after the mainstream media had already published the message. And – 2 days later – I’m still waiting on my message to arrive….