Bradhuther’s Blog

Readings 10: Democracy, Politics and Technology
January 13, 2009, 3:12 am
Filed under: Assignments | Tags: , , , ,

Flickring here, twittering there

This article discusses how technology has been changing politics recently. It starts off by telling about the different politicians that use the Internet to get their name out there. McCain has his own YouTube channel where people could go on and see what he had to say and previous clips of him discussing his policies. Obama is very involved with the Internet and has tons of sites supporting his presidency and views on certain topics. There are so many people on the Internet everyday and thats where tons of people get information from. In this day and age, the Internet plays a large role in the economy and politics. People can go on a politician’s blog site and discuss things involving his presidency or the economy with other people who share their interest. Also we get a lot of our new from the Internet which is also why it such an important tool in politics. Even with our mobile phones, Obama had a contest to text a number and a guess who his running mate would be and a prize would be awarded to the winner who texts the right answer first. I think its very important for a politician to know how to navigate through the web, use the Internet, and incorporate technology into his work.

Obama Uses Text Messaging With Eye on Nov 4 (listen: 4 min)

This short clip was very interesting to me and at the same time surprising. I did not know that if you texted that number, they had the right to text you about information whenever they please and encourage you to go through your phonebook and get other people to join. Basically at a rally for Obama, he encouraged people to text a number proving that they were supporters of his party and they were willing to receive information on their cell phones via text message from time to time and encouraged to get more voters for Obama. I don’t really like the idea of a number texting me sometimes that I don’t even know telling me about statistics and policies of Obama’s campaign. I would rather receive my information on my own such as through the Internet, newspapers, or television, not through a text message on my phone. If I were running for a political position I would probably not adopt this strategy and try to get my information out there more through the Internet, television, and newspapers.

How Much is YouTube Worth to Obama and McCain?

I think YouTube is a great tool in political campaigns. At one point in the article, the author describes how people are not FORCED to watch it as they would be on TV but they have a choice whether to watch it or not. Since the Internet is becoming such a popular online tool, I believe if politicians put their videos on the website, they would receive more views and popularity which in turn could lead to more votes.

Twitter: An Antidote to Election Day Voting Problems?

This article was a little confusing to me but what I got out of it was that Twitter is basically a database that you can text about anything and people write things back on your post or text. It is basically a chat line where people can communicate to each other and ask others for questions or opinions. This could help voting because it could reduce voting ballot lines and can even sway someone’s opinion toward a certain politician. With this type of technology we can apply it directly to voting and people can even send in their votes which can in turn give the public an idea of how many people voted for who, it could be like a secondary way of telling how many people voted for who. For instance, say there was a really long day at one of the ballots to vote, one person can go on twitter and explain to people that the line is long and to go somewhere else. We could get more people informed and voting with Twitter.

The Daily Me

This article discusses the concept of filtering and personalization. There are many different ways we can personalize what we want to see, hear and learn over the Internet and with technology. Websites that enable our news and information to be filtered give us a sense of personalization and help us see what we want to to see. The upside to this is that we can share ideas with different people a topic of interest. We can get different views and ideas about something other than our own and get an outsiders point of view on something we care about. The downside to all this personalization is that we may not be exposed to as much stuff as we should. Because our world is so small and we made everything so personalized for ourselves, we don’t think or learn about other things. All this personalization leads to people being sheltered and knowledgeable only about the things they care about. The daily me refers to the concept that we choose to get whatever information we want and we listen and read things that only benefit ourselves.

Web of Activism (local politics)

I think local politics using the Internet to their advantage is a great idea. As I have previously stated, the Internet is really becoming a useful tool in getting people, especially young adults, informed. Politicians in this article described how videos and SNS’s helped them get their names out there and in getting them recognized. I think this idea is flawless because when these people put videos up on the Internet or make an SNS page, they don’t spend any money at all! What more can people ask for while running for a political position or in signing a petition? Free advertising defiantly will help their cause. However, with all these videos and SNS’s on these people, they have to be careful not to offend anyone or say anything wrong or offensive because that could really sway a lot of people’s votes. The main reason I think local politics using SNS”s and YouTube for advertising and getting their ideas out there is that they are reaching out to the younger crowd. I know when I was a kid I could care less about local politics and if I saw a YouTube or Facebook for a local politician I would be pretty impressed and might take a closer look.


1. Do you think the internet can be a useful tool for politicians? why or why not?

2. How do you think someone running for a local mayor position could use the internet to his advantage?

3. What are the negative and positive results of being able to personalize our information so easily?

4. How could our cell phones change the proccess of voting?