Here’s that word again, transformation. Now I know that all of your media seem less cluttered now almost a week after the political elections and you are breathing a sigh of relief. There was no place to escape the “Approved Messages” in any form, even making their way into the Internet realm. That doesn’t mean just limited to banner and side ads, but full fledge video ads on YouTube. What’s the cause for the transformation of these politico powerhouses? Social Media.
According to Gist, an online information and communication tool, social media has changed to political game. politicians who are not only tech savvy but connected to their constituents through Facebook will suffer the consequences of loosing out on a race for exposure time. Since the Internet is the new television, which changed the way people campaign when it was first used, making it another hoop that politics must jump through to get their approval from constituents. This new medium was first dished to younger staffers to experiment with, just like TV, but then smart politicos understood that this was an opportunity to expand their message.
Gist also points out that this is a big opportunity for the public to communicate with politicians. In social media, perhaps posts, comments, and notes will be how politicians hear from their constituents. An online sites set up by the House of Representatives dedicated to governmental spending, called YouCut, offers the public a direct influence like never before. “The public’s response to this program validates that they will engage with Congress when given the opportunity to do so,” says Matt Lira, the director of new media for Republican Whip Eric Cantor.
I find it very interesting that the internet can not only be used as a communication tool, but also a new billboard or vehicle for candidates. No longer must politicians only use actual signs posted in clusters along highways. No longer are annoying and back-to-back commercials on television enough. Now, politicians can get inside the Inter-web, make themselves a fan page, and directly target the hell out specific groups via Facebook’s creepy ad generator.
Well, at least it’s all over, for now. Meanwhile, I think I’m going to go friend request John Kitzhaber.