The development of the Internet has shifted the pace and mediums of political campaigns drastically over the past 2 decades. The high rate of innovation from the media industry, coupled with the highly competitive environment of political parties and candidates, causes new innovations to be distributed very quickly across the political arena.
The largest advancement in political economics has been the convergence of technology and social platforms, which has allowed political campaigns to lump fundraising, event coordination, public image, and public interaction into singular online management systems. Examples of these systems include Donate.gop and Nation Builder
While I argued in class that social media use for politics was pushing us towards "Technological Determinism", "Agenda Setting" is a much more appropriate term. Facebook does not determine our frame of mind or political affiliation, rather voters have the chance to set political policy through their voice on the internet. Examples of this can be seen in the overseas use of Social Media to coordinate protests where there is a lack of democratic government (Ifukor, P.)
Post Presentation Discussion
During the class discussion, the greatest confusion from the class came from my point about "gatekeepers". In social media, the role of gatekeepers is greatly diminished, so that more people can contribute their voice. I didn't define gatekeepers very well initially, so during the discussion we had the chance to clarify their role (or lack there of), in current social media.
Technological convergence and innovations are the strongest areas where social media has made an impact on politics. While voter voice has grown, the influence of their words has not yet made large changes to politics. However, the narrow voter targeting of political campaigns, and the rapid development of technology in response to online success, has seen nearly instantaneous results.
Social Media Campaigns: http://nyti.ms/1AD034r\
Ifukor, P. (2010). "Elections" or "Selections"? Blogging and Twittering the Nigerian 2007 General Elections. Bulletin Of Science, Technology & Society, 30(6), 398-414.)
Kahne, J., & Middaugh, E. (2012). Digital Media Shapes Youth Participation in Politics. Phi Delta Kappan, 94(3), 52-56.
Samuels, B. (2011). Facebook, Twitter, YouTube--and Democracy. Academe, 97(4)