Posts Tagged wall street journal

President Obama’s Facebook Town Hall

Today, President Obama hosted his first-ever Facebook Town Hall.  Hosted on the White House Facebook page, Obama discussed the economy, recovery funds, and answered questions that people submitted directly to the Facebook wall as well as to Whitehouse.gov.

Over 25,000 people RSVPed for the event.  Today, the Facebook page goes directly to the Townhall tab.  Interestingly, the page has nearly one million fans.  I wonder how many would have RSVPed if the page had invited all of its fans?

Obama recently announced his 2012 election campaign, which is already using YouTube, targeted texts, and a Facebook app called “Are you in?”.

I was quite glad to hear that President Obama would continue to innovate and find ways to communicate with new audiences.  Even though many still think of Facebook as a site for young people, the numbers say that the average age of a Facebook user is age 38, and then the even-older demographic is the fastest growing group.

This is not the first time that Facebook and the White House have joined together to make a splash.   Last month, they promoted a PSA about the importance of fighting cyberbullying on exclusively Facebook in order to raise awareness of the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention.

Now that social media is so clearly essential to campaigning (especially versus Obama), I am quite interested to see how his competitors will use it.  I think that if they don’t integrate digital into each and every piece of their campaign, they will find it difficult to compete with a group who has it ingrained into its strategy.

If you’re especially interested in the topic, I would suggested this Wall Street Journal article: Facebook Seeking Friends in Beltway.

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Social networks and political organizing (in Egypt)

As political unrest unravels into uprising in Egypt, the general public is getting a firsthand look at the utility of social media in political organizing and in crisis situations.

Michael Hickin’s Wall Street Journal article, Will the Revolution Really be Tweeted? takes a great look at social media’s role in the current situation.  The Internet played a huge role in organizing and planning, but of course, it can no longer be utilized as Egyptians no longer have access.

Though social media can no longer be of use to Egyptians organizing on the ground, quick innovations from the groundswell like Google’s speak-to-tweet service are allowing for instant communication to those who are hungry to stay in the loop.

As ‘Generation Facebook’ uses social networks to unite around common causes, those who were once powerless are finding strength in numbers, and social networks are facilitating relationships and coalitions never before possible.

It will be interesting to see how increasing use of Facebook and Twitter can empower the stifled in the future.  Facebook apps and Twitter hashtags are encouraging communication between those who, in previous years, would never connect.  If today’s Egypt had Internet, it would only serve to further the cause of the protesting citizens.

This example of social media and Internet access as a crucial political freedom is being played out minute-by-minute on traditional media platforms, and the importance of the digital realm on politics cannot be ignored.

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