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Business - Written by on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 10:23 - 1 Comment

Democracy Digitized

Building on Will’s posts about Obama using text messaging to announce his running mate (which I thought was brilliant), there is a great video on the BBC web site documenting how democracy has become digitized. It’s 10 minutes, but I highly recommend you take a peek.

Web 2.0 and the tools made available have changed the face of American politics. Not only are campaigns finding new ways to reach out to citizens, they’re also finding ways to engage them to become active participants and volunteers. Some people may argue that the ‘old people’ (so to speak), are the ones that vote; but for this election, Obama has mobilized the largest demographic – the children of the baby boom. And coincidentally, many of them are now coming of age and have the power to make a difference. The numbers speak for themselves. As Don Tapscott wrote in a previous post – During the Iowa preliminary, Obama had won by a landslide in millennial votes. His 28,000 vs. Clinton’s 5,400 and Edwards’ 6,900.

Web operations can no longer be in the corner of political campaigns, rather it now plays an important role at the center. However, where there is opportunity there is also danger. Sites like stop-him-now.com are everywhere, feeding into the misconceptions surrounding a candidate like Obama. According to a Pew Internet survey, 12% of Americans believe that Obama is Muslim – while he is, in fact – Christian . Obama’s website has a full page dedicated to “fight the smears” – calling on his supporters to help spread the word behind the misconceptions.

With political commentaries and videos (on air and on YouTube) it’s amazing the rate at which these stories can spread and make an impact – either positive or negative. There are certain organizations that are dedicated to making YouTube documentaries and political videos such as Brave New Films that produced clips like McCain’s Mansion Story that spread like wildfire over the blogosphere. Within a week of being posted on the net, it already has over 350,000 views. 35% of Americans have watched online political videos while 39% of Americans have used the internet to access “unfiltered campaign materials”.  If a campaign fails to recognize these changes, they’ll very likely be left in the dust…

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¿Democracia digitalizada? Creo que no. -- El Blog de Manuel Delgado
Sep 7, 2008 7:33

[...] A medida que la carrera hacia las elecciones estadounidenses de noviembre se va caldeando, aumenta el número de artículos que encuentro en los que se alaba la "digitalización" de la política, entendiendo como tal el intenso uso de la red y de otras tecnologías de telecomunicaciones que están haciendo los candidatos. Seguramente, el culmen lo alcanzó hace unos diez días este artículo de Ming Kwan en Wikinomics con su título Democracia Digitalizada. [...]

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Don Tapscott and Anthony D. William's latest collaboration, Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet. Learn more.

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