What are the trends in social and digital media that will help shape the 2012 presidential election? What can we learn from grassroots election efforts like Rock the Vote, now in its 20th year, contrasted with the very short history and transformational social media tactics used in recent presidential politics? Is it a natural evolution of activism, is it disruptive? If so - how? Join PBS NewsHour moderator Christina Bellantoni and panelists Mary Katharine Ham (radio host/political commentator); Maria Teresa Kumar (founding executive director, Voto Latino); Craig Newmark (founder craigslist and craigconnects); Heather Smith (president, Rock the Vote); and others to be announced, for a wide-ranging, idea-generating, big-picture discussion of trends past, present and future on how the presidential election may be shaped and transformed by social media services such as Twitter and Facebook to new location based and mobile technologies.
In 2010 Brazil elected their first female president, Dilma Rousseff. Not only was she the first female to be elected, she was also unique in being the first candidate in Brazil to connect with millions of voters online to solidify public opinion. While many emerging markets, South America in particular, love social media, their electorate had never participated in elections through an online medium. The session will explore the future of digital in Brazil (and emerging markets) that have thus far embraced the evolution of new media, mostly by embracing it via traditional media channels. We will look at how, by leveraging diverse social media channels, Dilma’s team was able to introduce and humanize her in a way never before seen by the Brazilian people.
by Julie Germany and Lindsay Marsh
On the surface level, scientists, technologists, and engineers might not seem like the perfect politicians. Maybe they aren’t always as airbrushed as the pundits on TV. But consider this: each year decisions are made on school boards, in state legislatures, and in Congress that effect infrastructure, science education, health research, and the technology industry. We need more geeks at all levels of government -- school boards, city councils, state legislatures, and Congress. America needs you. And you need to know how to position yourself, fundraise, mobilize grassroots support, run for office, and win.
Everyone is talking about how "social media" is changing politics and elections. But hasn't politics always been social? Townhalls, rallies, knocking on doors, talking to friends and the act of asking for a vote has always been a social experience. But now, thanks to new technology, we can see what social means for politics in the U.S. and around the world. Join Facebook's political outreach gurus, Adam Conner (D) and Katie Harbath (R), as these bipartisan campaign veterans explain why “social” isn’t a new phenomenon but the core of American democracy and how 2012 can become year of "the social campaign."
It takes optimism to launch revolutions, to believe that you can end decades of dictatorship and that you deserve freedom and dignity. Why are the people of the Middle East and North Africa - all too aware of the challenges they face in rising up to despots - more optimistic about their revolutions and uprisings than those outside the region - who all too often take for granted their own freedoms?
From smear campaigns on Twitter to owning a domain before the opposition does to constituent hangouts on Google+, social media and the web have changed the election process for good. Candidates rely on social media to get their message out on their terms, journalists report and react to the story as it happens, and social platforms help to galvanize public opinion, support volunteers and solicit donations. With viewpoints from journalists, scholars, and campaign practitioners, this panel will reflect on the 2012 presidential campaign and how new media has made its mark. Specifically, the panel will look at which online platforms are performing the best in the 2012 election, the convergence of new and traditional mediums on the campaign trail, and analyze how campaigns are using these tools to promote their issue platforms and candidates, successfully or not.
by Joshua Levine and Kahlil Byrd
The Presidential Primary system is broken. It’s a hodgepodge of partisan elections that form a strange serpentine journey through the calendar and each state’s public opinion -- always playing to the extremes of the respective parties to capture their “base.” It's also the only system we had to choose presidential candidates. Until now.
Isn’t it time we used the Internet to flatten the playing field? Shouldn’t each voter, from every state, have an equal voice in selecting presidential candidates?
We're creating the vehicle, but it’s up to our Delegates to drive it home. Any registered voter can become an Americans Elect Delegate. And as a Delegate, you'll help craft the rules, shape the debate, and ultimately choose the nominees. Isn’t it time for AmericansElect.org?
9th–13th March 2012