Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Political Campaigns and Social Media

Leading up to the 2010 Midterm Elections, I followed the activity on Russ Feingold's Facebook page. Early in the week, prior to the election, most of the activity on the Facebook page was posting links to either positive articles about Feingold (endorsements, op-eds, etc.) or links to videos and campaign ads that were pro-Feingold. Of note is that there were not links to any of the negative ads against Ron Johnson. There were also a few links to help voters find their polling location.

Every story/video published received a lot of feedback in the form of "likes" and comments. The minimum was about 200 "feedbacks" with some receiving as many as 800.

On election day, the campaign made a push for people to change their profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter to the above image, "I Voted for Russ Feingold". The page also continued to offer help in finding polling locations. There was even a post inviting people to a election night party in Middleton.

Overall, I thought Feingold's Facebook page was run pretty well and it definitely seemed like a lot of people were interacting with the page. I even saw a few friends on my newsfeed that had added made the Feingold photo their profile picture so I think that was a good idea to help rally support on election day.

Personally, I got involved with some voter mobilization efforts in the Greek Community. I organized for someone from Organizing for America to come to the weekly Interfraternity Council meeting and explain voting procedures, how to register, where to go, etc. Additionally, I helped promote and invited people to the Facebook Event "Greeks Vote". The event set up 3 different times for Greeks to meet up on Langdon street and walk to the polls together, since voting alone is never any fun. The group was pretty successful, 290 people "attended" the event on facebook.

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