and the Internet
Can, and will, the next generation of politicians
exploit the communication mediums available to them? Will the new
communication mediums have the power to influence public opinion?
Will politicians be the victims of technology, or will they use
it to their benefit? Will one party benefit from the use of the
technology more than another? All reasonable questions, considering
the role technology plays in today's society.
The staggering distribution numbers, through channels
like iTunes, YouTube, or podcasting websites, indicate that technology
could play a critical role in the upcoming elections. Technology
could be the deciding factor in the 2008 US Presidential race, and
while distribution has never before been as accessible as it is
to today's politicians and political candidates, politicians have
far less control over the news and media than their counterparts
in previous years.
The curious need not look any further than YouTube
to find the latest political constituents being haunted by their
own words and dogged by their past missteps. Today's politicians
have far less control of the news media and messages associated
with their candidacy.
The Internet and technology is positioned to play
a huge role in elections. Whether that truly occurs remains to be
What Will Technology Affect?
Raising revenue for a political campaign is one of the biggest hurdles
the candidates have to overcome in order to make a successful political
run. We saw this when Howard Dean initially soared to fame as the
result of grass roots Internet donations filling his coffers. Yet
technology was also Dean's downfall, as the result of the "Dean
Scream" video getting excessive play time on the Internet and other
broadcast media outlets. The recorded spectacle is said to be what
led voters to abandon this overzealous candidate.
The Power Of Political Pundits
With podcasting, everyone is a journalist, regardless of their credentials
or credibility. Technology has given self-proclaimed political pundits
a pulpit from which they can spread their message. How much these
political pundits will be able to influence political campaigns
and election results is still unclear.
Never Say Never
Political videos of nearly every 2008 presidential candidate can
be found on YouTube. In many of the posted videos, candidates are
engaged in old speeches, contradicting their current political positions.
Politicians have yet to learn that their words may come back to
haunt them, and it appears that many politicians have ghosts from
years past that can be found in the YouTube video library. Older
political videos are causing problems for candidates whose positions
have changed over the course of their careers. The accessibility
of the audio and video clips, and wide media distribution, is breeding
distrust amongst voters who support candidates who have had a change
Pushing A Cause To The Forefront
Evident in the hit movies "Fahrenheit 9/11" by liberal filmmaker
Michael Moore, and "An Inconvenient Truth" by environmental evangelist
Al Gore, these films not only brought in millions of dollars in
revenues, but both movies also received Hollywood accolades and
raised attention for the issues featured.
Technology appeals to a specific demographic: the
affluent, the educated, and the young. And while a YouTube video
may not sway the Grandparents in the crowd, the youngest voters
are listening. Does technology have the power to change the face
of politics? The youth in America are not currently an active voting
block, but that younger generation will age, and it's only a matter
of time before technology plays a critical role in elections.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts.
In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll http://www.recordforall.com
audio recording and editing software.