Just think of all the new jobs in politics that the social media frenzy has created.
Today, when I signed on to Twitter (which I do not do very often because I don’t think people want to know I’m sitting in Hayden library feverishly trying to complete my paper/study/blog post/etc.) I noticed a button at the top, “Election 2008.” When I clicked it, it led me to a page constantly scrolling with new tweets from Twitter users about the election. And of course on the day before election day, it was scrolling very quickly.
Online polling used to be an “innovative” way to try to gauge public opinion. But now, with Twitter, blogging and all other social media, there must be tons of people whose jobs are entirely dedicated to monitoring what’s being said about a candidate, issue, proposition or party. An online poll doesn’t typically allow for open-ended questions, but social media allows you to gauge sentiment with so much more detail. It doesn’t just tell you how people are voting, but often WHY, too.
I’m willing to be this presidential election is just the tip of the iceberg with regard to how social media will affect the political landscape. For years now people have been creating Facebook groups to support political candidates, propositions, Darfur and millions of other causes. Just think how much further this can spread.
It really makes me feel that people who aren’t adjusting and learning how to use these social media tools – especially in the media industry – are going to be left in the dust. I already feel overwhelmed, and I’m supposed to be the savvy generation, right?
Dear ASU, please offer some classes about how to use, and more importantly MEASURE and MONITOR, social media.