Politics 2.0–Advertising versus content?

techpresident.gif    Compared to the last presidential election, where the new web 2.0 tools were mainly part of a grassroots movement, the use of Web 2.0 tools like YouTube, Blogs, etc., is now a mainstream part of a campaign.

TechCrunch draws our attention to a new site, techPresident, which is tracking the web 2.0 trail of all the presidential candidates.

You can see which ones are using MySpace(and how many “friends” they have), who is on the site Second Life(John Edwards), see Flickr photos relating to the candidate, and see who is using YouTube.

And for those of you who attended our Project Tech workshop yesterday on RSS(thanks to Will Richardson’s excellent instruction without which I couldn’t have shared this), you can also grab RSS feeds from the candidates’ pages, all in one location.

Why does this matter?  If our students are participating in a democracy where the social networking tools they use are being used by mainstream entities as political campaign advertising, isn’t it critically important that we are teaching students how to evaluate sources, distinguish fact from opinion, and watch for bias and commercial uses of the web?

As these web 2.0 tools enter the mainstream, they are not only tools that allow “regular” people the ability to have a voice, they allow advertisers and candidates to approach us through many more channels and means.   How do we help students as advertising and content begin to “merge” more and more?

2 thoughts on “Politics 2.0–Advertising versus content?

  1. Thanks for this very interesting post I didn’t know about the techpresident blog.

    One thing that will be very interesting to watch is the repercussions of people hired to blog for a candidate. This week two bloggers for the Edwards campaign decided to quit when the press (or someone) started to bring up things that they had said in the past that made Edwards look bad.

    On the one side it is a lesson to be careful what you say online because it may come back to bite you. On the other side I think that maybe our standards of being “politically correct” vs being honest about what you think may have to change. The old standard says that people can be held to a certain level. They must have always said and done what they say and do NOW in order to be trusted. (one example is smoking pot) I think that our younger generation realizes that people change and appreciate it much more when someone is honest than when someone looks too clean. Interesting…


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