The Web Science Trust

How has Web 2.0 reshaped the presidential campaign in the United States?

Anderson, Dennis (2009) How has Web 2.0 reshaped the presidential campaign in the United States? In: Proceedings of the WebSci'09: Society On-Line, 18-20 March 2009, Athens, Greece. (In Press)

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Former President Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign for the White House - largely based on telephone and small computer networks – was hi-tech for the time. Since then, there has been a slow, but major shift from Web 1.0. to today’s Web 2.0. Not only have these enhancements changed how the candidates effectively communicate with a mass population, but they have also changed how they raise funds for the campaign. This is critical in today’s presidential races, since candidates now need several hundred million dollars to successfully compete. This paper will address what and how technologies are used in the presidential campaigns in 1992, 2000, and 2008. It will also examine how Web 2.0. has changed today’s campaigns, indicating how they will shape the US election campaigns of the future. In the 19th Century, presidential campaign were mostly run by traveling from city to city (mostly by train) and through media coverage of that time (newspapers and telegraphs). That was changed by radio and television during the 20th Century. In the early 21st Century, the Internet is taking a prominent role in the presidential campaign. In its very short history, the Internet brought fundamental changes to all aspects of things that people do. A simple example is how we communicate with each other via e-mail or e-card rather than the traditional postal service mail. It is an instant mail that you no longer have to wait a week to receive. It is very easy to see how much things have changed by simply watching a movie from the 1970s. In 1992, shopping on the Internet was a foreign concept which is the norm today. Everything from the way we do banking to shopping has changed. This is more than just a new technology but it is about changing human behavior and culture. Also, new communities are being created to bring people from all parts of the world to a virtual living space through an alter ego called avatar. Second Life is such a place that many young people gather to build this type of virtual community that in some ways parallels the real world but one can act out on his/her fantasy. Web 2.0., a mass collaboration and mashup of different contents and media, is where one can find social networks like facebook and myspace and other sites that allow people to share all kinds of contents like Youtube and Twitter. There are millions of young people who are users of these Web 2.0. sites who are there to not only make new friends, but also to share their work with the rest of the Internet community in a virtual second. In some instances, the public opinion formed on an issue in this space could have deadly {severe?} consequences to a campaign. This raises one of the key questions this paper addresses: how do presidential candidates best leverage Web 2.0 and its broad-based functionality to appeal to young US voters without damaging their campaigns. This paper will examine how information and communication technologies are used in different presidential elections in the U.S. and how today’s Web 2.0. is changing it fundamentally.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Uncontrolled Keywords:US politics, presidential election, web 2.0., social network, ICT
Subjects:Web Science Events > Web Science 2009
ID Code:124
Deposited By: W S T Administrator
Deposited On:24 Jan 2009 08:45
Last Modified:25 Oct 2011 16:50

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