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Election 2012: A Battle of the Social Media
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Election 2012: A Battle of the Social Media

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About a decade ago, the hottest thing in political campaign was the Internet (Garecht, 2011). Political consultants and candidates touted the promise of the Web to change the mode of their campaign …

About a decade ago, the hottest thing in political campaign was the Internet (Garecht, 2011). Political consultants and candidates touted the promise of the Web to change the mode of their campaign strategies. From fundraising to propagandizing, web-based campaigning overwhelmed the medium with political messages. Yet, with the sudden hype of Web 2.0 over the past few years, social media became the new hot medium for political campaigning. As the election season approaches, we are seeing an increasing amount of political messages streaming into social networking sites (SNS) such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Due to this trend, political parties are spending millions of dollars hiring social media experts to manage and monitor their appearances and respective messages on SNS. Nonetheless, how effective are SNS acting as a new medium for the transmission of these propaganda messages? Do SNS audience receive firsthand information from their political leaders, or through a group of active gatekeepers who screen information and only pass on items that would help others share their views on these sites (Baran & Davis, 2009)? According to an analysis of voters’ decision-making process during a 1940 presidential election campaign, Paul Lazersfeld and his team of researchers revealed evidence suggesting that the flow of mass communication is less direct than we supposed. Known as opinion leaders, this group of active gatekeepers maintains an important role in consuming and filtering propaganda messages on SNS. Drawing from the two-step flow theory of communication process, this study aims to identify opinion leaders within the realm of SNS, their influence toward the electoral progress, and determines if SNS are an effective medium for the generation, replication, and dissemination of political messages.

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  • Self-mass communication
  • Self-mass communication
  • Content producers on social media
  • Boundaries undefined
  • Information dispersion on networked communication
  • Creative and instrumental objectivesA space for expressing, advocating & propagandizing personal/public views
  • Story as told: OLs & OFs in Social Media
  • Story as told: OLs & OFs in Social Media
  • Examples of thought leaders/opinion leaders
  • Examples of thought leaders/opinion leaders
  • Transcript

    • 1. BATTLE OF THE SOCIAL MEDIATHE WOOT, THE UGH, AND THE YIKES! TWO-STEP FLOW THEORY OF COMMUNICATION AND PERSONAL INFLUENCE IN SOCIAL MEDIA @JasonCKTham
    • 2. WHY THIS STUDY?Sudden hype of Web 2.0 makes socialmedia a new hot medium for political campaigning
    • 3. WHY THIS STUDY?Social media experts are managing and monitoring politic messages
    • 4. INITIAL QUESTIONSHow effective are social media acting as the new channels for propaganda messages
    • 5. INITIAL QUESTIONS Information: Firsthand or Screened Who are the Gatekeepers
    • 6. THEORETICALFRAMEWORK• Analysis of voter’s decision- making process• Less direct flow of mass communication• Two-step flow theory of communication process• Personal influence from thought leaders
    • 7. SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT A FAD Facebook reached its 1 billionth user Changing social behaviors: Sharing, expressing opinions New paradigm for human communication
    • 8. THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGEInterpersonal CommunicationOne-to-many CommunicationMass Communication
    • 9. Shaped by the capacity of communication globalization and interpersonal media, by the emergence of networked mediation.SELF-MASS - Cardoso, 2008 -COMMUNICATION
    • 10. ENHANCED USEREXPERIENCE through convergence culture
    • 11. AUDIENCE ASCONTENT PRODUCERS
    • 12. GLOBAL VILLAGEOne great social, political, and cultural system - McLuhan -
    • 13. BOUNDARIES UNDEFINED Time Space Private vs. PublicControl vs. Freedom Virtual vs. Reality
    • 14. THE HUBS: Information progresses from a large-degree node A (opinion leader) to another node B (opinion follower); C (friend of opinion follower) pull information from both the opinion leader and their friends. The volume of @replies traveling into and out of Japan andworldwide retweetsin one-hour period just before and after the Tohoku earthquake on March 11, 2011
    • 15. VIRALITY: THE NEW FAME Social media is the ongoing conversation of the planet. Election 2012 was a battle of the social media; all the candidates needed was to be the conversation.
    • 16. SOCIAL MEDIA: NEW REALM FOR PUBLICITY THE GOOD…
    • 17. SOCIAL MEDIA: NEW REALM FOR PUBLICITY THE BAD…
    • 18. SOCIAL MEDIA: NEW REALM FOR PUBLICITY AND THE UGLY…
    • 19. SOCIAL MEDIA: NEW REALM FOR PUBLICITY AND THE UGLY…
    • 20. MASS-MEDIATED PROPAGANDAStudy the means of influence on the attitude of a communityDesired result: change of attitude toward the subject in thetarget audience to further political agenda
    • 21. LIMITATIONS Ignores personal, social,Underestimates the and cultural factors inindividual’s abilities to changingevaluate messages. attitudes/behaviors.
    • 22. LIMITED EFFECTS THEORY OF MASS MEDIA Paul Lazersfeld, 1940s Voter’s study – Two-step flow model of communication Decatur Study – Personal influence
    • 23. OPINION LEADERS &OPINION FOLLOWERSTastemakersHandpicked and screenedmedia messages.Make a personal stance.And share them with theirfollowers, subscribers, friends, etc. Kevin Allocca YouTube Trend Manager
    • 24. OPINION LEADERS &OPINION FOLLOWERSCommunities ofParticipationBecoming a part of the extremephenomena.Parasocial relationship.Your story, my story. Kevin Allocca YouTube Trend Manager
    • 25. WHO ARE THESE OPINION LEADERS IN SOCIAL MEDIA?Thought leaders, highly celebrated experts, idolizedindividualsJournalists, news anchors, radio broadcasters,politicians, educators, celebrities, corporate leaders
    • 26. FUTUREEXPLORATIONSHow do opinion leadersgenerate and disseminatemessages on socialmedia?How do social media usersperceive social networkingsites as a channel forpropaganda?Social media vs. traditionalnews media
    • 27. RESEARCHMETHODOLOGYStatistical survey to bemonitoredRandom sampling of750 samplesAge 16-55
    • 28. THANK YOU. @JasonCKTham

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