Obama's mythe (EN)


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Presentatie bij de conferentie New media and the United States, georganiseerd door StudentNASA. Ik beargumenteer dat de campagne met sociale media van Obama helemaal geen groot effect heeft gehad, al willen anderen ons graag anders doen geloven.

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Obama's mythe (EN)

  1. 1. www.chrisaalberts.nl New media and the United States New media as a political tool? Myths about Obama’s success Chris Aalberts
  2. 2. Chris Aalberts <ul><li>Researcher and lecturer in political communication </li></ul><ul><li>Books </li></ul><ul><li>Young people (2006) </li></ul><ul><li>European Union (2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Spin doctoring (2010) </li></ul><ul><li>In preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Politics 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Right wing populists </li></ul>www.chrisaalberts.nl New media and the United States
  3. 3. Some trends… <ul><li>Decline of political parties as mass organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Citizens have become ‘floating voters’ </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive media environment </li></ul><ul><li>More human interest and entertainment news </li></ul><ul><li>Popularisation and personalisation of politics </li></ul><ul><li>New strategies of parties and individual politicians to reach their voters </li></ul><ul><li>Internet has become a major strategy </li></ul>www.chrisaalberts.nl New media and the United States
  4. 4. Internet strategy <ul><li>Internet as a tool since ± 1998 </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 as a tool since ± 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Some advantages for politicians </li></ul><ul><li>Control over media content </li></ul><ul><li>Costs of web sites </li></ul><ul><li>Better image: modern, human, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Options for contact, feedback and mobilization </li></ul>www.chrisaalberts.nl New media and the United States
  5. 5. Internet, the first ten years <ul><li>Main trends </li></ul><ul><li>1. An enormous growth in internet access… </li></ul><ul><li>But many citizens still did not have access </li></ul><ul><li>2. Political activities online became more important </li></ul><ul><li>But they were only carried out by small groups </li></ul><ul><li>3. Internet gave citizens many interactive options… </li></ul><ul><li>But party websites were not interactive at all </li></ul>www.chrisaalberts.nl New media and the United States
  6. 6. Web 2.0 <ul><li>Claims about Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 renewed the internet </li></ul><ul><li>Facts about Web 1.0 have become obsolete </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone has internet access now </li></ul><ul><li>Politics online has become a mass phenomenon </li></ul><ul><li>Politicians have learned how to use the internet </li></ul>www.chrisaalberts.nl New media and the United States
  7. 7. Some examples <ul><li>Obama mobilized millions of people during his election campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Many politicians are present on online social networks such as Facebook, Hyves and MySpace </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter plays an important role in student protests in Tehran against the Iranian government </li></ul><ul><li>Massive protests in the Netherlands were initiated through instant messaging and online networks </li></ul>www.chrisaalberts.nl New media and the United States
  8. 8. The Obama story <ul><li>Obama became a brand: ‘change’ </li></ul><ul><li>Obama created a movement of campaigners </li></ul><ul><li>Online tools were essential to realise this </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentives to become active </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive campaign </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This campaign was the basis of his success </li></ul>www.chrisaalberts.nl New media and the United States
  9. 9. Some numbers <ul><li>750.000.000 dollar donations </li></ul><ul><li>13.000.000 email addresses </li></ul><ul><li>2.900.000 citizens received sms messages </li></ul><ul><li>200.000 local meetings </li></ul><ul><li>35.000 online groups </li></ul>www.chrisaalberts.nl New media and the United States
  10. 10. <ul><li>What are the effects of such a campaign? </li></ul><ul><li>Campaign effects are largely unclear </li></ul><ul><li>Problems identifying ‘effects of policy plans’ and ‘effects of social media’ </li></ul><ul><li>No academic proof </li></ul>www.chrisaalberts.nl New media and the United States
  11. 11. <ul><li>Why would people become active? </li></ul><ul><li>Research in other contexts shows citizens do not become active, just because of the media </li></ul><ul><li>Obama created an extra platform </li></ul><ul><li>But he probably did not make inactive citizens active </li></ul>www.chrisaalberts.nl New media and the United States
  12. 12. <ul><li>Social media made this specific group more active? </li></ul><ul><li>It made these activities visible </li></ul><ul><li>These groups were already easy to mobilise </li></ul><ul><li>In the past, mobilization was less efficient </li></ul>www.chrisaalberts.nl New media and the United States
  13. 13. <ul><li>Did the interactive campaign work? </li></ul><ul><li>There was no interactive campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Some media moments between Obama and fans </li></ul><ul><li>Practically impossible to be interactive with fans </li></ul>www.chrisaalberts.nl New media and the United States
  14. 14. <ul><li>Are these numbers impressive? </li></ul><ul><li>Enthusiasm about numbers is uninformed </li></ul><ul><li>Compare with other political activities </li></ul><ul><li>Numbers tell us something about American political culture, not about new media </li></ul>www.chrisaalberts.nl New media and the United States
  15. 15. Lessons from Obama <ul><li>Social media provide efficient platforms for the mobilization of committed supporters </li></ul><ul><li>These platforms make activities more transparant than before </li></ul><ul><li>These platforms will probably stimulate more online activity than offline activity </li></ul><ul><li>It is unlikely that these platforms will stimulate more political activity in general </li></ul><ul><li>Even committed supporters have limited time </li></ul>www.chrisaalberts.nl New media and the United States