The Impact of Social Media On The Australian Political Landscape

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Rubina Carlson, online media consultant for ERCmedia, addressed third-year Bachelor of Media students at the University of Adelaide on Monday 11th April 2011. If you'd like to chat to her more about this, tweet her @RubinaCarlson.

The Impact of Social Media On The Australian Political Landscape

  1. 1. The Impact of Social Media On The Australian Political Landscape Presented by Rubina Carlson Online Media Consultant ERC media
  2. 2. Viral Videos <ul><li>Original OldSpice http://youtu.be/owGykVbfgUE </li></ul><ul><li>YWC OldSpice http://youtu.be/Lspzmj3piew </li></ul><ul><li>Fan-made OldSpice http://youtu.be/oqHP-LtEN7w </li></ul><ul><li>WikiLame http://youtu.be/06MqcSsu_3c </li></ul>ERC media
  3. 3. What Is Social Media? <ul><li>Social media is a category of online media where people are talking, participating, sharing, networking and bookmarking online. </li></ul><ul><li>Place where like-minded individuals can gather, not bound by geographical limitations </li></ul><ul><li>Forum for debate </li></ul>ERC media
  4. 4. Popular Platforms For Politicians <ul><li>Australian politicians use only the most popular of social media sites, namely: </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul>ERC media
  5. 5. Twitter <ul><li>- Microblogging site ( posts of up to 140 characters, hashtags ) </li></ul><ul><li>Posts occur more frequently (compared to FB posts) </li></ul><ul><li>Content may be more trivial </li></ul><ul><li>Why politicians like Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>outlet for their personal voice (e.g. “Just sat down for #qanda) </li></ul><ul><li>ability to disseminate message(s) to many, other than followers </li></ul><ul><li>ability to listen to political chatter, surrounding #qanda #auspol </li></ul>ERC media
  6. 6. Facebook <ul><li>- A social networking site </li></ul><ul><li>- Platform to share news, photos, videos, links </li></ul><ul><li>Why politicians like Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>they try to create a greater sense of community and connection to the person/party/policy </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook offers directed discussion spaces (e.g. comments, discussion boards) </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook allows you to address on one-to-one, one-to-many or many-to-many basis </li></ul>ERC media
  7. 7. YouTube <ul><li>Most popular video sharing site </li></ul><ul><li>Register, then customise your own channel </li></ul><ul><li>Why politicians like YouTube: </li></ul><ul><li>casual way of addressing Australian voting public through video </li></ul><ul><li>platform where the party showcases existing footage </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. TVCs, vox pop, policy announcements, testimonials </li></ul>ERC media
  8. 8. The Risks <ul><li>“ It’s a new form of torture for [politicians].” </li></ul><ul><li>- Michelle Prak, Why Politicians Will Never Embrace Twitter, Prakkypedia </li></ul><ul><li>Opening a two-way communications outlet means that the politician is not in complete control of their message </li></ul><ul><li>May be the victim of a ‘cyber-attack’, trolling behaviour or spamming activities </li></ul>ERC media
  9. 9. Source: Australian MP Tweets, http://mptweets.com.au/what/which-australian-political-parties-post-most-twitter/ ERC media
  10. 10. ALP Using Social Media <ul><li>Generally one-sided conversation (i.e. use social media as another broadcasting outlet) </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatic increase in number of ALP MPs on Twitter since the 2010 election </li></ul><ul><li>Provoke discussion on Facebook when announcing policy </li></ul><ul><li>Use YouTube as a means of engaging the ‘young’ vote </li></ul>ERC media
  11. 11. Julia Gillard’s Official Facebook Page, http://www.facebook.com/#!/juliagillard/posts/200935743273496 ERC media
  12. 12. LNP Using Social Media <ul><li>Generally one-sided conversation (i.e. use social media as another broadcasting outlet) </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter best used by @TurnbullMalcolm, especially during 2010 election </li></ul><ul><li>Turnbull was one of the first to introduce candid tweets, e.g. photos on the election trail </li></ul><ul><li>- Now, he engages his fellow Australians </li></ul>ERC media
  13. 13. Malcolm Turnbull’s Twitter Home Page, http://twitter.com/turnbullmalcolm ERC media
  14. 14. The Greens Using Social Media <ul><li>Early adopters of social media to promote their message and conversation with the electorate </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to engage electorate </li></ul><ul><li>Express their disappointment, grievances and successes </li></ul><ul><li>Comment on any environmental issue </li></ul><ul><li>In contrast, Deputy Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne uses Twitter as an outlet for her personality. </li></ul>ERC media
  15. 15. Christine Milne’s Twitter Home Page, http://twitter.com/senatormilne ERC media
  16. 16. Opportunities For Special Interest Groups <ul><li>Approach political figures in an attempt to persuade them to change their policy </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthen existing membership base, reach new people, potentially recruit new members </li></ul><ul><li>Promote understanding of your cause, special interest to the wider community </li></ul><ul><li>Organise nationwide demonstrations </li></ul><ul><li>Crowdfund, raise $$$$$ </li></ul>ERC media
  17. 17. The Impact of ABC’s QandA <ul><li>Each time QandA publishes ‘best of’ tweets on the show, this lends legitimacy to the platform </li></ul><ul><li>QandA facilitates further discussion online on political issues on a national level </li></ul><ul><li>Journalists contribute to the online discussion </li></ul><ul><li>The conversation ‘peaks’ on Mondays, but continues for the rest of the week </li></ul>ERC media
  18. 18. What Does This Mean For The Future? <ul><li>Increased capacity for open discussion of political matters, especially amongst those who may not have expressed interest before </li></ul><ul><li>Politicians are more accessible, even more citizens holding them accountable </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Politics’ becomes easily digestible </li></ul><ul><li>Room for quicker responses by interest groups or individual Australians </li></ul>ERC media
  19. 19. The Impact of Social Media On The Australian Political Landscape Presented by Rubina Carlson Online Media Consultant ERC media [email_address] http://twitter.com/RubinaCarlson http://www.linkedin.com/in/rubinacarlson

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