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Teaching Through the 2012 Federal Election: More Resources

posted: 8.21.12 by archived

In my last post, I shared some resources that might help structure discussions and assignments around the upcoming federal election.

Today, I want to add some excellent resources that I missed.

One of the most interesting sites centering on the election is the Twitter Political Index. This will be the first election in which Twitter will play a central role, and this index will be “a daily measurement of Twitter users’ feelings toward the candidates as expressed in nearly two million Tweets each week.” For more about the index, check out these articles in Wired and the  Guardian. Some commentators are calling this the “Twitter Election.” I believe  it would be interesting not only to track arguments and sentiments on Twitter, but to discuss and debate the virtues and drawbacks of the medium and make an effort to actually track impact, when and where possible.

While this might be the Twitter election, it also feels like the infographic election or the meme election — every day I see dozens of new graphics, memes, remix videos, and other viral media.  Visual Loop is collecting election infographics through a dedicated Pinterest page. Obama has an interesting Dashboard app, which has been evaluated by the Huffington Post. Both Obama and Romney have their own Tumblrs, and then there are hundreds of other Romney- or Obama-related Tumblrs, gathering content that ranges from the useful to the absurd.

Commentators have given the clear advantage to the Obama campaign’s social-media strategy thus far. But there are also excellent articles from the Wall Street Journal’s Andy Kessler and others, focusing not just on who is “winning,” but on what impact social media can and should have on the election. An excellent piece by Jonathan Chavez, presented at Trinity College’s Policy Institute in May, serves as an extended analysis of social media failures using the format of a PowerPoint presentation. I think it is an excellent example for the format of an “essay” our students might create.

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Categories: Jay Dolmage, Uncategorized
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