The concern in this argumentative paper is widely been investigated by researchers who want to show how the internet has been used in elections. Facebook and YouTube are the common social networking website tools used by most presidential candidates as a means of communication between voters and constituents, events organization, donation collection, and community fostering. This paper is going to examine the role played by visuals designs and social networks during the campaign period in 2008 where Barack Obama was elected as the president of the United States of America. Political marketing in presidential U.S. campaigns has used the internet widely and proficiently (Scott 11-12).
The democratic U.S. government uses informed discourse as its central of focus as they have posited that the argument and rhetoric knowledge that is informed leads to the rational decision making process practiced by leaders. Social network sites (SNS) will continue to be important in the exercise of deliberate democracy due to the fact that it allows people to vote for those leaders who are ready to work with the people in order to deliver. Virtually all the presidential candidates extensively used the internet as leading technological innovators in information and communication. Obama used the SNS which helped users in the on-going interactions that were two-way which encouraged users to form online coteries that were politically based among them; micro-payments were facilitated in contributions made during the campaigning period; and personalized environments were given support with the aim of engendering a stronger participation and ownership sense. Candidates in competitive races ensured that they updated their profiles on Facebook, which interestingly did reflect to their share of final vote through their correlated support systems (Scott 11-12).
The journal articles that were used to relay the message of social network use by politicians all gave different views as to how the sites were useful. Most of them are in agreement that they gave power to Obama’s campaigns and in the event enabled him win the presidential elections that were so rigorous and challenging. The risk of using technological factors in their political arena has bore positive results and thus the future generation will use Facebook and YouTube in their campaigns and other public events and occasions that needed to include the entire nation. Many authors were in agreement that Obama successfully employed the tools of social network in a positive and consistent manner that attracted many voters.
In this research, the methodology that worked best was the use of questionnaires especially since the source of information was the members of public. They would give their reasons as to how they saw it best to choose Obama and not McCain and what media facilitated their decision making process. The questionnaires were well answered and received to the point that some of those willing to contribute missed the questionnaires. The insufficient resources forced the researchers to advocate for interviews where individuals would be alone in rooms so as to promote confidentiality of information given. Surveys were also taken from different States, which gave reasonable results. Video recordings were applied in this research since they helped in gathering past data concerning the whole voting process and campaign strategies. The information obtained was useful in compiling literature to be used in future by other people aspiring to follow Obama’s strategies (Thornton 1-2).
Thornton says that Obama’s grasp for new media power was helpful since it was able to fuel his victory through the social networks. By using Facebook and YouTube during his campaign, he shows the Americans that he is going to be a president for all, and not just for those political supporters on his e-mail list (Thornton 1-2). Use of the new media has been relevant on how politicians conduct themselves around their campaign periods and build communities hence; the use of social networks has been a tool that contributed greatly to Obama’s victory especially since grassroots fundraising were made possible, stemmed from his own experience in the primary post in opposition to Hillary Clinton. They created customized profiles on those sites that were more targeted like AsianAve.com, BlackPlanet.com, and MiGente.com (Abroms et al., 416-418).
YouTube.com is known for its ability to exchange video and view them on websites from anywhere in a fashion that is asynchrony. Obama used this media so as to connect with the Americans and gather the potential votes from the public. He spoke to the viewers concerning his reasons of wanting to be their leader and thus intended to persuade the public and win their votes, which he did without much difficulty. This media is unique, new and flexible thus, offers a unique opportunity for political candidates to examine its birth and growth as a new interaction tool that is most ideal for the young people. He was able to invite reactions unreservedly to the contributions made by the general public, which is vital since they are the ones who will determine the leader they want in government (Duman & Locher 193-195).
His website and campaign posters disseminated independently and reinforced his brand by using his “progress” and “hope” as slogans plus “Yes We Can” and “Nuestra Voz.” By using the social networks, Obama was voted by majority of the Americans because he elicited the right kind of feelings (Seidman 4-5).
In essence, Facebook and YouTube contributed greatly to Obama’s win into White House. He was able to reach all the people and did not discriminate of age, gender, and race. Embracing new technologies should be encouraged by all candidates aspiring to be future leaders mostly because they will give focus to all citizens without concentrating on one particular group only. They will also be encouraging communities to interact with each other, which will strengthen their economic ties and hence build a strong nation that accommodates all their needs.
Abroms, L., & Lefebvre, C. Obama’s Wired Campaign: Lessons for Public Health Communication. Journal of Health Communication, Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group. 2009 416-418.
Duman, S., & Locher, M. “So let’s talk. Let’s start a dialog.” 193-195.
Scott, R., Ravi, V., & Medina, R. Off the wall political discourse: Facebook use in the 2008 U.S.
Presidential election. Information of Polity. Honolulu. 2010 11-12.
Seidman, Steven. Barack Obama’s 2008 Campaign for the U.S. Presidency and Visual Design.
Journal of Visual Literacy, Vol. 29 (1) 2010 4-5.
Thornton, Lee. New Media and The Man. American Journalism Review. 2008 1-2.