Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Social Media Election for Canada

This election will be tough on me. More to the point, it will seriously test my ability to unplug or tune out for more than a passing moment. Why? Because this will be our first real social media election.

You see, I spent a fair bit of time yesterday and today on line or staring at my ipod, getting the latest from parties, journalists, bloggers and their respective followers. I probably spent more time than I should have (or at least that was the suggestion made to me) keeping up to date and real time. This was the not the case for me in 2008.

Of course we had Facebook, Twitter, BlackBerry's, blogs and the like the last time around. However, since 2008 these tools and others have grown in prominence becoming for many a crucial source of real time information, messaging, analysis and spin.

So with that in mind I have some questions for you, the reader:

- How will you avail of social media during this campaign?

- How will it compare with your use of more conventional (perhaps traditional is a better word) sources of information?

- Will you use it to simply inform yourself, or will you use it for advocacy and to raise profile for the issues that matter to you?

Finally, to the right of this post you will see the list of some people/blogs I follow. I would welcome your suggestions for others who I should read and profile here on this blog.



  1. I am excited! This will be my first election actively using Twitter to gather information. It is wonderful to have information right at your fingertips in realtime, but as I am quickly learning it's also a little overwhelming.

    It will be interesting to see on the evening of May 2 how social media plays into everything. I know CBC covered it a bit in the last election. But this time around it will likely be THE issue, and not a side issue.

    I see you found the Twitter button. Looks great! :-)


  2. I started this blog in the late summer of 2009, when the Liberals publicly declared that they would no longer support the government. For me, that decision and the resulting election speculation it prompted encouraged me to jump into the social media world to (a) learn and (b) promote engagement on the issues.

    My view is that social media will have a big impact on this election. Parties will use it to get their views out, to instantly fact check and refute, to reach targeted groups. Journalists will be able to provide real-time election coverage, and bloggers can access more information more quickly. It should be fun!

  3. I am in corporate public relations and advertising, so I know the benefits of social media. it does make it more exciting, more personable and you feel accountable, that your opinion matters, in return for that kind of intimacy we get better response, I believe it *could* happen with the election too, it's a little tricky because the election theme is not going to go away, and will discourage people somewhat, all parties need to have strong strategy to turn the tide on their favour.

    With that said I am already on brain overload, will have to dump a few twitter friends that take much space with nothing new or positive to say, but it is great that we have that prerogative, to surround ourselves with smart people that share your same interests.

    Cheers, and let's take this with a grain of salt and a shot of tequila becuase it is going to be one bumpy ride but also fun!

  4. Thanks for the comment, Claudia. I can relate to the overload feeling, particularly when the weekend is over and you have to squeeze work in! I was mentioning earlier today that it seems like you leave your desk and when a short while later you have 100+ new tweets.

    I like your comment about having the choice to inform ourselves today from a variety of sources. I hope more and more people realize that the information they need to make an informed choice, to vote, is available to them.

    BTW - hopefully I am not one of the twitter friends you are going to have to dump!

  5. Further to the post: Blog suggestions, please. Either blogs you recommend reading (all political stripes welcome), or topics which you feel should be discussed. Let's keep up the chatter!

  6. Ha, don't worry you aren't one of them.

    I have always voted Liberal until 2008, I voted for Harper, I still like that the guy even though sometimes I want to give him a slap behind the head and say snap out of it.

    I was feeling a bit Partisan lately and that is why I made the dump, is not in me to be that rude or cynical.

    I do think it has its cons and pros to be involved this way, hopefully most people does have a level head and can see it for what it is, and gets informed.

  7. One pro is obviously the opportunity to stay informed and to get the perspective of a wide variety of people. The con for me is that it is easy to get sucked in, lose time and find yourself ostensibly overwhelmed.

  8. A friend also noted how social media played a part and forever will play apart not only in Canadian elections, but as well as the world on social media being a really viable campaign tool.

  9. I think facebook really nailed social media, everyone is in there nowadays!


Have a comment?

Canadian Blogosphere