The "New" Media, Technology, and Politics

It's no secret that parts of the internet, like blogs and social networks, have become a way for politicians, more specifically candidates for President, to reach out to and turn on a group of people who in the past may have been more difficult to reach and influence. All together, this fact is very good. The more people involved in the system the better, clearly. User generated content like blogs (like this one) are their own media outlets with views unbiased by mega forces like corporations and political parties.

There have been weird and embarrassing stops along the way that show how these politicians and their advisers don't have a real good grasp on how this whole technomalogicamal-internets thing really works, or at least how it is perceived by the people they are trying to reach. And it goes beyond the internet. In what must have been some sort of triumph for an enterprising Obama adviser, a set of wildly ill-conceived ring tones were recently released by Obama's campaign. The Daily Show mentioned it a while back and Huffingtonpost mocks it this week as well. For those who may not know the set of ring tones are generally snippets of Obama talking about Iraq and Healthcare as well as a few "remixes" of his 2004 convention speech. Oh and they are set to music, you know, the rock and the hip-hop. They really are more hideous than you can imagine. One has Obama repeating the phrase, "What I do oppose is a dumb war..." presumably until you silence the dumb ring tone.

The ring tones and the silly You Tube videos are a reminder that while the "New" media and new technologies may be playing powerful roles in politics and elections, the people pulling the strings behind the scenes can get things horribly wrong and shroud the newness of it all in camp and irrelevance.

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