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Looking to Past Campaigns; Mobilizing a Generation and Organizing for America

Mobilizing Generation 2.outlines seven keys elements of the “2.0” virtually dependent reality we currently thrive in. Those elements, outline as chapters are blogging, social networking, video and photo sharing, mobile phones, wikis, maps and virtual worlds. To some, these may seem obvious as the term “web 2.0” is really up to how the user chooses to define it. This book refers to the world we now live in, the next phase of the web, being referred to as 2.0 or second edition. We are even hypothesized as to be moving quickly into web 3.0. From my experience in CCT, web 2.0 has been referred to as the ability for users to interact and share personalized data, text or graphics in real time. To some or most, their definition is a mixture of the two. In Mobilizing Generation 2.0, each element (or chapter) is broken down into a series of examples, tips and steps as to how one could use the tool to generate mobilization of youth in a digitally dependent world.

Personally, I was drawn to the mobile phone and virtual world chapters. Mobile phones will definitely be playing a central role in upcoming elections, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts. It’s been used in the past for petitions, event recruitment, and the timeliness of this medium is heavily discussed as in a n example of the Asthma U.K. text-alert campaign that warned asthma suffers about high pollen days, and times to avoid being outdoors to bring along some remedies. When applying information from this chapter, it is clear that (published in 2008) this book does has not yet realized the potential of smartphones. With smartphones we can connect not only through text messaging but through mobile applications, which can be used to store and collect much more information as well as connect individuals through mobile mapping and messages without tapping into text messaging.

When first investigating Mobilizing Generations 2.0, I was a bit skeptical as to how virtual worlds could be used in mobilizing a generation, as they don’t seem very mainstream or have the ability to mobilize people to vote or become active towards a cause. I then learned of examples where media coverage can be taken into the virtual world, connecting and engaging supporters is possible. Maybe not on a large scale population frame of mind, but on a global scale.Users have sold virtual items for charity, but I still don’t personally see how this can translate into a large enough impact into todays economic environment to make a difference.

A more recent piece, Year One of Organizing for America, was written post Obama Campaign and features a wealth of information about the permanent field campaign in the digital age and was written by Ari Melber. It looks at a number of arenas where digital campaigning came into play and how people were mobilized. Organizing For America (OFA), is what Obama’s campaign was referred to. The report focuses on the first year of OFA in 2009. The first area that was looked at was Community and Reform and looked at areas of politics where people could become engaged and support Obama and where they could begin to reform.”Obama’s post-election effort provided a separate, nonpolicy organizing track explicitly focused on fostering community,” as the OFA was more focused on community and indirect contact with supports. The image of engagement was there, but the actual interaction with OFA was less obvious. OFA was thought of as being a non-political, but governmental campaign to support issues directly affecting america and not the elections, although they were a secondary triumph as the majority of issues that were sided with under OFA were democratic. It effecting increased volunteerism and had a clear strategic agenda.

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What +1 Means For You (And Me)

Back in April 2011, Google unveiled what would be its version of “Like” or “Retweet”, in respect to Facebook and Twitter. Recently, I’ve found myself unabashed, stating “I’d plus one that“. Too easily, I fall into these social media/real life crossover effects. In an article from webseoanayltics.com, I discovered what exactly the +1 feature does.

It has effects on click through rates for ads and websites, weighs in on search engine optimization and works as a bookmarking feature (which is much more evident if you are a Google+ user). On Google+, your profile has a +1 tab where you can view everything you have +1’d. Articles you post or posts in general have a +1 for their popularity or a number totalling the number of people who have added a +1 to the post. 

In regards to SEO, “Google already uses data from 3rd party Social Media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr etc) as signals to determine the Search Engine Results. As a result we should expect that the number of +1s of a page will be used as asignal on the future. Nevertheless by definition the +1 button gives more weight to what your friends think as important and as a result we should expect that it will carry more weight when one of your contacts voted for a particular page,” states Vasilis Vryniotis, who wrote the article The New Google +1 Button and the Effects on SEO. He went on to state ‘As we said above the +1 button will allow users recommend and share content with their friends and it will be visible next to the search results. Along with them the logged in users will be able to see if the people that belong to their Social Circle have +1’d any of the pages that appear in SERPs. Currently the Social Circle is calculated based on the data that come from GmailGoogle TalkGoogle ContactsGoogle Reader and Google Buzz. Nevertheless Google says that on the near future they will incorporate information from other 3rd party networks such as Twitter, Flickr etc.”

On Google’s website describing +1, they state, “Sometimes it’s easier to find exactly what you’re looking for when someone you know already found it. Get recommendations for the things that interest you, right when you want them, in your search results”. The main point of this article, published soon after the release of +1, is that the more people that +1 this blog post on Social Ed Culture, the more likely it is to pop up higher on the list of results for a google search related to this article or with words within my “tags”. So please, +1 this article!