Voter-Generated Content

From the outside looking in, voter-generated content seems like another buzzword like “user-generated content” that simply implies that companies/organizations/politicians and their respective publics are more intertwined than ever before. The ramifications on politics, however, go a little deeper. Politicians once had control over just about every message that was released to the public. This allowed their teams to carefully craft the message and the brand of the politician. But with the advent of social networking outlets like MySpace and YouTube and the increase interest in all things personalized, politicians began to see a shift in the way their brand was received and perceived. Voters began to evoke their powerful messages like never before and began to shape public opinion about politicians without being directly involved with the campaigns.

 

Example #1

 

 

Source: YouTube

Title: “I got a crush on Obama”

Creator: Barely Political

 

Hate it or love, this video has created a rage on YouTube. Way before I received this assignment, I stumble upon this funny video. With 8,801,188 viewers, I quickly found out I was not the only one who saw this 3 minute video and song. The video was created by Barely Political, whose web site hosts and creates many political inspired videos including “Hillary Man” and “McCain Mama.” Although these videos boast that they have little to no political merit, the idea is to get the audience talking. I guess the creators figure that if the audience found these videos, they can figure the facts out for themselves.

 

Example #2

Don't Be A Nader Hater!!, RALPH NADER 2008 picture

 

Source: Zazzle

Title: “Don’t be a Nader Hater”

Creator: mailman 27027

 

In a country where bipartisan views usually overshadow all other viewpoints, supporters of other views and candidates have turned to t-shirts and other customizable items to show their support of the underdog. The concept is simple, yet powerful. And although many people support a candidate that will eventually lose; everyone will know where that person’s loyalty lies.

Zazzle, a web-based company, has created a platform where anyone can express themselves on various customizable items. According to its web site: “Zazzle is the only on-demand retail platform for consumers and major brands, offering billions of retail quality, one-of-a-kind products shipped within 24 hours.”

Example #3

 

 

Source: Facebook

Title: “1,000,000 Strong Against John McCain”

Creator: Dave Williamson of UGA and Eric Sieck of Montclair

 

Do a simple search on Facebook of John McCain and you will find several groups like this one on the first page. This group, although quite short of the 1,000,000 members, has roughly 6,000 contributing members. The group was created by a couple of students in Atlanta who are avidly Democratic. The group posts pictures and articles that show McCain in a not so pleasant light. Is this group objective? No. Does this group have an impact?  Yes! Groups represent public opinion and should be regarded as a viable means of tracking supportive or disgruntled members of society.

 

Example #4

 

 

 

Source: Google Video

Title: “Hillary Clinton Raps: Hard Out Here For A Chick”

Creator: Rachel Drummond

 

This is a not so funny rap done by Rachel Drummond. This video, along with the other videos done by Drummond, have not garnered much buzz on the web, but that doesn’t mean they do not have any impact.

 

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