Before you read this article please forget about the political angle this article is being written from. This is not the purposes of why I am posting this article, but rather to focus on the aspects of the debate watching experience that has been changed from by use of social media.
Question: Will the use of social media for discussions about the debate spark greater interest in the upcoming election amongst the American people? Will the ability to interact with other American citizens about the upcoming election inspire more people to go vote? Or will buzz around the debates/election generated from social media stay in the digital space and not get American citizens to the voting booths in November? I think this is a very interesting question to see how strong a correlation is present between social media interaction in the digital space and action by voters (particularly young potential voters who actively use social media) in the physical space on the days leading up to and including election day.
Below are some interesting pieces of information from the article:
11.1 million comments were made on twitter about the debate. Just north of 50 million viewers tuned into TV to watch, which means, that a little less than 20% of debate viewers were tweeting while watching. I realize that individuals may have tweeted multiple times which will skew the percentages, but this is only a rough estimate. This makes the debate 4th highest rating for tweet count for a telecast, only behind this years Grammy’s, VMA’s and Super Bowl, according to Crowdwire.
Twitter announced that the debate was the most tweeted event in US political history. I attribute this to the recent rise of social media to the main stream and the integration of social media in the news. For example, the article mentioned how broadcasters were looking at their twitter feeds for debate reaction. Would you agree that these ratings are based on the current popularity of social media or do you have another take on why this event was so popular?
I believe the 2012 presidential election will see unprecedented levels of interest due to social media. This will stem form the ability for all citizens to express their feelings and thoughts about each candidate in a method that will allow much greater audience reach. Furthermore, the integration of social media, specifically twitter, into the broadcasting of the debates will, in my opinion, attract much larger viewing audiences who actively participate in commenting in real-time. The more interesting question will be if the interest generated through social media about the election will produce record turn outs for voting in November.