Old Media, New Media, and The Vote Today

I awoke to a message in my Inbox urging me to go to the polls (in Georgia) today. The email contained a handy link, which I clicked-on, to Georgia’s Secretary of State’s Poll Locater tool, just in case I needed not only a reminder, but also directions on where exactly to go vote today.

Funny thing is though, this useful and very timely email blast didn’t come from any local or state office or campaign. Rather, it came from the Obama campaign. (With, of course, an option to donate to the Obama campaign while I was busy preparing to go vote in Georgia today.)

In other forms of political-minded communications about voting today, I got a constant stream of same-ole same ole, processed-sounding pre-recorded messages last night, tailored for answering machines not humans, from various campaigns around my district and state – to my cell phone number. Somebody’s been selling cell phone numbers to local campaigns. (And the numerous folk running for Sheriff of Fulton County sure are buying ’em too.)

I’ll find out later who’s behind that highly annoying campaign technique, as after hearing Dale Cardwell’s signature squeeky voice on one message alone, I immediately hung-up on all these type of calls. They were universally phoney-sounding and utterly uninspiring, just deletable pre-recorded junk voice mail. (And if the dumb-bunnies have our cell numbers to begin with, why don’t they use it just to send a, far less annoying, text message instead?)

In traditional media buys, I saw Jim Martin and Dale Cardwell and Vernon Jones and others on forgettable, expensive ads on local TV news, signaling me it was time to get up and load the dishwasher. In earned media, Fox 5-WAGA had a nice wrap-around package at 10pm on 4 out of 5 of the U.S. Senate Dems’ day of street-level campaigning, with video from each’s face-to-face, hand-shake from the side walk, mostly in the Midtown Atlanta area. Heck, if I wasn’t so lazy, I could have watched ’em all live and not just viewed ’em waving to honking cars on TV.

When it comes down to it though, the only campaign communications I’ve paid the slightest bit of attention to were ones coming from my PERSONAL, PRE-SELECTED, SELF-CONTROLLED SOCIAL NETWORK, Facebook in this case: one from U.S. Senate candidate Rand Knight’s campaign, inviting me to a primary returns party tonight, conveniently located just a block from my house. And a personal Facebook message from another U.S. Senate candidate, Josh Lanier.

I’ll be interested to see if Knight’s youthiness and outreach during his campaign with social media tools, such as Facebook, will inspire a younger demo to the polls today. If Knight ends-up in a runoff, it will be because of his ability to leverage social media tools… not because of anything related to traditional media. Although I must say his traditional signage efforts have been good, least around the Buckhead/Midtown area.

But I no longer put much faith in anything “traditional” with the political process nowadays. I want it only where I have asked it to be: texted to my iPhone, on my Facebook, in my Inbox.

Thanks Obama! And now I’ll go vote, at the place you conveniently reminded me about.


  1. drjay says:

    emails are fine–assuming they don’t end up in the junk box and deleted unopened–but i’m not sure how effective facebooking is as a campaign tool at this point–lots of grannies who vote quite religiously don’t really use their computer that much–i think it would have very limited usefullness at this point–it may have more in the future-but for now–i doubt it can do much more than help raise some money–and maybe get folks out in a low turnout situation like a runoff or special election–don’t assume the world is or wants to be as plugged in as you like to be…

  2. Tea Party says:

    Books are written about blogging as an influence to elections. Don’t assume age is inversely proportional to computer use—Kids buy their folks web-enabled computers to look at the grandkids. Not a stretch to look at blogs.

    As well, the future of web tailored messaging is undisputed. Young people cannot imagine a world without the ‘free’ ‘net.

    In the future, email will be a thing of the past. At least IBM says so, they see email as a ‘time-waster’ as it is now.

    We will tailor of messages based on what we want to see, and adverts both commercial and pol will find us.

  3. SpaceyG says:

    DrJ, yeah, tell that to the Obama campaign. Of course all that “plugged-in” connectivity hasn’t done much for him, so why bother!?

    And why bother with blogs and actually participating in the political process by writing and commenting about it while you’re busy poo-pooing that the world isn’t all that interested in connectivity?

    (I’m going to pretend to believe you didn’t actually write that line “don’t assume the world is or wants to be as plugged in as you like to be…” while online, ‘k? It’ll just be our little secret. Like maybe I can say about you that I read it in a magazine or something old-fashioned like that!)

    I know you’re likely the kind to be MUCH more influenced by totally passive media, such as Big TV ads. Since you of course don’t blog or anything that “plugged-in.” So surely the rest of the world wouldn’t want to be that engaged either!

  4. drjay says:

    you are not getting what i’m saying–my son actually has his own blog


    i am talking about reaching the masses not the fringes–i am certainly among the fringes–but the folks who do not know who there senator is are not likely to be a friend of his on their facebook page–these fringes are quite useful for raising money–and again probably quite a feather in a candidates cap for low turnout events like runoffs–this election cycle is probably a test of the usefullness of “new, social, active media” i agree it is becoming more important–its just not all important–and its actually most important when it breaks though to the msm–like the obama girl or when it forces the msm’s hand like the dan rather nat’l guard letters–i don’t have more than anecdotal evidence–but my next door neighbor votes quite regularly and is fairly well informed but he has never heard of peach pundit and he does not text much–his 16 year old daughter texts alot –but he does not…

  5. SpaceyG says:

    And you’re not getting what I’m saying either… so blogging is definitely a flawed comm tool. (Face-to-face is always the best, of course.) I’m interested not in traditional methods and means of campaigning, voting and voter habits; those are what they are. How useful they will continue to be, that’s up to the future of course.

    Rather, I’m interested in seeing if all the new media forms of comm will engage and motivate a NEW voting block to the polls… here in GA. We shall see. We already saw a surge in (Presidential) primary numbers, a lot attributed to new ways of reaching and inspiring new kinds of voters.

    And you’re right. Maybe not so much here in Georgia, yet, but surely it will only go uphill from here, us always lagging behind and being the lowly of the low.

    I would SOOOO love to stay on this thread all day long as it’s infinitely fascinating to me, and I will learn a lot from many different POVs, but blogging too much makes me retain water and makes for icky puffy feet and ankles, so I need to get up and circulate the limbs. And go vote, of course.

  6. drjay says:

    that is a different discussion and the turnout this year will be interesting–esp. the “big youth vote” that was supposed to be on the horizon after the 26th ammendment was passed and all those 18 year old hippies were going to rise up and through nixon out of office–will this be the year they show up and will new media be part of how they became engaged–that is actually an interesting topic–in college i wrote a paper on the influence of pop culture on presidential politics–so i suppose this would be a similar train of thought–i’d want to see statistics once the election cycle is over that dissect it–b/c i am nerdy like that…

  7. SpaceyG says:

    I don’t know if you’re any nerdier than the rest of us on PP, DrJ. But what IS nerdy is that slanted, weird picture on your half-baked website. (Least it’s slanted on my Firefox browser.) You really need to tend that online property garden of yours. It could be so nice if you paid it just a little more attention.

  8. crazy_bastard says:


    Why is it that you continue to watch and then complain about MSM? I really don’t understand. Everyone here knows you think what you do is so much better than what they do. Please stop, you are starting to sound like Dale’s constant reminder that he was an investigative journalist, and Casey’s reminder he was raised by a single mother.

    We all get that you only want campaign materials delivered to your iPhone, but what is the percentage of the VAP out there that are getting their information solely from social networking sites and text messages? I would assume somewhere around 3-4%?

    So, why should every campaign in this state/nation switch to a medium that is only going to connect to that few in the VAP? Yes, I like the idea of alt.media getting a larger percentage of the population, but is it cost effective? TV ads will still reach more of the VAP and robocalls can be targeted surprisingly well. Just because you do not like them, does not mean that they don’t work.

    How many of your local commission candidates see Facebook as something other than a place where drunk college kids put up ridiculous pictures of themselves that they will regret in two years?

    As for turn out… I am going to guess that the majority of new turnout has not been because of alt.media, but because of the great American tradition of fads. A black man running for POTUS is something that is going to turn out population no matter what, on both sides. It is a fad. Like the iPhone (which I like) it has a strong following now, but in a year it was replaced by the iPhone 3G. Black candidate 2.0 is going to do the same thing 4 years from now… Age is going to be interesting in turnout. Yes, a lot of young people are going to vote, but lets look down the line eight years and see if they are still voting. Will they turn out for the municipals in 09 even?

    Oh, did you happen to list your cell phone number as your home phone number when getting your DL renewed?

    I know plenty of people like you. Early adopters. In a couple of years the technology is going to roll over you like you are trying to roll over the MSM. You’ll be stuck trolling around dismissing alt.media 2.0 and they will all be laughing at you and your silly Facebook friends as nothing more than a pedophiles wet dream.

  9. SpaceyG says:

    You guess; I use. All media. A lot longer and professionally than you, CB son. Much. You need to take a look at who my Facebook friends are sometime, whenever you can take your slimy hands off your small private parts for a second and speak like a human being, rather than just yet another blathering idiot-ape-boy with an iPhone instead of a satisfying, interesting personality, one who has obviously and laughably mistaken himself for a successful Alpha Male just because he can leave sour grape droppings around in public political places.

    Go curl-up to your boy Rogue, you jealous, snappy little wiener dogs. Back to your corner by the fireplace. Maybe if you huddle together for strength in numbers, I’ll actually see you and thus avoid stepping on you.

    Now where did I put that broomstick…

  10. Tea Party says:

    Remember the Top Buggy Whip salesman of all time? Me neither.

    Sure mailers and robo-calls work in getting elections won today, but as the financial types say, ‘past performance is no guarantee of future results.’ The future, is going to be on your ‘device du jour’.

  11. SpaceyG says:

    And one more thing, CB, which you clearly are, before I have to jump on out of here and into another dimension… at what point did I ever say ANY campaign should “switch over” to something they clearly know nothing about? That’s just YOUR warped mind twisting my words into your ridiculous, stinky sausage. Kinda what I get the feeling you do about all day long… twist stuff around. Like maybe the pizza dough at Fellini’s.

  12. Rogue109 says:

    That’s just YOUR warped mind twisting my words into your ridiculous, stinky sausage. Kinda what I get the feeling you do about all day long… twist stuff around. Like maybe the pizza dough at Fellini’s.

    That’s it, babe! Keep the hatred up! We all know you don’t like “sausage” anymore.

  13. SpaceyG says:

    Oh I adore browsing a tres high-end charcuterie as well as the next lady. Long as it’s a very, ummm, well-established, truly authentic one, bien sur.

  14. Rogue109 says:

    Is this what y’all call foreplay?

    No, for SpaceyG that would be discussing New Media (of which she isn’t a part) and Blogs (none of hers which anyone views).

  15. MelGX says:

    “Funny thing is though, this useful and very timely email blast didn’t come from any local or state office or campaign.”

    This means you are on no one’s list except Obama. I got no fewer than 30 emails and text messages with: reminders to vote, lists of endorsed candidates, voter ID updates, polling locations, so on. These came from Democratic PACs, party organizations, social groups and candidates that I have either a) given money to or b) signed up for their mailing list.

    I can understand if you don’t want to participate in the political community, but it would be nice if you didn’t throw rocks in the dark.

  16. Game Fan says:

    re: Tags: Congressional Politics · Democrats · Local Politics · Media · Metro Atlanta · Miscellaneous · Politics · Primaries · Statewide Races

    Shouldn’t there be a rule that you can’t include “miscellaneous” when you just threw up every other category possible? In other words isn’t “miscellaneous” and any other category mutually exclusive?

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