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Voter-Generated Content

So this next week will be about voter-generated content. I think it should be a fun class. You may remember the term from my book; Andrew Rasiej coined it and it’s really changing this election. Check out this piece I did for the Huffington Post earlier this year.

One other example worth checking out is the 10Questions experiment, as well as the john.he.is video and the LOLcats site mentioned here. One other creative example: Want to know who the various superdelegates are? Use the superdelegates.org wiki.

Your blog challenge for the week: Find four examples of voter-generated content online and blog about what they mean. The only rule: They can’t all come from the same site. For instance, you can only use one YouTube video or only use one t-shirt from Zazzle. And none of them can be the will.i.am video. Everyone has seen that one.

We’ll go over everyone’s choices in class. Where to start? Well dig around on Facebook, MySpace, Zazzle, and the sites that I keep telling you to read: e.politics, TechPresident, and the like. This is going to force you to explore some and work at finding examples. There’s a ton out there. I want you to go find it.


First Class Details

I think this is going to be an exciting semester—thanks for coming along for the ride. I’m excited about this new class and the opportunities to explore this topic in such depth.

A few assorted notes:

* Don’t worry about buying and setting up a domain name. That’s text I meant to take out of the syllabus.

* Please friend me on Facebook before our next class—if you don’t have a Facebook account, you’ll have to set one up. We’ll be looking at campaign activity on that site over the coming weeks so you’ll need to be able to explore it.

* Make sure to email me the address of the blog that you set up. I’ll want to start following along and add you to the class blogroll to the right. Also if there’s an email other than your Georgetown email that you’d like me to use, tell me that sooner rather than later.

* Thank you to everyone who voted—the voting wasn’t all that close so our random make-up class will be held Friday, June 13th. That means that, after not meeting for the next two weeks, we’ll catch up on schedule very quickly with three classes in eight days. I understand that a couple of you expressed concern that a Friday meeting conflicts with the Jewish Sabbath and I understand that and so will tape the class as a podcast for you to listen to over the weekend. It will not count towards your two absences as long as you email me ahead of time.

* To accomodate the schedule of our first guest speaker, Michael Silberman, I’m going to switch the Week 4 and Week 5 class topics. We’ll cover grassroots organizing on the 16th and voter-generated content on the 23rd.

Thus all that means there’s a lot of reading to complete by Monday, June 16th. You’ll need to read The Last Campaign, Boys on the Bus, The First Campaign, and Mousepads, Shoeleather, and Hope all by Monday the 16th. Please make sure to space this out over the next three weeks so you can get it done.

The plus side, of course, is that the reading drops off very quickly after that—there are only two other books the last six weeks of class. Sorry for the front leading, but as I said in class, there’s no way to do this other than complete immersion.

So just to clarify what you owe me for our next class meeting June 9th: one blog entry, a couple of del.icio.us links, The Boys on the Bus, and The Last Campaign. For that first blog entry, focus on what differences you see from the press coverage of the 1948 campaign and the 1972 campaign: What’s different about the way the press approach the campaign? What’s different about the way the candidates approach the campaign? We’ll spend that class going over campaign coverage in the traditional media and blogging, looking at what makes a good blog, and then you’ll have another entry and round of del.icio.us links due that week on my book, The First Campaign.

[Logistic note: Normally I’ll have this blog post up on Tuesdays rather than Thursdays, but I waited until people had a chance to vote on our make-up class.]

Please email me if you have any questions or outstanding concerns.

Hello Class!

Welcome to Georgetown’s Summer 2008 digital campaigning class, MPPR 855. Stay tuned here for lots more information over the course of the semester.