Where social media fails

By Anthony De Rosa
October 19, 2012

I’ve been thinking a lot about my use of social media and how helpful it is in informing the people who consume it. This election season has particularly made me think more critically about how sometimes the short, context-less text updates can lead to a poorly informed public. I’m certainly not the first person to realize this, as Craig Kanalley recently wrote in detail. People increasingly latch on to the latest minutiae of the campaign, the Big Bird, the binders, the memes, which have little relevance to the actual issues that matter: employment, foreign policy, the expanding income gap, so on and so forth. Here’s what we plan to do to improve the signal to noise ratio.

  • Focus my updates on more short, rapid-fire networks like Twitter on doing fact checks, linking to substantive articles about issues related to how the candidates will govern: economy, taxes, social issues, etc.
  • Find flaws in the arguments of both candidates with detailed pieces that point out where they have either been too opaque or flat out lied.
  • Engage with people all over the political spectrum to start a dialogue and understand what they care about. It is “social media” after all and I see many people who are supposed “social media editors” who never engage their readers.
  • Spend more time live blogging, which allows for longer posts and rich media

The Elections 2012 live blog format gives us the room to provide context that you may not be getting from Twitter and Facebook. I’ve put together a number of lists that might also be helpful, which I try to update as much as possible:

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