A new paragidm – Election 2010 and social media

Election 2010, Australian ElectionAustralian Election 2010.

As anyone who follows me on twitter will know I have been actively participating in the #ausvotes commentary about the Australian Election 2010 (Again, apologies to any of my friends on various social media platforms around the world who are not Australians… I’m sure many of my tweets had you confused! Election 2010 has been an interesting time and this post is about my personal perspective on Election 2010 and social media, and a new paradigm that I needed to adopt during the election.

Before I go any further with this post I want to make a disclaimer in relation to Election 2010.

1. I am not a member of ANY political party

2. Comments in this post are my personal point of view.

Contemplating Getting Involved

While I do have an interest in politics until this election I have never been actively engaged in any political commentary or lent my support to any political candidate but have always closely examined the policies of the various political parties involved in the pitch for my vote.

Whenever I look what is going on within the political sphere my thoughts and ultimately my vote are driven by a number of personal values.  Those familiar with this blog will know that they include Passion, Persistence, Patience and Resilience. But my values also include Social Justice, Compassion and as an over-riding position being a Catalyst for positive change in people and systems.

Social Media Community – discussion, access, influence

More so than in any previous election I have been actively involved in a number of social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. This involvement provided an interesting and different perspective to previous elections. In previous elections my involvement and analysis was based around consuming the dominant “traditional” media and its associated analysis by political pundits and to my own investigation of the various parties websites to explore their policy positions etc.

Election 2010 was really different and the major difference was the ability to follow discussion about the election through a twitter hashtag #ausvotes. The really interesting part about engaging in the twitter stream was the diversity of participants from right around Australia (and even a few from other countries). The stream provided points of view from the far left, the far right and every point of view in between.

This diversity of opinion and commentary provided a lot of links out to interesting reading (both within “traditional” media and lots of “new” media) from the various perspectives, and contrary to what a few in the twitter stream may think, I actually looked at and devoured a lot of material from the various perspectives. I think a lot of people felt that it was OK to put out there a perspective on various aspects of the election campaign and opinions on various candidates.

There where some really interesting discussions and debates to be had over a number of issues  within the #ausvotes stream (unfortunately interspersed with some very low brow and uncalled for personal insults… but hey trolls are everywhere aren’t they?) I think the #ausvotes twitter stream actually encouraged a lot of people to engage in the discussion that may not have otherwise been involved in these types of discussions. I also think the enormity and diversity and to some extent anonymity of twitter gave people some space to engage that may not exist within their usual physical social settings.

Ultimately my position about election 2010 and my choice about participating in the #ausvotes twitter stream were guided by my personal values as outlined above. Participating in #ausvotes was a really interesting and more often than not enjoyable part of election 2010 and provided me with a whole new paradigm about social media access, influence and how it can play a role in so many aspects of life.

In the next post I will continue with an exploration of what the new paradigm meant and how it changed my involvement in the campaign, followed by another post on my thoughts about the Election outcome so far….

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