Posts Tagged ‘ Election 2010 ’

Did news media use social media enough on election night?

Last week I posted a video of Iowa State students describing how they followed Election 2010.  I was surprised by the fairly even mix of people saying they used new media vs. traditional media to follow the results.

Graph showing the analysis of tweets by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism

This left me thinking. Did the news media use social media enough? Were fewer people following online because they just didn’t think there would be reliable results?

I turned to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism to find some analysis, which worked with Crimson Hexagon to analyze what was being said on Twitter.

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How did Iowa State students follow election 2010?

I have been involved in two elections as a journalist: the 2008 presidential election and the 2010 midterm election. Each provided a very different experience for me. In 2008, I was a new designer and worked during the day to layout the entertainment and opinion sections. In 2010 and I worked about 12 hours straight keeping the website updated with fresh content and the latest results.

Just two years created a lot of new ways to follow the elections. Twitter wasn’t popular in 2008 and Facebook fan pages hadn’t taken off.

So, did the increase in technology matter? How did college students follow the election and its results, if at all?

Video shot, edited and produced by: Brian Smith, Tyler Kingkade and Cicely Gordon.

A new approach to crowdsourcing the story

Yesterday I got an interesting tweet from @NBCElectionDay telling me that I was a piece of art and had been added to an Election Day mosaic.

Of course, a tweet like that got get my attention. But, it was the information behind the tweet that really intrigued me. What was this mosaic and what did I have to do with it?

NBCElectionDay Election Day MosaicWell, as it turns out, there is a company called Hashtag Art that allows users to submit an image, designate a Twitter hashtag and it will capture people’s Twitter avatars to create a mosaic, complete with tweets containing the hashtag.

NBC News’ use of this system is really cool. What better way to discuss the election than capturing what more than 4,000 everyday Americans are saying in a really cool format?

One major downfall is that they are still adding tweets to the mosaic. Based on the account’s Twitter stream, the majority of the avatars have been added in the days after the election. While this does create a cool, lasting depiction of the election, I think it could be even more useful in real time.