June 2010

Social Media Offers Politicians a New Means to Reach Constituencies

Politicians have been devising ways to communicate with the public and reach out to their constituencies since the inception of the democratic system. And while each form of new media has given legislators more opportunities to communicate their manifold messages, the communiqué has often been filtered through reporters and the discourse has been decidedly one-sided. Social media, unlike any previous innovation, has fundamentally changed the way voters glean information about public officials. Not only do candidates now have unbridled access to the electorate, but social media also offers voters a way to voice their opinions in an open forum.

Traditionally, a candidate needed to take out ad space in order to deliver a message that wasn’t filtered through a journalist, and aside from an op-ed piece, there was little opportunity for conversation or to gauge the public response. With social media, however, there is no intermediary or barriers of communication. Politicians now have the capacity to justify why they voted for a piece of legislation, elected a certain cabinet member or any other decision in their own words—and voters have the chance to respond. (more…)

iPhone 4 and Other Highlights from the WWDC

Apples’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference has traditionally served as a platform to showcase the latest innovations the company has developed, and this year was no different. Steve Jobs, Apple’s Chief Executive, provided the main attraction via his keynote speech, which featured the new iPhone 4 that will be going on sale later this month. As one of Apple’s marquee products, the media, software developers and consumers have anxiously been awaiting an opportunity to see the latest edition of the iPhone in action.

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Blogging Statistics Indicate Adolescents Don’t Dominate Social Media

Although the notion of blogging strikes many people as an activity of an adolescent demographic, a recent report conducted by Sysomos, an accredited research company, proves otherwise. According to the study, more than half of these web-based voices – a whopping 53.3 percent – are between the ages of 21 and 35.

While this statistic may not come as a colossal announcement – in fact, the adolescent demographic (20 years old and younger) came in second at 20.2 percent – the pieces fit together in knowing that the first-place bracket was exposed to the “blog boom” during their adolescence, which started up about seven years ago, according to Sysomos.

Trailing behind in second place by 0.8 percent was the age group 36 to 50 years old at 19.4 percent, and rounding out the poll in last place were those age 51 and up at 7.1 percent.

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Media Sources Utilize Blogs for Easy Leads

The advent of social media and the internet have created a categorical shift in the way people receive, interpret and react to news stories. Traditional media sources are constantly having to change and adapt to remain profitable and relevant in this user-centric atmosphere, where blogs and Twitter are seen as reliable sources of information. As soon as a story breaks, there are hundreds of bloggers and other news sources vying to create their own angle and disseminate the information themselves. And while many of us would assume that the blogosphere is plagiarizing and repackaging stories from conventional reporters, many claim that the roles in this relationship are often reversed.

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Google TV Aims to Fuse Television and the Internet

During the 2000s, Google effectively established itself as an innovator in the tech world, and the company is taking measures to ensure it maintains its status as an innovator in the industry. The company recently announced a new App Store, which will be opening later in the year, and now Google is branching off into a new media: TV.

At the company’s annual developer conference last week, Google executives unveiled Google TV. It’s no secret that people are eschewing commercials and traditional TV viewing in lieu of DVR recordings and online streaming video. In an attempt to capitalize on this trend, Google TV offer consumers a tool for organizing and watching all of their favorite shows in one location.

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