Jarter Jargon

Online Politics: A New Frontier for Tonight’s Debate

Posted on: October 3, 2012

Tonight is the night of the Presidential debate. It’s been a long road for both candidates, and while I particularly don’t follow politics (although I probably should), what is interesting to me is all the nit-picky discrepancies that come out during the election time.

Everyone picks sides, draws a line in the sand, and marks their territory. Politics can be a pretty rough topic to bring up among most crowds although, in this day and age, the debate floor won’t be the only place where each candidate’s campaigns square off. As with each party’s conventions and speeches by numerous people, social media activity spikes dramatically, and I won’t be surprised when the numbers for tonight’s event are calculated.

Interestingly enough, again, are the smallest details that people pull up and make into a big deal. According to Mashable, Obama has four times more LinkedIn followers than Romney, about 42,000 to about 10,000, but wait, there’s more: Obama’s 29 million fans on Facebook compared to Romney’s 8 million, as well as Obama’s 20.4 million Twitter followers compared to Romney’s 1.2 million. People are making quite a deal out of these stats, but Obama has been in the limelight much longer than Romney has so it’s not surprising.

But who the hell cares. Although a simple Google search of “Twitter” turns up some pretty interesting results.

Again, I don’t follow politics, but the pissing contest that amasses during election time is quite honestly hilarious. The debate will be interesting to watch and follow online, though. With such a connected nation (and planet for that matter), the conversation will be, well, epic. Technology has created a real-time debate floor for millions and millions of people. Sure it might be hard to sift through the clutter and shit talking within the online universe, but in all actuality, I’m confident the debate will pump out some very impressive numbers.

So throw your hat in the ring, or sit back and watch. Follow the official #debate hashtag tonight on Twitter.

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