The presidential candidates (at least some of them) are using social networking technologies in order to connect with potential voters. Candidates have MySpace spaces, Facebook pages, Flickr feeds, and blogs. They are finding social networking to be a good way to get their message out and hear from those who agree (and those who don’t) with their political positions. In the 2004 election presidential candidates honed in on how to use the web as a campaign tool. For the 2008 election the candidates are figuring out how to use social networking.
The web site techPresident has the full details on the candidate’s use of web 2.0 technologies in campaigning. The site provides a fascinating look at how social networking is changing and enhancing the political process. techPresident helps to demonstrate that social networking can be used positively to supply information, connect with others, and provide learning and thinking opportunities.
If the presidential candidates are using social networking to get their word out, it seems hard to believe that federal and state governments don’t see that positive aspects of these technologies exist. As you work to educate your community about social networking and how it can enhance and improve learning by teens, don’t forget to point out how politicians are already using the technologies. If online social networking is legislated so that these technologies are not available in schools and public libraries, teens will lose some opportunities to learn about the political process and to discuss that process with peers, teachers, and librarians.