A few weeks ago I wrote about TechPresident a blog that keeps track of how presidential candidates are using social networking – MySpace, Flickr, YouTube, etc. – as a part of their campaigns. Today, The New York Times reports on the new MySpace section called Impact. The section provides links directly to the MySpace pages of presidential candidates, as well as links to videos related to the presidential election, news about the election, and more.

This is one more instance of social networking playing an important role in the lives of politicians and in politics. It’s another example of why MySpace and other social networking sites need to be available to teens in schools and libraries. Think of all of the possible classroom, library, and afterschool activities that teachers and librarians could initiate using MySpace Impact and other politically-based social networking tools. These social networking sites help to make the political process meaningful to teens.

Consider talking with teens about how much technology has changed and grown since the last presidential election. In 2004 the world was talking about how Howard Dean used the web and blogs to gain support for his candidacy. Today we are talking about a much more vibrant set of tools and technologies that are used to support political hopes and ambitions.

Don’t forget to make sure your colleagues, administrators, peers, and community members know how important social networking is in the race for the next president. Highlight how these sites can be used to educate teens about the importance of voting and our political process. Use these tools to show why DOPA Jr. should not be passed in Congress and why state versions of this legislation should not become law.

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.

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