Social Media and the 2009 Atlanta Mayoral Race

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Atlanta, GA. 10-22-2009 — Reading the cover story in today’s AJC about social media and the Atlanta  mayoral race is like dealing with an ADD person – it’s wildly unfocused and all over the place. And not the least bit interested in hearing what you have to say. Except when it does. From the AJC:

And, while the 2009 race will be the city’s first in which social media play a major role, even campaign officials admit being uncertain whether they can turn Facebook friends and Twitter followers into voters. Facebook and Twitter accounts for the major candidates include everything from diehard supporters to spies from other campaigns to folks from far away locales with no connection to the campaign.

Grayson Daughters, a social media consultant in Atlanta, said the move to electronic communications in campaigns is so new no one knows what value it brings. Everybody knows they’ve got to do it, though.

“These are very, very powerful tools,” Daughters said. “These are databases they have compiled. Once these people are in your database, you have access to them 24/7.”

Article in full here.

Will social media drive boots to the polls, so to speak, this year? We’ll know more on November 4th…  if we have some, any, exit polling data to give us an idea of what did motivate people to get up off their arses and go vote for a particular candidate in the Atlanta mayoral race of 2009.

Hint, hint pollsters! Help us. We’re dying out here without good, localized data to cite. Hello KSU’s Center for Sustainable Journalism!  Emory? InsiderAdvantage/PollPosition? CNN? AJC? Anyone?

It really would be genuinely super-fantastic to have some genuine data in regards to social media and politics. Some kinda science behind the wildly speculative and hypothetical ya-ya that surround social media use in southern politics right now.

Otherwise we’ll just have to slog through more rambling stories that leave us only scratching our heads in media bewilderment.

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