Twitter Vote Report Case Study
Posted by Allison Fine on July 8, 2009
Our friends at Center for Social Media at American University, specifically Nina Keim and Jessica Clark, have written case studies on Twitter Vote Report and Inauguration Report.
I wasn’t involved in Inauguration Report, will let Andy Carvin et. al. speak to that one, but certainly know Twitter Vote Report well! Here are the key lessons learned from the report:
1. National political and media organizations now recognize the value of social media tools, and are willing to contribute both financial support and staff time to related projects. This may change, however, as social media practices become more common within such institutions.
2. Volunteer collaboration and resource acquisition is much quicker and less cumbersome in the Web 2.0 environment, but tensions between organizations and individuals still need to be actively managed. Transparent online planning processes and participatory planning tools help to mitigate disagreements and keep volunteers up to speed on quickly evolving projects.
3. A finite, high-stakes event such as a national election can focus volunteer energies, drive participation, and help to drum up media coverage. Participation can drop off rapidly after the event, however; as a result, volunteers and organizational partners need to be recruited while the iron is hot for archiving, assessing and repurposing such projects.
4. With crowdsourced media projects, it is important to capture participants where they are already actively sharing information. Twitter has proven to be a viable platform for distributed reporting, viral campaigns and mobile engagement. Supplementary platforms such as YouTube and Flickr extend and deepen multiplatform coverage.
5. Especially for all-volunteer endeavors, building on previous successes and technical infrastructure allows organizers and volunteers to advance related projects more quickly and efficiently.
The most exciting part about Twitter Vote Report is that it is just getting started. The infrastructure was used by NPR for the Inauguration, there was a Vote Report India and recent efforts to map the tweets from Iran using the database and visualization software.
Those efforts and this case study speak to the growing capacity that we are building to learn from and build on previous social media efforts. Onward!
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