According to the New Media Institute, new media is “a 21st Century catchall term used to define all that is related to the internet and the interplay between technology, images and sound.” It is new media because it’s always new – it is constantly changing as innovators develop new tools and technologies for people to use to interact with each other. Social media, blogs, and even email are considered new media, even though it is hard to remember a time before any of these things existed. As media evolves and develops, as it will surely continue to do, it will continue to change the way political campaigns are run and organized. As Daniel Kreiss showed in his book, “Taking our Country Back,” email was considered a new and innovative fundraising tool as recently as 2003. Howard Dean’s presidential campaign during that year was the first ever to systematically use email for fundraising, as well as a blog to gather supporters (Kreiss, 3). Now in 2015, email is so standard you can’t imagine a campaign without it. What then, is next for campaign innovation?
Social media has definitely been the next big thing in new media innovations. As Kreiss points out, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign placed heavy emphasis on the use of social networks like Facebook to gather supporters and participants – and before him, Dean did the same thing with early social media outlets like Meetup and Friendster (Kreiss, 8-20). However, much like email is now a very normal tool to use, “older” social media sites like Facebook will soon become standards in the campaign strategies of every candidate, if they aren’t already. But, like the definition of new media says, it’s always changing, and there is always something new that campaigners can utilize to their advantage if they think outside the box. Snapchat, for instance is a relatively new social networking technology with which users can send temporary pictures to their friends via their smartphones. This doesn’t necessarily sound particularly useful to large-scale presidential campaigns, that is, until the even more recent development of SnapCash in 2014. Now, the app allows you to quickly and easily send money through its interface simply by entering your debit card information (Shontell) – and this could potentially be very useful to campaigns in the future as a fundraising tool that can reach over 100 million users for small monetary donations. That can add up very quickly, as we saw from Obama’s 2008 fundraising success. Will Snapchat be the next big tool in campaigning? Who knows…As Kreiss showed us, with the right team of innovative minds and the right technology at their fingertips, anything is possible.
Bailey, Bailey, and Barbara Eber-Schmid. “WHAT IS NEW MEDIA?” WHAT IS NEW MEDIA? Web. 20 Feb.
Kreiss, Daniel. Taking Our Country Back The Crafting of Networked Politics from Howard Dean to Barack
Obama. 2012. Print.
Shontell, Alyson. “Snapchat Just Launched A Dead-Simple Way To Send Your Friends Money.” Business
Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 17 Nov. 2014. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.