Posted by: lmbshepard | October 7, 2011

The revolution may need more bandwidth

A couple of interesting developments have happened as I finished my reading of Convergence Culture.

The first being that Facebook has formed a Political Action Committee .  The Hill quoted a Facebook spokesperson  on 9/26/11 as saying, “FB PAC will give our employees a way to make their voice heard in the political process by supporting candidates who share our goals of promoting the value of innovation to our economy while giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. ”  I don’t begrudge Facebook’s right to create a PAC and participate in the political process but it makes me wonder with all the discussion about how Facebook handles personal information and how they leverage that information for profit it makes me curious what kind of candidates and causes Facebook will champion.

The second development of note was the announcement on Mashable about YouTube’s new channel that is dedicated to politics. According to Mashable “the channel will feature political campaign ads, parodies, speeches and a variety of relevant clips.”  This got me thinking  about Jenkins and what he wrote regarding  “the current diversification of communication channels is politically important because it expands the range of voices that can be heard: though some voices command greater prominence than others, no one speaks with unquestioned authority.” He goes on to write, “… we should anticipate that digital democracy will be decentralized, unevenly dispersed, profoundly contradictory, and slow to emerge.”   I am interested in how YouTube’s centralization of political content changes the way we look for it and will it change how we digest it?  Will we go to YouTube as our new default or will we seek other voices and other sources?   Will the “whole world be watching” on YouTube?

It will be interesting to watch in 2012 to see if not only do candidates build their base on the internet but will they win elections on it too?


  1. I’m also very curious about the impact of the web on winning or losing elections in this cycle. I also LOVED your title, “The revolution will need more band-width.” It surely will.

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