Week 2 Notes – Tu

Posted on 3 April 2007. Filed under: Class Notes |

In-class: What makes a blog a blog?

Lab: Post first seed to Newsvine. Discuss tags. Draft column placeholder.

Guest speakers:  Todd Bishop, Seattle P-I.

Assignment: In comments on this blog post, start talking about what we might do together as a class re the 2008 presidential campaign. We’ll resume this discussion in class on Thursday.

Reading: Post reading reflection to wordpress blog by 8am Tuesday.


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13 Responses to “Week 2 Notes – Tu”

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Just a thought… maybe we should poll students at the UW and plot who they will vote for in the 2008 election. This could be done weekly to make a nice graph! :o)

We could even include such categories as 1.) What election? 2.) Who’s running? 3.) Whoever my parents vote for… and so on.

I think Colleen has a good idea, because the internet has become more of an interactive community, it would be interesting to go out into the real community to see how the internet will change how people will vote. Will they visit candidates blogs/websites etc. or will they rely on newspapers?

The previous idea(s) were good. It would be interesting to get the rest of UW involved. If it’s strictly for the class each group could have the chance to blog positively about each candidate and negatively, forcing us to see all sides of the candidates issues.

I like Lisa’s idea about getting involved with each candidate by participating with each candidate’s website since a candidate’s website is becoming more integral to their candidacy. Also, we could maybe make a site that subscribes to each of their RSS feeds so that people can watch the site to follow each candidate’s blog. We could also follow the updates to their website to see what role the internet will play during the presidential race.

I like Colleen’s idea of creating a poll that we could glean information from, but I also think it would be interesting as a class to expand on that idea and create a web site that is focused on how the UW population feels towards the election and the most prominent issues of each candidate. For example, on the web site we could, as a class, post the positions of each candidate and then pose questions to UW students on why or why not they agree with those positions and why. We could just do polls, but I think it would be more eye opening and beneficial if students could actually leave comments and their own opinions, thus creating a dialogue.

I think Ashley’s idea about tracking issues as well as candidates is a good one. I feel also that we should make an effort to include 3rd party (Green, Libertarian, etc.)candidates as well. Most of you are probably aware already, but Pew Center’s website for surveys and journalism is amazing and would be a good reference point. http://people-press.org/

I really like the idea of tracking how people’s opinions are formed about the candidates.

I also think it might be interesting to take a focus group-like analysis and track certain voters (generally people who are on the fence about who they’re voting for in the primaries, but also in the general election) about who they like and dislike and see if it changes on a weekly basis. More importantly, we would want to know how their feelings develop and evolve, and if and how the media, including the new media on the candidates’ websites, shaped their opinions.

Other questions to explore with the community might include questions like, “Does the Vice Presidential candidate make a difference in the way you vote?” “If you could change one thing about any candidate, who would you pick and why?”

Perhaps we could create a website which would link to articles about the 2008 election. This will allow a viewer to go to one place to find all of the 2008 Presidential Election news. We can make links by candidate, issue, opinion articles, announcements, ect. This will allow us to see what kind of artilces are being written about the election and the candidates.

I made the mistake of replying late and all my ideas were taken! just kidding…but I think it would be very interesting to do a simple poll/survey kind of deal by having students at UW look at the candidate blogs for roughly a week ro two and based on their experience with the blogs, (ie, navigation, information, etc) who would they vote for? i realize that this may be hard sinec most people are biased towards one candidate or the other…but none the less would be interesting!

I like the poll idea but I’d like to know how it would be broken up for our groups of 3 or 4. It would be interesting to see if opinions change that much (if at all) over the quarter . I liked Kathy’s idea about following voting technology, laws and systems, but I’m not sure how everyone else feels about it. Regardless of party affiliation and who you ultimately vote for, the assurance that your vote was accurately recorded and not tampered with is critical. A lot of people seem to dismiss accusations of voter fraud in the last two elections as paranoid conspiracy theories but there are some pretty interesting articles about it.

Our group talked about a website which would incorperate a poll graphing student’s vote at the beginning of the poll and as it changed over the course of the quarter. The website will feature “seeds” of articles about anything to do with the election, issues, candidates, opinions, ect. These seeds will be organized by links, so all articles about candidate “X” will be under their main page. The idea is to let visitors find all the information about the election at one website.

Our Groups 2008 Election Project:

We would like to go to the department heads and advisers of the University to send out emails to their students forwarding them to a website for our survey. On that website we would like to include a poll to survey student opinions, links to the candidates official websites and blogs, feeds/seeds as “week in review” stories, RSS feeds linked to the site to encourage candidate “surfing.” After a month we will email the participants about reevaluating their opinions and resubmitting to an updated poll. We would also like to include an additional poll on participants political affiliations (liberal, conservative etc.).

Our group essentially talked about doing a survey similar to what Katie mentioned above, focusing on the actual issues and platforms of the candidates, rather than simply asking students who they would vote for. However, we also wanted to focus on race and gender as an issue in the 2008 presidential election because this is the first election that we could potentially have an African American man as president, or a woman as president. Our group entertained the idea of creating a survey to find out how students and faculty felt towards this possibility and how the willingness to vote for someone other than a caucasian male has changed in the past forty years. We also thought it would be beneficial to have an open posting on the web site we create, so that visitors can engage in a ‘conversation’ and discuss the possibilities for 2008.

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