Social Media for Voter Education – Wednesday July 29 – 7pm

Come join an evening brainstorming session with California Secretary of State Debra Bowen on the use of social media in voter education. Debra Bowen has long been a leader in open government, voting system integrity, technology policy and more. Increasingly, citizens are using social media tools to share information and organize in many aspects of life. How can these tools be used to help with voter education? The Secretary of State will join Bay Area social media mavens and interested citizens in brainstorming on this promising topic.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen

Secretary of State Debra Bowen

The event will be facilitated by Jerry Michalski an experienced facilitator and “guide to the relationship economy”, helping corporations, startups, non-profits and conferences build better collaboration and authentic relationships.

The event is being held on Wednesday, July 29 at 7pm. The location is
CitizenSpace, 425 Second Street in San Francisco.

To RSVP, go to: Facebook RSVP

Social Media for Voter Education – Summary

On Wednesday night, at CitizenSpace in San Francisco, Secretary of State Debra Bowen engaged in a brainstorming conversation about the use of social media for voter education. Topics include: how to provide voters with critical information about candidates and ballot initiatives, how to crowdsource ballot explanations, how to increase transparency in the election process.

There is an excellent writeup from JD Lasica, and a photo set on Flicker.

Session format

Preparation
Contribute your thoughts ahead of time on this site (use the form on the right to contribute). Or tweet your thoughts, or blog and tweet the link with the #socialvoter tag.

Agenda
45 minutes – Feed the Wall and Feed the Participants. Get some nosh and write ideas on sticky notes on the wall

5 minutes – Introduction with Debra Bowen

60 minutes – Open moderated discussion

10 minutes – Debra Bowen response

30 minutes – Debra Bowen and group – how can we citizens help make these ideas real?

Social Network for Voter Education

Debra Bowen tweeted the other day about the use of social media for voter education. Here’s one idea about what to do. Thing is, people get voting recommendations through their social networks. I don’t know about you, but when I’m looking at initiatives, downballot races, and other nonobvious choices, I look to maven friends who have some knowledge and perspective. The standard voters guides are somewhat useful, but they lack the perspective of a knowledgeable friend.

So, the opportunity is to have a social network application that enables mavens to fill out sample ballots (in full or in part). For each choice, the maven can add a comment and links to provide explanation and reference about their choice. Anyone can be a maven by filling out part of a ballot and explaining their choice.

Voters can choose to follow one or more “mavens”. Mavens who are connected and well-respected will gain more followers. The maven’s activities can be visible in an existing social network (e.g. Facebook, Twitter), so people can discover mavens in their social network. A maven can choose to have their profile and ballot be “public” (anyone can follow them), “private” – they need to approve new followers before followers can see their choices, or “networked” – your friends friends can see your ballot.

The system can display top “public” mavens, so followers can discover new sources of recommendations. Voters should be able to see the public and networked mavens followed by their friends.

This system would build on the existing social networks people use to make voter decisions, and would expose people to a wider range of information and opinion through the social network. Experts and influential people would rise to visibility. The ability to share comments and links will drive education around the ballot. And the roots of the system in the social network ought to encourage civil behavior, which could be severely problematic in a public opinion-oriented system.

What do you think?

Note: this post was originally published here.

Sponsors

Social Media Club

Share your ideas before the event



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