Researchers at UC Berkeley are testing a new method for tracking how people use social media in politics. Their first project plans to map Proposition 30 social media references onto graphs. They also have an innovative new discussion area they call an opinion space.
Users sign up on their new website, CA Prop 30 Awareness, by entering their email address. This creates a new page similar to the home page coded with a number unique to them. Users then use social media like Facebook and Twitter to discuss Proposition 30, using the unique page as the link. The website tracks click-through to the unique page and awards points.
Your influence value increases by one point for each person you invite, and by half a point for every person those people invite, and so on. We can then visualize these scores in a graph.
This sample graph displayed above shows how social media spreads from the social media user in the middle out to his circles and then to other circles. Users can view their own graphs at any time to see how their social media messages on Proposition 30 are spreading.
Proposition 30 will be on the California ballot in November. Billions in state funding for education as well as the increased possibility of a balanced budget depend upon it passing.
CA Prop 30 Awareness explains:
Everyone in California, from students to CEO’s, should know about Proposition 30 on the November 2012 Ballot. If passed, Prop 30 will increase sales tax by 0.25% and incrementally increase income tax on households earning more than $250,000. If not passed, a multi-billion dollar cut in state funding to education at all levels will be triggered automatically.
The website has a wealth of information about Proposition 30, both pro and con. The discussion area asks participants to discuss “What are key arguments for or against Proposition 30 in the Nov 6 California election?” Users rank the discussions, which then appear as “blooms,” the bigger the bloom the higher the interest. This new approach to forums was “Developed at UC Berkeley [and] is a new interface for using the wisdom of crowds to collect and evaluate ideas on any topic. A version is being used by the U.S. State Department and other organizations.”
Registration is free and they do not share email addresses. They invite participants to join in and see how their Proposition 30 social media spreads through the Internet.
Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.
Social Media is changing how we do everything and I think this is way for everyone to get involved and become more active about specific propositions.
This is a great sociopolitical awareness tool. All ballot initiatives should be presented to the 'social' public media in this way.
Very interesting site. Good for information with links to both for and against Prop 30 sites. This method of tracking social media can possibly serve other purposes from polling to campaigning.
The problem for voters who are seeking out more in-depth analysis of issues is that it's difficult to really understand the full implications of a particular candidate or measure in just 140 characters. I hope that this research eventually shows how social media can lead voters to real information and not just the buzz of the hivemind.
This study will likely be another strong piece of evidence that social media is going to rule politics. I would be more convinced by a short, informative article than a negative campaign ad or yard sign.
Of course we have to be careful with the things we read, especially on the internet. But we have the choice to look deeper into issue we actually care about. Proposition 30 is a big deal too!!! It's important for us to understand tax-initiatives and what they will be used for.
This is really cool! Allowing people to visualize their influence is a really smart way to motivate people to spread the message. It's one thing to get an email saying that someone retweeted you or shared your Facebook post, but it's totally different to be able to see it on a map. It will be interesting to see the results and if the visualization increased social messaging.
Resident tuition increases with the approval of Prop 30 at University of California Berkeley. How dumb things happen at smart universities. The public’s UC Berkeley harvests family savings, Alumni donations, supporter’s money and taxes. Cal. ranked #1 public university total academic cost (resident) as a result of the Provost’s, Chancellor’s ‘charge resident’s higher tuition’. UCB tuition is rising faster than other universities.
Cal ranked # 2 in faculty earning potential. Spending on salaries increased 29% in last six years. Believe it: Harvard College less costly.
University of California negates promise of equality of opportunity: access, affordability. Self-absorbed Provost Breslauer Chancellor Birgeneau are outspoken on ‘charging residents much higher’ tuition.
Birgeneau ($450,000) Breslauer ($306,000) like to blame the politicians, since they stopped giving them their entitled funding. The ‘charge instate students higher tuition’ skyrocketed fees by an average 14% per year from 2006 to 2011 academic years. If they had allowed fees to rise at the same rate of inflation over past 10 years fees would still be in reach of middle income students. Breslauer Birgeneau increase disparities in higher education, defeat the promise of equality of opportunity, and create a less-educated work force.
Additional state tax funding must sunset. The sluggish economy, 10% unemployment devastates family savings. Simply asking for more taxes (Prop 30, 32, 38) to spend on self-absorbed Cal. leadership, inefficient higher education practices, over-the-top salaries, bonuses, is not the answer.
UCB is to maximize access to the widest number of residence at a reasonable cost. Birgeneau Breslauer’s ‘charge Californians higher tuition’ denies middle income families the transformative value of Cal.
The California dream: keep it alive and well. Fire hapless Provost George W Breslauer. Clueless Chancellor Birgeneau resigned. Cal. leadership must accept responsibility for failing Californians.
Opinions? UC Board of Regents [email protected] Calif. State Senators, Assembly members.
there is no doubt that social media will and has changed politics. The old gurad still spends all the big dollars on sending junk mailers ... they'll wake up soon.