Politics is all about discourse and conversation. If your message isn't being heard, you're not affecting change and in the digital age, that includes having a voice in the social networking sphere, particularly Twitter.
Most commentators agree that Twitter has further accelerated and intensified the news cycle. The jury is out on whether it represents a step towards greater citizen involvement, but if the efforts to equalize same sex-marriage in Washington are any indication, it most certainly is empowering citizens to get more involved.
Twitter advocates have big numbers on their side. The number of tweets around key political events such as elections, debates, and state-wide ballot initiatives show evidence of a return to retail politics; the idea that people can be directly engaged in the political process on a one-on-one basis again. This gives voters the possibility of not only interacting with the candidate and issues, but with one another. That's extremely powerful when you consider a seemingly polarizing issue such as same-sex marriage.
The meta narrative around same-sex marriage is effective because Americans know that LGBT people are their neighbors, their cousins, their aunts and uncles, the people they sit next to in church, and the people they shop with at the grocery store. More than that, experience tells us that personal conversations on or around the significance of marriage are especially persuasive. The question is "how do we get these conversations that happen naturally to happen more often?"
It's a political challenge not limited to the question of LGBT issues and will be addressed on Tuesday, Feb. 19 during WOMMfest as Derek Belt, Social Media Specialist for King County, shares how King County blended traditional and social media to connect with participants, drive news coverage, and emcee a once-in-lifetime event that reimagined how a community engages with local government.
Hear his story by registering for WOMMfest today!