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Online political communication in elections: The use of party and candidate websites and social media in election campaigns
Ever since the Internet became accessible to the public at large, politicians and political parties have used it for their strategic communication purposes, particularly during campaigns. In the beginning political actors predominantly used Web 1.0 technology, eg websites. Later, when Web technology evolved and was called Web 2.0, social media allowing for User Generated Content entered the stage. YouTube, Facebook, Orkut, Twitter became household names for politicians to use in election campaigns.
The presentation will focus on findings of several studies on how politicians use websites and social media in several election campaigns, in the Netherlands, the UK, South Korea, Canada and the European Union. The presentation will deal with several aspects in this field:
which (types) of theories to use
which methods can be used to test certain theories
how to collect data as well as issues concerning the quality of data
challenges for the future of online political communication research.
Dr Maurice Vergeer, Department of Communication, Radboud University, the Netherlands.