Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Engaging the social media voter sector in San Antonio -- Weinkrantz and Kelly show others how it could impact the election

 If you're following the San Antonio mayoral race, it's interesting to see Trish DeBerry and Julian Castro embrace the use of social media.   I think they're following the success of Barack Obama's use of tools like Twitter and blogging to reach voters, especially ynounger voters.

Ryan Kelly , the social media coordinator for DeBerry notes that there are nearly 200,000 Facebook users in San Antonio.  DeBerry is hoping to reach out to those users to engage them in the voting process.  It's interesting to see Kelly work with DeBerry after helping Julian Castro's 2004 election.    Kelly believes that through the use of Facebook and Twitter  that more younger voters could turn out for the May election.

Kelly also believes that for local elections that the use of fund raising through social media is still limited to larger elections.  Obama had three to four million registered voters who donated $5 or $10 to his campaign, but that with a smaller database it would be harder to generate campaign funds.

Alan Weinkrantz , the volunteer social media coordinator for Julian Castro, notes that social media to empower them to share their voice and organize for a candidate.   He said that the use of Twitter shows others, especially those outside of San Antonio, as a showcase of intellectual capital in our community.

Weinkrantz also said he hopes that social media advocates will work together to show their elected official the analytics of an issue to get them to understand the magnitude of an issue.

As of now, I still haven't decided on who to vote for in May, but I believe that the use of social media tools with two leaders like Weinkrantz and Kelly is a positive sign for San Antonio.

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