‘10 candidates functioning in a new world

It’s my favorite time of year, election season. This year, I am thinking about the role new media plays in a campaign.

How does a campaign protect their candidate from the bottomless pit of what is known as the internet? The first real new media push happened in the 2008 presidential election. Both President Obama and Senator John McCain used MySpace, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to reach voters.

In May 2001 when the Bush twins were caught drinking before they were legal, there was no Facebook. Even in 2008, when we learned that vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol was pregnant, the story, though big, did not go viral like news does today. Both of these events had to be dealt with after the fact with damage control.

Today, campaigns have the opportunity to get ahead of any potential threat. If you are running for office, it is imperative that you, your family and close friends are internet clean. The minute you begin to entertain a bid for public office, call your family and friends together for an information session on what new media will mean to your campaign. One bad post or picture can bring you down.

There are many choices of free software that instantly capture a screen, picture or video that can easily be saved as a file on any computer, flash drive or new media site. Ask yourself, “If I found myself in front of my boss or a judge, would I be able to defend my status or that photo?” What if you suddenly die? What would your Facebook wall say about you?

Assume someone is just waiting to see an inappropriate picture, status update or Tweet that they will use against you. All campaigns must perform a thorough scrub looking for potentially embarrassing posts. Do not give anyone the opportunity to find anything. If it is there, they will find it.

Personal status updates and entertaining photos can wait. For now, let’s keep it clean.

Polly Ticks

November 2, 2009


I am probably not mature enough *read jaded* to be writing this, but I am not sure if I am going to vote tomorrow. Mind you I get seriously high when I vote. There is nothing I love more – and that is a fact. But this year is different. I am learning things about the people I thought I supported and I am realizing, … well… that I don’t support anyone.

Golly gee – if you support that person, then how can I support you? Is this for real? Is this how it goes? Tonight I feel that no one deserves my vote. No one that is running that is. And that is sad. Sure these offices are not that prestigious. Hell, some of them are even unpaid, but there is competition, so that must mean something. I am at a loss. I want to vote. I want to want to like someone. I am still giddy over President Obama, I was hoping I could ride this and continue on the “I LOVE POLITICS” wave. But as I read the news, I am becoming more and more jilted.

Me 2.0

April 2, 2009

I have time to write about me, but unless you are Emily Caswell, I probably don’t have time to read about you.

That might be the answer to all of this Tweeting and FB’ing and blogging and such. We are putting it down, but is anyone picking it up?

That major revelation aside, I really want this crown…Check it out (ooh, and ugh! She really needs to dye her hair so it stands out! Sheesh)

You would think that in my never dying desire to leave every list serve, subscription, group, chat, forum, wiki, log, social network and the like that my computer would be efficient, lean and relatively healthy. So, you can imagine my surprise today when I got the infamous “Blue Screen of Death.”

I was typing a work-related email to a colleague who was not happy with a procedure that I developed to make the world a better place, and the screen appeared. I called the help desk, they told me to shut down, restart and hope for the best. Something odd is afoot, yet I will not retreat. I remember these incredible words

A walking study

January 23, 2009

I have kept a diary or journal since I was in middle school. They are in the basement in blue Rubbermaid bins. I have every journal, writing assignment and most notes passed between me and my friends that wound up in my book bag.

The first pages of my first diary are ripped out. I did that as a defensive measure in case my parents found it. It had become a goodbye letter.

I had decided to end it all on Valentine’s day in 6th grade. My parents were going to a party and I was going to be home alone. I was very depressed and had a plan and had written goodbye letters to everyone in my yellow Shirt Tales diary. Instead Amanda V called and asked me to go bowling. Luckily, that sounded like a lot more fun.

In 2004 I went High Tech and started a book of my journal compilations that read as a self help book on how to get rid of guilt. Being an adult child of alcoholics and a “victim” sexual abuse. I grew up great and have a (I think) stunning sense of humor over the whole thing. I was on a good clip of getting it all documented and edited on my new HP Pavilion computer that I bought on a whim at Best Buy (the happiest place on earth) when it went to hell.

I arrived home to my apartment in East Lansing after the New Year in 2005 to find my cool blue laptop stolen. The work I had done was gone. This is a long story, but Best Buy did refund the $1750+ because I put it on a Best Buy credit card. Of course I ended up running up another Best Buy bill on records and bubble gum instead of buying another laptop or considering it even steven.

I quit writing for a long time. I have grown up a bit. I will never destroy a piece of writing again. It is more important to produce an interesting piece than to be afraid of being embarrassed. It helps that I am a grown up now and that President Obama told us to be honest.

I was hoping that President Obama would shut down Guantanamo Bay by 12:37 on January 20, 2009. After all, there are people in this prison with no representation and no hope of getting out. They have been there for years and I saw Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay and it looked pretty, pretty bad.

But, Super President waited until January 21 to issue an executive order to have the prison shut down within one year. That may seem reasonable to some, but if I was an innocent person in a Cuban jail, I would be a little bummed. So, this ignorant girl from Michigan was let down… for a minute. Then, I felt relieved.

During his inauguration speech, and all through his campaign, this guy talked about responsibility of the American people. We are going to have to make sacrifices. We are going to have to work harder. We are going to have to be honest and …hm, what was that other virtue? Around 12:39 on Tuesday, I was starting to sweat, am I up for this? So, I have to say, this one year time table provided some relief in a very selfish way. Let’s pace ourselves. A year sounds good. I can get to work in a year. Things will be better in a year for me too.

I am sure I will have picked up the dry cleaning by then. I will have changed the oil by then. In a year, I will have certainly learned the ins and outs of Buddhism and probably even cleaned out the closets. Whew… the pressure is off.

See you 2010. Thanks Mr. President.

Pass the peanut butter

January 20, 2009

President Obama (oooh, that feels good) said today that everywhere we turn there is work to do.

I don’t think he was referring to getting an oil change, picking up dry cleaning, sewing on buttons, calling about a haircut, reading up on Buddhism etc. but that is what I am thinking about. I know there is big work to do in the world of service. I am going to get to that. I swear. Does parenting an Asperger child count?

Sometimes I wonder if working at a community college counts. But I know, who am I kidding? So, the change I am looking for from President Obama is my dry cleaning to arrive in my office by 4:00, my hair appt. to be made with Amy at Bella Rio in Old town on Thursday at 5:20 and the oil in my Saturn Ion to be changed. That is it for this week.

Maybe he can get to our high interest rate next week. Oh, and I don’t think the point of President Obama’s speech was for millions of people to return from their lunch hour and think “Sheesh, how can I possibly focus on work NOW?” but that is what has happened to me.