Watching the 2012 U.S. Elections and the role of social media

Tomorrow, the United States will choose their President for the next 4 years. Will it still be Pres. Barack Obama for a second term? Or will the next President be Gov. Mitt Romney?

Together with a few other blogger friends, Noemi and Juned, I got a sampling of activities and issues in the run-up to the November 6 U.S. elections when we attended the “Kapihan sa Embahada”, the second in a series of coffee talk and open fora organized by the U.S. Embassy of Manila.

U.S. Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. opened the Kapihan by describing this election as something you would not have seen in his childhood days. He specifically said that back when he was a child, no one would ever have imagined someone from the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints going up against an African-American for the Presidency. He calls this a “positive change” and wished his father was still alive to see the state of U.S. elections.

Another change, Amb. Thomas said, is that there are many Filipino-Americans in California and Hawaii who are running for office. In fact in Nevada, where there are very large Filipino communities, he said you can find ballots in Tagalog (a major Philippine national dialect)! Filipinos are the 2nd largest Asian-American group in the U.S. Imagine the kind of influence they wield!

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My Obama Blog Posts Make it to Worldfocus

To tell you the truth, I have not heard of Worldfocus until last night.

A backlink on my blog alerted me that people were visiting my blog from that site. And the reason for the backlinks on my blog? Well, I was delighted to find out that my two (2) posts — the first covering the technological aspects of this inauguration and the second covering my initial impressions of Pres. Obama’s inaugural speech — made it to their list of ten (10) global blogs on the Obama inauguration!

Hooray for including the Philippines in your list, Worldfocus!


Worldfocus’ anchorman is Martin Savidge who I used to watch on CNN as one of the embedded journalists covering the Iraq War. It is NOT unlike CNN in that it seeks to report on international news. However, it attempts to differentiate itself from CNN and the other mainstream news networks by its ability to use the reach of social networking sites and blogs to bring the news from abroad closer to American homes. Below is a screenshot of their page that shows how their news can be accessed.


Their section called Blogwatch also “summarizes what bloggers and news sources are saying about the international news of the day. We’ll link to informative and bold voices that place the headlines in the context of the global conversation.” Their In the Newsroom blog gives you behind-the-scenes look at Worldfocus as seen from Martin Savidge’s eyes as well as news coming from on-the-ground global reporters. A network of global contributors’ blog posts form part of their Perspectives section. Interesting!!!

For a simple blogger like me, breaking into Worldfocus was a pleasant surprise. It just proves that no blogger can be too obscure nor too small to be able to contribute to a global outfit.

Keep on blogging, everyone!

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A Global Presidential Inauguration

taken from Facebook

taken from Facebook

Do you plan to watch Barack Obama get elected as the 44th President of the United States on January 20? I WILL!

There are so many firsts with Obama and so much has been said already about this charismatic President who defied race and age as his charisma touched people young and old, black and white and any color in between, and seems to give renewed hope to Americans that they will see a new age of governance with Obama.

But what strikes me now is how technology is being used to bring Obama’s inauguration closer to the whole world.

In the history of U.S. Presidential Inaugurations, this is the first high-tech, global inauguration. And one can’t expect any less of President-elect Barack Obama, who credited a large part of his winning to a team that was not only cohesive and organized but super techy savvy as well. He appears to be one President who is right at home with computers and technology and is deeply aware of its power of influence and reach.

Weeks ago, I got notice in my Facebook that  I could watch the inauguration through CNN Live and chat about it with my Facebook friends. Oh wow!

Now, I read of other ways that one can watch the inauguration other than staying in front of the boob tube, including watching it with Ustream iPhone Viewing App. And Twitter has tied up with Current so that you can twit your comments on the entire event. Clearly, this is one inauguration that circles the globe and will potentially bring in an international audience in the billions.

If you think you won’t have access to it on TV, here are other ways you can catch it:

Official Sites (live video streams)

Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies

Presidential Inaugural Committee (requires installation of Microsoft’s Silverlight 2 platform though)

Some Sites That List Where/How to Watch

Lifehacker’s Guide to Catching the Inauguration from Anywhere

ReadWriteWeb: Your Complete Guide to Celebrating Inauguration Day

Om Malik: Where to Watch Obama’s Inauguration on Jan. 20th

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