I’ve always been a sucker for community. I can remember the wave of emotion I used to feel as a child when my entire school (1,000 k-12th graders) would come together for commemoration assemblies. Tuesday, I got that same feeling as I watched people with all kinds of backgrounds tweeting and checkingin with pride about having voted.
I even checkedin to Foursquare for the second time ever! Why? To be honest, I didn’t care about the badge. I cared about joining the 50,415 other individuals who checkedin and about adding my vote to the map.
In this election, social networks helped make it in vogue to vote, made it easier to locate polling places, motivated citizens that may not have voted otherwise, and enabled real-time reporting on voting issues. For example, according to Facebook more than 12 million people clicked the “I Voted” button. While I haven’t been able to locate the numbers for twitter, my feed was definitely clogged all day! Twitter Vote Report was aggregating and mapping #votereport tweets in real-time and the New York Times had a great infographic that visualizes the number of tweets related to candidates on the days leading up to the election.
What does this have to do with food? Nothing directly, but it is a model that could be applied to organizing citizen engagement around the Farm Bill. The following are some ideas I’ve been thinking about for how we could use these tools to foster collaboration and engage individuals across multiple sectors through personally relevant channels.
Can you imagine what we could accomplish if we all worked together?
I’d like to propose a massive brainstorm. I encourage you to share your ideas in the comment section or on the Food+Tech Connect Facebook page. How do you think tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare could be used to affect the 2012 Farm Bill? Next week, I will post all of your responses, so be sure to post your ideas! I look forward to hearing your thoughts.