Politics 2.0

The way political information is distributed, the way a politician runs his or her campaign, and the way an election is won have all changed since the dawning of the internet.  While traditional outlets including televised press conferences and town halls were how people interested in politics heard about their potential candidates, now there are a plethora of ways for politicians to reach their constituets, and it is up to those politicians to decide the best way to do so.

Take former president Barack Obama and his 2008 campaign for the presidential seat.  It will go down in history books that Mr. Obama was the first president to win a political election by way of using the web, in addition to traditional, 1.0 methods.  Young voters under age 25 were instrumental in electing this leader, as nearly 70% of registered voted between the ages of 18-25 pulled the level for Obama in 2008.  This is in great part due to this ability to use the web as a tool that young people were literate, and even obsessed with.  The platforms he maintained included  Facebook, Twitter, the MyBarackObama website, Youtube, a blog, and buying online ads rather than only traditional TV and radio spots.

Below is a video used to promote the 2008 election of Barack Obama, it was distributed via Youtube and posted to President Obama’s Twitter and immediately went viral:

The web has also allowed for not only people interested in politics, but those not as involved to become aware of candidates and where they lie on issues important to them.  Rather than having to seek out traditional outlets, which only those with a keen interest in politics would do, the internet as a platform for distributing political information reached American citizen who would have never turned to C-SPAN on their television sets, or PBS on their radios.  In 2008, not only Obama’s message that resonated with youth, but also the ability to research at their finger tips via platforms they were comfortable with, like Twitter, and with just the click of a follow button, ensured Obama would reach more people then a electoral candidate ever had before.

This tweet following the 2012 re-eleciton of President Obama, was the most popular tweet ever at the time of its posting:

I can only imagine that today Obama’s 2008 election strategy is a case study used by people running for all types of office.  Donald Trump has become next politician to really get a handle on social media and the web 2.0 and use it to his advantage, along with traditional outlets.  In fact, Mr. Trump used Twitter pre-election as much as he uses it post-election.  Here is a tweet he posted just yesterday:

Web 2.0 had made Politics 2.0 a reality, and one that can be harnessed to reach the highest office in the land, if used correctly.



Valentí Sanjuan

Valentí Sanjuan

When I came to class on Wednesday with questions prepared for our guest speaker Valentí Sanjuan, I was not aware of the scope of his brand, despite my extensive research on the internet.  My limited Spanish vocabulary kept me from reading much of the literature on Valentí, so I assumed he was a professional athlete who ran Ironmans and posted videos of his adventures to Youtube.  Additionally, I knew he must be a journalist because after all, he was attending our class titled Journalism 2.0.  What I found once he came to class was he was so much more than any of those things.  He is a personality, a brand, a Youtube star, an athlete, a creative director, an entrepreneur, and an influencer.

Valentí Sanjuan started off 15 years ago as a traditional journalist and radio personality, before social networking and online video platforms became such an integral part of journalism.  As Youtube came on the scene as a major space for people to consume media, Valentí posted his first video on the channel vistolovistoTV.  This channel featured talk show-style formatted videos with guest interviews, comedians, and recurring characters on stage with a live audience, which he later edited and uploaded to Youtube.  This channel now has 150k subscribers and the top viewed video clip has over 2 million hits.  After gaining a big following on the original channel, Valentí expanded his Youtube presence to include 5 separate channels:  Entreno Del Día, ValentiEstaLoco, Mercé Sanjuan, Valentí Sanjuan, and vistolovistoTV.  Each channel has something different for a different viewer base, be it extreme sports videos or comedic skits.

After solidifying a fan base, the Ironman began to receive sponsorship opportunities and offers for partnerships with other successful Youtubers.  This is when the money began to roll in for Valentí; his sponsors now include Estrella Damm, Nestle, DIR, Sony, and Mango.  With money flowing and the need to produce more content for these sponsors and partnerships, he founded and became the creative director of Gordon Seen, a branded content media company.  Via this company, Valentí was able to invest his money into hiring a team of collaborators, purchasing higher quality equipment, and growing his online presence even further.   The investment paid off, as he is able to successfully create frequent, high quality, widely viewed content on all of his channels.

Valentí has his own idea of who he is and the business model he created for himself.  He told our class he has several bosses: Youtube, his sponsors, viewers, and himself.  Youtube is the medium through which he distributes his content, and without it he would not have a way to share his videos with the world.  Sponsors give him the capital and credibility to keep creating and sharing his videos with his audience.  Without viewers, Valentí would have no one to watch his content and would be out of a job.  And he is his own boss as he created his own online influencer persona and has the authority to do with that what he chooses.

Valentí Sanjuan

Valentí is what I call an internet-age entrepreneur.  Meet Valentí Sanjuan here.