Social media and the Singapore GE2011

Apr 27, 11 Social media and the Singapore GE2011

Social media truly is making a large inevitable impact in our lives!

For those of you still living in a cave (in Singapore at least), it is the start of the General Election 2011, or simply known as the GE2011.

The Singapore Parliament was dissolved on 19th April 2011. After that, the nomination papers were open for collection, and the official nomination was held on 27th April 2011 11.00 am to 12.30pm. Amazingly, there were actually a few forms that were filled wrongly and disqualified. I wonder how hard is it to fill the forms. Maybe I’ll just go collect the forms as an independent candidate then use the papers as waste paper?

From tomorrow, Thursday 28th April 2011 onwards, there will be election rallies held at numerous locations nationwide where people will attempt to share their view of the future, to rouse up emotions, and to show you why they are your best choice. Simply said, they are there to win your votes, by hook or by crook. However, back to my main point, social media is proving to be a much bigger tool in order to rally troops from the ground. With a click of a finger, information on a candidate (public or otherwise) can be dug up.

A very interesting website is the GE2011 swarm tracker. Basically, this is like your google trends and twitter trends, combined into a visual form to show how certain GE2011 related keywords are being searched and which is the hot topic. To be honest, theres not much use in the raw data available, but perhaps it will show a trend for those data crunchers.

I have always liked to play with google maps. The sheer amount of data available and the ways that data can be put to use is just amazing. In this case, a brilliant guy put in the effort and came out with the Singapore electoral map boundaries for GE2011. Basically using google maps as the base, he entered in data for the electoral boundaries, then the candidates contesting and all other relevant information. A+ for effort. And like I said, the extendability of google maps is amazing!

Of course, besides the traditional media like twitter, there’s now the official GE2011 website. This is definitely the go to website for all the news related to the election. However, during the nomination earlier on, there must have been a million plus hits on the websites in a matter of minutes! They do seem to be holding up quite well. Another relatively official site is the razor.tv podcast site. Quite a lot of video by the candidates there. For those not able to go down to the rally, thats definitely a place you must visit!

For those who use facebook, it’s even more amazing. Suddenly everybody becomes a political expert. Everybody wants to comment on this, or comment on that. Videos gets shared like wildfire and stories gets exaggerated very fast.

I won’t be commenting much on the candidates here. But I would just like to leave my 2 cents. Singapore *is* a very fragile economy. We started as a free trade economy, with it’s advantages and disadvantages. We are likely to remain a free trade economy for a long time to come. That means people have become very mobile. Even Singaporeans can pack up and leave the country with very little problem. We need leaders who will be able to attract and retain talent. If you are not able to attract, then you jolly well be able to retain. If you’re good at neither, we dead. I wish all candidates all the best, and may the best man win! If the best man comes from the opposition, then I would vote for the opposition. However, do make an educated vote, by watching the videos online, or listening to the rallies, or even just reading the documents online. Make an educated vote. My kid’s future depends on it!

This is going to be exciting!

 

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