Youth Media Blog-a-Thon: Wrap Up

As part of the Youth Media Blog-a-Thon, the My Wonderful World team has been sharing our insights on the topic of regime change. For the past week we’ve reflected on how the American youth initiated change and how we believe they can sustain it.  We couldn’t think of a better way to wrap-up the week than by highlighting your responses to our first question on … Continue reading Youth Media Blog-a-Thon: Wrap Up

A President for the Digital Age

This post is part of a series for the Youth Media Blog-a-Thon on the topic of “regime change.”


How can one man move the majority of the country to vote for him? One man can’t, but his network can.

On November 4, 2008 Barack Obama won what will be called a historical election not just because he’s the first African-American president elected in the United States, but also because he’s the first presidential candidate to win the election in the era of digital communications.

Digital communications broadly describes most of the technology you use to get in touch with your friends and family–mobile phones, the internet, social networks such as Facebook or MySpace, YouTube, blogs, text message, email, Twitter–basically any information you share on your phone or online.

Think about it: The last time you got together with friends, how did you organize yourselves? Did you send a text message? Did you email each other? Call? Send a message on Facebook or MySpace? Tweet?
During the 2008 presidential primary and race, the Obama campaign did all of the above.

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America’s Most Iconic President? Possibly.

This post is part of a series for the Youth Media Blog-a-Thon on the topic of “regime change.”
The presidential election of 2008 and the following inauguration were a very exciting time for me and many other Americans. For us, this was the culmination of years of hard work, years of hope and years of yearning for something that had been predicted in 1963. But even for those who hadn’t closely followed his campaign and intently studied his plans for the United States, “Obama” quickly became a household name.
People that may have not known much about Obama or his candidacy certainly knew what he looked like, through photos and increasingly through the eyes of visual artists. Additionally, they may have heard praises for him from people other than his campaign workers–including musicians, poets and writers. Arguably, more than any other presidential candidate in history, Barack Obama was elevated to mythic proportions through the use of iconic imagery and romanticized prose- much of the content made available direct to viewers through sites such as YouTube.
Check out this video from the visual artist known as Shepard Fairey. He brought vision and reality to the traveling gallery exhibition called Manifest Hope, which sought to showcase work from artists that expressed support for Obama’s presidential campaign.

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Confessions of a Would-be Activist: A Story of Personal Regime Change

This post is part of a series for the Youth Media Blog-a-Thon on the topic of “regime change.”


I’ll admit it, though it seems almost blasphemous now: I was not an early supporter of Barack Obama.

Call me a Washington insider bent on maintaining the status quo (perhaps my brief residence in the District has infected me with the noxious virus), but Hillary was my girl in the primaries. I trusted her experience in the White House and Senate, valued her track record of working across party lines to get things done, and respected her tenacity. And perhaps an iota of my inner-feminist self felt warm and fuzzy over the prospect of a woman cracking the whip as Commander-in-Chief.

I, like some others, initially underestimated the titanic power of Obama’s message of change in steering the course of the 2008 election. Americans had more than enough of “the failed policies of George Bush,” and Obama’s team artfully crafted his campaign to reveal a picture of a man diametrically opposed to his predecessor. Mr. Obama won over the hearts and minds of Americans from all walks of life, evincing a remarkable ability to transcend traditional boundaries of age, race, income, and geography.

Following Hillary’s defeat in the primaries, I quickly found myself doing a 180 and drinking the Obama Kool-Aid–along with a lot of other young people across the nation. Record numbers of youth forked over hard-earned cash and peeled themselves away from Guitar Hero long enough to canvas door-to-door and scream for their new favorite rock star at political rallies. But the ever-dramatic pundits questioned: Would they turn out at the polls?

How could the political analysts be so pessimistic about the youth vote? Simple: people like me.

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