The Danish Facebook Election

The Danish election in 2011 sets itself apart from the previous elections as being the first election in the age of Social Media. Back in 2007 Facebook was still in its infancy in Denmark – both when it came to amount of users as well as using Facebook as a tool in a political campaign.

Here’s a summary of my presentation at Nordic-Tech-Politics in Oslo 2011.

Facebook is the Danish internet users top 2 site, 2.6 mio-ish have a profile and everyone who want’s the attention of the Danes is on there too.

What are the people up to?

They discuss politics, the media coverage and make jokes about the politicians on Facebook, Youtube and Tumblr. Few on Twitter as well. For the first time, it seems like politics is out in the open – so much so, that people are now complaining about their feed being too political.

What are the politicians up to?

They all try to be personal and act normal on Facebook, thereby building a closer relationship with their voters. Some try to build a grassroots movement via mobile apps/sites (S, V, RV) and via Facebook (RV, S, SF) - S being the only one with a fully fledged mobile app for canvassing. Everyone tries to reach out and connect via their websites and YouTube, and since many of the local candidates now have their sites on Facebook, they now have a real audience and potential base of followers.

What about the media?

Well… they seem to be running after the Danes, asking questions about what they want in a some what desperate attempt to cling on to their role as the mediator of politics. A role they still hold – and master – in print, radio and sometimes on television. Best thing big media have done online: the bloggers, the tweeters, the web-TV-clips, the different fact-checking tools and initiatives and the tests every Dane takes to be reassured of their political home.

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