Social media tools like Searchles are redefining the way we find out more about the United States’ political candidates. Social media is also redefining us, the voters, and how we see the media.
Searchles, the “intelligent social search platform that gets smarter every time you use it” has using social media’s influence on politics — they’ve added tools to the online campaigning community recently. Features like Searchles TV and common interest associations, like their “US Presidential Election 2008” group, is being used by bloggers and avid supporters of the 2008 US presidential campaigns. As a trend that first appeared in Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential bid, candidates are now able to connect with and reach out to specific voter demographics, and vice versa, through social media and blogs.
According to Searches, “Searchles TV has given voters the opportunity to stream together any number of their favorite campaign videos from multiple sources. Whether it be a display of various videos of candidates’ viewpoints on the same issue, or a channel that integrates candidates’ speeches with media reports addressing the same topics to show how the issue affects Americans, the result is that a wealth of information is stored via online video and executed in one player. More importantly, the voter or individual web user is in control of the combined message of the videos chosen. Searchles TV channels are easily embedded into blogs or MySpace profiles and as bloggers go back and edit their channels, the updates filter automatically through the web wherever embedded. Also, the US Presidential Election 2008 group displays an updated, well- rounded pool of election coverage and serves as an engaging forum for political discussion. Common interest groups are part of a network of trusted users and groups that Searchles utilizes to bring relevant content to users. Information spreads rapidly through the internet and even faster through social media sites – a social network will bring the relevant election coverage through peer recommendations and trusted information sources faster than one can say “google.””
It’s interesting to see how the “social media effect” is narrowing the playing field among the candidates. With online social media tools, the candidates no longer have to deliver broad messages to everyone–they (or people in their campaign) now have the ability to deliver targeted messages through online campaigns to various types of voters as they vie for support.
Likewise, Searchles offers voters the ability to develop their own video mashup of how they would like to portray their chosen candidate – or the candidate a voter disagrees with most. A well-assembled Searchles TV channel could hurt a candidate with conflicting online videos that reveal flip- flopping. The bottom line is that while social media has given candidates new opportunities in voter outreach, it has also given voters the opportunity to spread campaign messages through their own personal lens – will voters handle these social media capabilities responsibly as mudslinging season approaches?
[Search + Circles =] Searchles is a highly scaleable “social search” platform that showcases expertise, enables collaboration with peers and instantly captures it in searchable knowledge indexes. The platform is a hybrid, combining aspects of “social bookmarking” and “social networking” technology with analytical “social search” capability to allow for network search.
Network search enables users to discover content with personalized filtering features that include tags and keywords, as well as the ability to apply these same filters to search all postings, groups, friends, or friends’ friends based on each user’s personal criteria. By analyzing the associations and patterns between trusted people, sources, tags and content, Searchles is able to deliver more precise results while suggesting relevant content and people as well.
The proprietary technology behind Searchles is an evolution of the search engine Dumbfind, developed by veteran search technologist and Searchles’ founder and CTO Chris Seline. Both brands are wholly-owned by Searchles, Inc., a privately-held company based in Washington, D.C. backed by angel investors.