Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Online Conversation May Influence 2012 Election

As the 2012 election nears, the Internet is redefining the way students talk politics, according to three panelists who spoke in Copley Formal Lounge Thursday night.

“21st Century: New Tools for Engaging in the 2012 Election,” held by the university’s Communications, Culture and Technology Program and the online journal Electronic Media and Politics, featured three speakers who gave different takes on the emerging role of the Internet in the upcoming presidential election.

The three entrepreneurs focused their talks on the growing discontent of the American public towards the political systems. Ray Glendening, chief strategy officer of Ruck.Us, a social networking site that tries to connect politically like-minded visitors, stressed the need for new paradigms, pointing to the Tea Party and Occupy movements.

“You’re seeing people saying ‘I don’t need to be a part of a party anymore to engage politically,” he said. “I can move outside these traditional institutions. I have everything in my life that’s custom fit except for my political engagement.'”

Panelist Lou Aronson, founder of Votifi, a website that provides users with individualized news, explained that his primary goal is to give political junkies their fix.

The online political service that garnered the most attention, however, was Elliot Ackerman’s venture Americans Elect, which hopes to promote a bipartisan ticket on the 2012 presidential ballot chosen through online deliberations. Ackerman serves as chief operating officer of the organization.

Americans Elect plans to hold two rounds of online elections. The first, in April, will narrow the field to six candidates who must then form tickets and run during the website’s primary in June.

The organization has raised about $22 million, according to National Campus Director Nick Troiano (COL ’11), who has worked with the group since May 2010. Americans Elect hopes to be working in 28 states by the end of 2011.

“It’s going to happen, there’s going to be a third ticket option,” Troiano said.

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