Macedonia: Use of New Media in Election Campaign

Authors of the Macedonian media blog, analyzed (MKD) the “unprecedented” use of the internet and the new media by the leading political parties in the campaign for the early parliamentary elections, scheduled for June 1, 2008.

Media experts Sead Dzigal and Darko Buldioski provided joint analysis of the web presence of both the incumbent party, VMRO-DPMNE, and the main opposition party, SDSM:

Good: use of blogs, YouTube channels, Myspace, Facebook, Hi5 etc.
Good also: use of video, audio, posting documents, comments, etc.

Most of—it seems all—the campaign materials are available online, too. The websites receive regular updates… and heavily use free online services, apparently to cut costs, which seems like a smart move.

Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity Social Democratic Union of Macedonia

Bad: the “social” portion is absent in their use of social media. The blog posts are mainly transcripts of their rally speeches, and the content is basically recycled from their TV commercials and other uses such as to be fed to traditional media, analysts, journalists and similar actors, but not blogs per se. The posts are long, different audiences are targeted in each post, and personal experiences or input from the politicians is lacking. Even the impressions on their events are lacking, depriving their blogs of the essential individual, personal perspective. The video clips are made for TV and not for vlogs, print campaigns which do not fit viral media, photos as décor and not as source of (inside) information. […]

Probably these are the reasons why these blogs do not receive many visits, there are but a few comments, and are simply left out of the general political discussion (for the time being).

In conclusion […], it's great that political parties adopted many new services and channels for electoral propaganda, but the effects will probably be quite small, because the websites are used as web repositories or warehouses for loads of materials tirelessly produced for the electoral campaigns in Macedonia.

In a comment to the same post, prominent local blogger Ribaro, wrote (MKD):

The most interesting thing about the bunch of blogs created by political parties for this election is that they have some incompetent idiot appointed as administrator responding to user comments. For instance a response to some relevant question by such person was: “And who's asking?” Bottom! As long as they belittle the power of the blog and the blogosphere, their blogs will receive minuscule visitor flow and only by their praising party members. The situation was the same with the elections in 2006. They advanced in quantity, but not an inch in quality.

1 comment

  • peter givens

    Republic of Macedonia is learning. Wait for the next elections.Computers and electronic media is at its infancy, we will get there.

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