One hour later and this page (image) has nearly 9,000 more likes than the previous hour I checked it. What’s this page all about, anyway? It’s from the debate from October 16, a mere 18 hours ago, when (according to MSN Now):
"In an attempt to show he had long been an advocate for workplace equality, Mitt Romney, at the second presidential debate, shared an anecdote about his search for female staff when he took office as governor of Massachusetts. Romney said he asked women’s groups for help, and that they had 'whole binders full of women.'"
Approximately 16 hours before I started writing this blog post, Binders Full Of Women was created on Facebook and from that point on, has collected almost 300,000 individual likes, and has already posted 14 links and statuses. Fifteen minutes later, I refresh the page and it’s only 800 likes away from 300,000 people. Social media’s influence in politics isn’t a new story, but it’s still a fascinating one. Mashable wrote an article last November, before the Presidential election playing field was narrowed down, about turning social media support into votes – and how to get those influenced by social media actively involved in political campaigns.
Oh, it’s been ten minutes – where are we with Binders Full Of Women?
Three hundred thousand likes in seventeen hours – or an average of 17,647 likes per hour.
Social media, once the field was narrowed down for the elections, has taken off – there hasn’t been a waking moment in the last 6+ months I’ve been on Facebook or Twitter where I haven’t seen an angled, political-party-sided comment. But hashtags like #nobama and #mittens – and Tumblr accounts with Photoshopped binders full of famous women – are not just outlets of creativity for those Internet-addicted folks (including myself). They’re a way for people to keep the conversation going, to keep political debates going, and to tell the world who they’re siding with and what they believe in. It’s both the best and worst way for political candidates to get free marketing – one gaffe and you can expect memes to be made in a hot second.
As for me, I just keep refreshing that Binders Full Of Women page to see its effect on social media. It’s at 307,699 likes as this blog is being published. I don’t expect the role of social media to decrease in the next few months, either – I’m waiting to see the torrents of backlash from the losing party and gifs of confetti from the winners.