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Campaigning in a Web 2.0 World

This isn’t your father’s school board election.

Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Survey Monkey – these are the tools used today by several local school board candidates to get their message out and to connect with voters. 

Candidates in both the Community Consolidated School District 15 and Township High School District 211 are utilizing Web 2.0 technology in their campaigns to win a seat on their respective school boards April 5. 

Defined as web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, a Web 2.0 site allows users to do more than just retrieve information. It invites them to participate.

Just a mere four years ago, Web sites for school board candidates were relatively new and a way for them to post their biographies, link to news articles, letters to the editor and to solicit campaign donations. It was another vehicle to get their message out to the voters.     

During the 2009 election not only were Web sites considered a requirement but interactive blogs and YouTube videos were introduced to the mix. Even candidate forums televised on cable stations were uploaded to video-sharing sites for those that were unable to attend. Information was out there if you took the time and knew where to look. 

Today’s 21st century candidate takes it a step further with the use of social networking sites. Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and online surveys are powerful new ways to engage voters. They are rapidly becoming the key to raising awareness, addressing issues and responding to voter concerns in a most transparent process.  

Let’s face it – everyone is busy and under pressure these days whether it be work or the demands of running a household. Voters might not always be able to attend a candidate forum but they can and will turn on their computers, Smartphone or iPod to get the information they need to make an informed choice.  

Access to information is vital to creating interest in the democratic process and an ideal democracy is participatory. The use of Web 2.0 technology by our local school board candidates to encourage citizen participation in the democratic process should be applauded and rewarded with a visit to their site. 

Take the time to connect with them and don’t forget to vote April 5. 

School Board Candidates with active Web sites are listed below (as of Feb. 17):

District 15 – Manjula Sriram, Scott Herr and Gerard Ianuzzeli

District 211 – Bill Robertson and Roman Golash 

Editor's Note: If we missed any candidate Web sites, contact Patch editor Brian Slupski at brian.slupski@patch.com and we will add the site to this column.

Louise February 18, 2011 at 04:11 PM
Don't forget www.vote135.org The their platform is simple: Eliminate deficit spending Strengthen the curriculum Decide openly and transparently
celtic citizen February 21, 2011 at 03:22 PM
Scott Herr is a tax watch/"Illinois loop" plant. His group of "parents involved in education" that "fosters communication" is the newest incarnation of the Palatine branch of the northwest tax watch (now called "Illinois loop"- they keep changing their name). So Louise, how does that fit into their "decide openly and transparently" part of the platform? Let's be open and transparent. Let's share what our agendas are and whom our campaign sponsors are, Mr. Herr.
Jenny February 21, 2011 at 11:34 PM
Celtic- please provide your readers with ANY proof of this whatsoever. I know a couple of these folks on the ballot, and a neighbor is one of the "parents" involved in the bond issue. Your accusations are completely baseless. Also, it is clear that you've never consistently attended board meetings because you would be witness to the deception and lack of accountability exhibited by the current board majority. You would be jumping at the chance at a fresh start with some really great citizens volunteering to serve the CHILDREN'S and COMMUNITY'S INTERESTS.
Scott Herr February 22, 2011 at 01:17 AM
I've posted a response at http://www.ScottHerr.org/the-rumor-mill/
Kathy O. February 22, 2011 at 02:54 PM
Celtic Citizen, I agree with Jenny. No one likes baseless accusations and rudeness as they don't further any type of positive discussion. Civility is important to making positive changes. It is important to back up any type of negative comment with fact (it would also help to provide credibility to use your real name instead of a screen name.)

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