Meet the Candidates: Politicians’ Strategies of Self-Presentation in Online Formats

Abstract:

The 2008 presidential campaign has featured widespread use of new media technologies by all major candidates, who struggle to tailor their messages for an ever-changing variety of platforms, contexts, and audiences. Using content analysis informed by linguistic theories of narrative (Schiffrin, de Fina, and Bruner) and drawing on theories of new media and politics (Davis and Owen, Bimber and Davis), this paper examines how candidates present themselves in biographies on their websites and in profiles on the social networking site Facebook. This analysis suggests that while candidate website biographies have evolved into a relatively standardized form, candidate social networking site profiles are currently in an experimental trial-and-error stage of new media adoption.

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