Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Politify: Presidential choice made easy

Social media has changed many things.  Now we can be world apart yet just pull out our mobile device and be instantly connected with friends all around the globe.  I think that there are many ramification of this instant connections with people around us, and ability to share information in a way that people can easily consume.

One thing that I'm very must looking forward to is how social media will change our political discourse in United States.  It is now cliche to talk about how dysfunctional U.S. political discourse has become in recent years.  Two dominant parties in U.S. politics have gotten too polarized to have constructive conversations and compromised decisions with the nation's interest in mind.  Both parties have been increasingly resorting to political maneuvering, and effectiveness of our political system has been spiraling down.

In the midst of all the misinformation, it has become difficult for voters to find out how presidential candidate's position will affect each of us and our nation as a whole in the future.  That's where Politify comes in.

Politify is a visual tool that allows voters to see what each presidential candidate's choice will mean for us.  It asks the voter to enter estimated incomes and zip code, and based on that info, it estimates how each candidate's policy will affect you as an individual, at your city and the country.  After presenting the voter with the estimated results, it leverages social media to let the voter share the results easily.

Politify has done a good job of laying out the data.  There is enough value on making data visible out of all the political posturing and misinformation.  I think that this is just a start, however.  I can see real political change happening via social media.  It's because of the simple fact that we are now more connected than ever, and younger generation is growing up with mobile devices that helps them stay connected.

Political system and elected officials are there to serve the people.  Once we turn from apathy to engagement by realizing that we have the power to reform our political leaders, the real political change will happen much sooner than anyone can anticipate.  And I believe that apathy will decline as more people can connect and share ideas more freely on social media, not bounded by physical constraints.

I for one will look forward to that date.

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