My article “Mundane internet tools, mobilizing practices, and the coproduction of citizenship in political campaigns”, published last year in New Media & Society, has been awarded the best paper award from the Oxford Internet Institute’s 2010 “Internet, Politics, Policy” conference. (The award has just been announced at the 2012 version of the IPP conference.)
At its heart, it is a very simple argument–based on ethnographic field research in two US congressional campaigns during the 2008 election, I show that relatively “mundane” internet tools like email and search are far more integral to how political campaigns try to mobilize and organize volunteers than more “specialized” tools (or “emerging” tools used only by some, like, at the time, social networking sites) and unfold some of the implications for how we understand the role of digital technologies in political participation and political organizing.
I’m happy to announce that the same article was also amongst the six finalists for the International Communication Association’s Political Communication Division’s Kaid-Sanders Best Article Award. (The award as given to Lauren Feldman for her excellent article “The Opinion Factor: The Effects of Opinionated News on Information Processing and Attitude Change”.)
I find this praise very encouraging, especially since the article is based on qualitative methods rarely used in political communication research, and hence unfamiliar to many in our academic community, and I’m eagerly awaiting further results from the many other young scholars I know are pursuing similar lines of work as we try to understand how political organizations operate today, how political institutions interact in a changing media environment, and how ordinary citizens actually use the digital technologies that are increasingly integral to our everyday lives–political and otherwise.