Online campaigning captured the attention of most people when Barack Obama won the Presidency of the U.S. But what most people don’t know is that our very own KABATAAN Partylist used online campaigning before, during the 2007 national elections. It was then called Kabataan Cyber Fever: Spread the Virus of Change, and would play a part in electing our country’s very first blogger-legislator, as well as first-ever youth representative.
Fast forward to 2010: Everyone is paying attention to new media now. Manny Villar is bombarding cyberspace with Google ads that a friend uploaded a screencap showing Villar’s ads on a porn website. Bloggers are admitting that Noynoy Aquino’s website is a good example of a campaign site. And UP Diliman conservative student party Alyansa has been caught using Facebook Ads.
And why not? Online campaigning is a relatively quick and cheap way to reach out to a certain segment of our population (estimates of Pinoy internet users range from a conservative 14 million to 34 million). More than 10 million voters are estimated to be connected to the Internet.
Many see the 2010 elections as especially important, as the way to finally end ten years of misery and suffering for most Filipinos. And 10 million voters can certainly make a significant contribution towards that direction.
Hence, KABATAAN Partylist has formed an Online Team tasked to reach out to the millions of voters online and have them vote for a better change.
Despite a slow start, we’ve had some successes. For one, our Facebook account has the most number of fans of any partylist group. It may not be at the level of the Noynoy-Villar competition, but we certainly have more online followers than most Senatoriables. Meanwhile, our official website has increased traffic. In fact, the previous record for number of daily visits was broken last Feb. 11, and this new record was itself broken on Feb. 18 and 19.
A thank-you is in order for those who have heeded the Online Team’s call of maximizing the Internet to advance the new politics of change. And here they are:
Panalo di ba?
Chelledzoi, a senior from the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Incidentally, she looks like my maternal cousins. Since she’s also from up North, could we be related?
Batangtibak, which seems to be a group blog of student leaders in the Ateneo de Davao University
Apoldgreat, who hails from Batangas
Joanamay, who describes herself as “just a typical young adult, who spends a lot of time writing”
KABATAAN is also endorsed by Batangueno.net, which describes itself as “kapulungan ng mga Batangeny@ng Bloggers mula sa iba’t-ibang panig ng daigdig“. To be endorsed by an entire province is really flattering, if I may say so myself.
Meanwhile, leading the way in Multiply are: Yummyhanie, a Sociology student in UP Diliman
and the Online Team’s very own Pia
Other people/groups who have promoted KABATAAN so far by linking the official website to their blogs are: Sarah Maramag, Rep. Mong Palatino’s chief-of-staff; Gly Gotiangco, also of the KABATAAN-congressional staff; Karlo Mongaya, a former student council chairman of UP Cebu; the League of Filipino Students, and ANAKBAYAN; there are also our blogger-celebrities Ederic Eder, Tonyo Cruz, and Bikoy Villanueva; Last, but certainly not the least, is our very own representative and the country’s first blogger-lawmaker, Mong Palatino.
A special mention also goes to the most persistent online campaigners of KABATAAN in Facebook: Kimme, a student from the PUP College of Communications; Faye, a student leader from the PUP College of Languages and Linguistics; Julhean, from the Miriam College; and Piping Walang Kamay of Manila;
Equally commendable are the chapters of KABATAAN who created their own blogs, namely, the regional chapters of Bicol at Southern Mindanao, as well as Jose Rizal University‘s local chapter. KABATAAN’s Ilocos chapter meanwhile has the most active Facebook account of any chapter. Such blogs and other online accounts can actually help broadcast local issues and events which the mainstream media ignores.
To people who want to help the Online Team, here are six easy steps to get you started:
- Constantly Check – KABATAAN’s website, emails and updates from our online accounts.
- Share – all news and updates. The next email you forward or Facebook link you share might just convince a friend to vote or even join KABATAAN.
- Tag – your friends. It’s more effective because you are making them pay attention to what you just posted.
- Link – the website to your blog or own site. A lot of website visitors come by way of such links.
- Post – our online posters in your sites and accounts. It’s your way of telling the world that you proudly support KABATAAN.
- Invite – all your social network site accounts’ friends to join our official accounts. Don’t be greedy: let them receive our updates and message too.