Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Research report for "When the Nerds Go Marching In"

The article published in The Atlantic "When the Nerds Go Marching In" is an overall decent article but must be taken with a grain of salt due to some political bias. As I was reading this article I noticed that some political statements and inferences were present throughout the article. In addition to political lopsidedness, I found that the author and editor of this piece are one in the same. Beyond those two points the article was very informative and brought to light a very revolutionary approach to the art of campaigning for president. The best way to read and comprehend this article is by trying to focus mainly on the descriptions and activities of "the nerds" they portray in the article.
             The author of this article and the magazine itself are both known for leaning towards the left end of the political spectrum. Though it should be dually noted that the facts and issues that they used in the article about Obama's and Romney's campaigning are true bias should still be accounted for when reading. Romney’s site did have more problems, crashed and received fewer donations. One thing that was not clearly stated was that there are many parts to a political campaign not just the technological. Therefore it should not be made out to seem like the technical role was the only thing that helped Obama win the election. (Though it may have been a large part).
            In regards to the author/editor Alexis C. Madrigal: he wrote the article and because he is the senior editor of the technology section of The Atlantic it got published. Obviously one of the main reasons this story was done in the first place was the fact that it sheds a smart, trendy, and innovative light on both the Democratic Party and Obama’s campaign. (Aka “the left”) Regardless, Alexis is a well respected in both the journalism and techy worlds due to his improvements to wired.com (during which he helped them to win the "Best Science Website" at the 2009 Webby Awards) and the fact that he co-founded Longshot magazine.
            When researching I found many mentions of the article by tech websites but only one or two results that were predominantly political. When most of them mentioned it was along the lines of how technology is playing a bigger role in politics at spreading each candidate’s message and helping them to receive feedback and resources. Some even just posted the whole article on their blog or website because they enjoyed hearing about the underbelly of the political movement.
            At the end of the day it really comes down to the fact that Alexis wanted to show that the Obama campaign took a little bit of a risk with hiring their own tech staff and that it appeared to pay off. This article’s author highlighted a new thought process, a new way of thinking about how to run a campaign, and a new opportunity for the political and technical spectrums to collaborate on. Above you should remember that it is important to look at this article only through the facts, including political ones because they help us gain a much more improved understanding of the context and how it affects the world we live in. 


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