Dear Campaign Drain,
We appreciate the push you have made during recent weeks to narrow the scope of the project and locate an argument. Your openness and honesty about the struggle involved in settling on an argument has allowed others in the class, including the professors, to contemplate the best methods for identifying, communicating, and supporting an argument with digital tools. We encourage you to continue reflection on this process in your papers.
For starters, you can use your welcome page more effectively by adding some representation of your argument. This is valuable real estate on the site–most readers will be starting their journey through your site here. Instead of just listing the four types of analysis you will be doing, give an indication of what you found. This will put readers on notice about what is coming their way.
Great image on the welcome page, but it needs to be properly sourced. It should also be given a caption that guides the reader in what to make of it, especially how it relates to your argument.
You have rounded up a good amount of useful data, but need to more explicitly link it to the argument. Now that you have nailed down the argument, you need to pass carefully back over the data and read what it says about consistency and the implications of varying patterns of consistency. Every time a new set of data is presented, you should give readers guidance on what they should take away from it.
Related to this, you need to assess the meaning of data collectively–throughout you should add your interpretation of the data given that you are studying it in conjunction with related data. Presented separately, you are limited in the amount of meaning that you can draw out of the data. If you add a statement for each data set that explains what it shows about your argument relative to the other sets, you will be getting much more mileage out of that data.
Your citations page would be most appropriately placed at the bottom of the navigation menu, as opposed to right after the welcome where you have it now. Superb job giving full citation information and breaking down the list into primary and secondary sources. Regarding your note at the bottom about doing your best to rule out biased sources: it is good to see you are thinking through this, although please know that the best historians routinely include biased sources–they just proceed carefully, taking the time to understand the bias and read the sources accordingly. If you had thrown out all biased sources you would be left without any campaign speeches, since a campaign speech by definition has a distinct bias!
You may want to combine your historical argent and historical question pages since they are both sparse, and closely relate to one another.
On the 2004 page, the introduction should be sharpened. You open with, “Bush’s campaign in 2004 — just like Obama’s in 2012 — delivered solid and clear message to the voters when we compare them to their opponents.” This goes beyond assessing the consistency of message, which is what you can back with the data. You then say, “Their campaigns were better organized and funded,” which also goes beyond your data. You continue: “They were able to reach voters with their consistent message. And that was their winning strategy.” This is closer, but even here be careful not to overstate the claim. Your argument is that a consistent message in public addresses is an indicator of strength. This is a more modest, but still important, claim. Phillip appropriately constrained the argument when you guys presented on Wednesday, and that sense of constraint needs to be distributed throughout what you present.
Much of the 2004 is presented as a comparison with 2012 throughout. There should be some mention to the site visitors indicating why this is all happening on the 2004 page? Where is Kerry on the 2004 page (we clearly told you earlier to include Kerry data)? Comparing Bush’s performance in 2004 to Obama’s in 2012 doesn’t have the same effect because they weren’t running against each other. You say at the end of the page, “This [the Fusion table] is just another great tool in our arsenal and allows us to compare two different approaches used by Bush and Kerry.” But data on Kerry has not been presented.
For the videos on the 2004 page, the viewer should be given some indication on what conclusion you drew after watching the videos. They want to hear your expert opinion on what the comparison says about your argument. If you want to hold this until after they view the videos, that is okay, but you should not leave the sources without any interpretation.
For the 2004 page Fusion Table, a clearer connection needs to be made between the geographic campaigning pattern and rhetorical consistency. The 2008 Fusion table presentation is stronger in that it includes information from both the Obama and McCain campaigns, and the surrounding text describes the consistency of locations for delivering economic messages, although still leaves the reader unclear about the connection between words spoken and the location of the audience. The same can be said of the spatial analysis on the 2012 page.
The 2008 page shows persuasively that messages were repeated verbatim, but leaves it to the viewer to decide what this means, especially in terms of your argument. How do we know that consistency is an indication of strength and not something else? How do we know that consistency of message swayed the polls and not other forces?
The 2012 page includes a series of good data sets, but without transition sentences and fleshed-out captions for graphics, readers are left to piece together the collective meaning. You should add a strong introduction, conclusion, and transitions between the posts. This will give you space to explore the connection between the data and your argument and walk readers through the data along a clearly laid path.
Your Results page is very weak. This is where you want to re-assert your argument, and communicate to readers the implications of your findings. What you currently have on this page jumps around, at times contradicting your argument.
Ultimately, you should work through these suggestions and make the changes you can in the time you have. What you choose not to change you can then address in your papers.
Luke and Tom
First of all, more than any other group you took advantage of the aesthetic possibilities of a publishing platform like Blogs@Baruch. William did a very nice job of describing the relationship between the “puzzle” of images that display on the front page and the various kinds of data you found to support the notion that it is problematic that the War on Drugs was absent from the 2012 election. You also did a nice job relying methodologically upon one of the primary themes of the course: the idea that historians need to become adept at “reading the silences,” at seeing the absence of something as historically significant and seeing value in investigating why this is the case. You do a good job of linking within your site, both to other sections and to footnotes. Your group clearly has an impressive grasp of the aesthetic and navigational potential of digital spaces.
You also have a fair amount of sources, and you have data from each of the areas that we examined in class– though, unlike other groups, you did not work with any data: you produced no charts, no maps, and did no data or text mining (it seems like you guys put the energy that could have been devoted to that into aesthetics, which is ok, but is a choice you should explain in your papers).
The most significant problem with your site, however, is the lack of an answer to your question. Saying that “there were a lot of reasons why the War on Drugs was absent” and then discussing a few is a very good beginning, but it doesn’t explain much, and doesn’t hold up as a historical argument. How are these elements related? How are they weighted against each other? What were the costs and benefits for each candidate of this situation? Even if you don’t have definitive evidence proving every connection (the “smoking gun” evidence Tom discussed with you during Monday’s class), you should deliver to the reader your best explanation about the reasons for the absence. You have spent more time with the sources than most, if not all, of your site audience. For this reason, you are prepared to give evidence-based explanations that will be valuable to the reader.
The homepage for the site is appealing, but the navigation is confusing– there’s no discernible order the way you’re presenting information. That’s okay methodologically — we certainly looked at a variety of models for navigation this semester — but it should be explained in an “About this Site” page linked at the top of the menu, and in your papers. There should be a certain amount of intentionality behind your design choices and your information architecture. Think about that some more, and reflect on it in your papers.
This page — https://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/warondrugs/2012/12/04/disparities-in-policies-state-federal-international/ — is emblematic of both the strengths and weaknesses of your project. Good sources, and you interpret them, but you fail to connect them to an argument.
This page — https://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/warondrugs/further-readings-interests/ — needs more details on the sources. Follow the model we laid out on our course blog.
Finally, you did a nice job in your presentation inviting feedback from your classmates, building upon our suggestion that your embrace the potential for doing advocacy around this kind of public history work. But comments sections are a simple, easy, and rather fickle method for that type of outreach. If, perhaps, you wished to develop this space in the future it would benefit from a much more built-out system of public outreach. That, along with an exploration of a) what additional kinds of data you would need to locate and b) how you would integrate it analytically with what you’ve already done would both be valuable components of your final papers.
Luke and Tom
Dear Net Politics,
It is exciting to see the separate parts of your project beginning to cohere into a single unit. With just a few hours more work, it can be tightened up significantly further. Below, we detail some strategies for doing this.
You have done a nice job introducing important differences between some of the candidates in a given year, but have not linked together your individual sections in enough places to highlight the changes across elections. By adding some short, carefully worded transition statements, you can transform a loose network of parts into a single body that communicates your argument.
Good work on both your site and in the presentation of clearly stating your historical question. You can add to the the continuity of your project by adding a concise statement of your argument to your home page. Do this with the same emphasis as your question. Hit the viewer right up front with it, at least in brief, so that it frames the upcoming data presentation for the reader.
Toward the end, you may wish to add a more elaborate discussion of the implications of your conclusions. Consider finishing with a conclusions page or section that viewers encounter after navigating through the election pages. This will bookend the case studies on both ends, leaving the reader with a clearly defined picture, as opposed to an open-ended presentation.
In both an introduction and conclusion, use language that emphasizes changes in the actions of the campaigns. Your question does not explicitly ask about change over time (although in the context of this course it seems to be implied). A bold (both metaphorically and in typeface!) statement of the argument will clear this ambiguity and prepare readers for case studies that reveal dramatic changes in both the technological landscape and campaigns’ ability to change course. Some of this is already on your front page, but it just needs to be sharpened.
In addition to clarifying your argument in your general introduction and conclusion, you want to have a through-line that carries your argument across the case studies. This can be done by adding some brief statements at the beginning and end of each election page, reminding the reader of your argument, and pointing out what is different about the election under discussion relative to the others in the project. These transitions help reader keep the argument in mind as you support it with your data.
For example, the 2004 page begins with a single line, “Different ways the 2004 presidential campaigns used the internet to connect with voters.” This is too general of a label for the posts that appear. Use a label that ties more directly into your argument so that readers are prepared from the first moment to see evidence for your argument unfold. At the beginning of the page, you should set the scene by characterizing, based on your analysis and interpretation of the sources, how social media was used in 2004. Just saying that there were “different ways” isn’t enough — be more precise. Collectively, the posts for 2004 show some serious technological challenges that inhibited using the internet for building social networks–this came across well during the presentation, but is a bit buried without a full introduction to the page.
For the 2008 page, you go directly into the posts without introduction. A short statement at the beginning that signals to the reader where this page stands relative to your argument will go a long way. A short statement at the end will set the stage for the upcoming 2012 page.
The 2012 page also lacks an introduction. Even a brief statement at the beginning will serve as a transition, indicating to the reader what type of change is occurring. Don’t assume that the audience knows how internet usage is different in 2012 than in 2008. Get the reader ready for data that is going to show how Obama’s team built on previous techniques to exploit the power of the internet at a whole new level and with a new systemic rigor.
Anton astutely pointed out during the presentation how daunting he found the large amount of data generated by and about the 2012 election (“Trouble with the abundance in front of me.”). However, he did not stop there. He showed that he is emerging from his deep dive into the data and making sense of it. By adding transitions (even as short as one sentence each) at strategic locations–beginning and ending each post, and even in between posts, you can ensure that readers who are coming to this topic brand new get the meanings that you have discovered clearly and quickly and do not get lost in the data.
The concluding paragraph on the 2012 page is a nice example of a conclusion. Although since it effectively serves as the final stop for a reader navigating through your project in chronological order, we recommend setting it off more boldly and then connected to a paragraph recapping your argument and what has been proven.
There were some great moments in all of your presentations when the candidates or their campaign staffs were described as agents of change. This brings the history alive and it forces the reader to think through the specific details of change along with you. For example, Anton’s description of Harper Reed. He serves as an example of a person who made very consequential decisions for the campaigns’ implementation of social media. Anton also did a nice job explaining how the use of Dashboard–a very specific change–had broad consequences. Another example is when Eli pointed out that Obama “made it a strategy” to connect via fifteen networks. This specificity makes it very clear that you understand, better than most, how and why the situation changed.
Be careful with sourcing. All images, charts, graphs, etc. should have a link to the original source as well as a caption specifying the source. Bibliographic information such as that listed at https://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/netpolitics/2012/12/12/sources-2/ and https://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/netpolitics/2012/12/01/sources/ in a string of links need to be fleshed out. As we discussed in class, we are flexible on the style, but the author, date, and basic public information need to be included. They should also include captions that give the reader a sense of how you interpret the meaning of the visual source.
Some design considerations that you might address in your paper: How could the right sidebar be adjusted to offer alternative access points to your data? Do you want viewers to have such alternatives, or do you want them to navigate in a linear path? If you decided on a linear trajectory, is it safe to assume readers will move from left to right across the top menus, or does this need to be more rigidly structured? Finally, along other lines, do you want comments on your home page? These can be turned off.
Finally: very nice job across the board employing data mining to recognize word patterns and displaying them via Wordle and Voyant.
Luke and Tom
It’s clear you’ve done a lot of thinking, compiled a significant amount of sources, and have done an effective job of going to school on the debates in the elections you’ve selected. You also — in your presentation, and in our discussions inside and outside of class — have done a fine job articulating how we can understand the role of the debates in the elections you’ve examined. The notion of “momentum” is key to this.
Your site does not, however, do as effective a job as it might in making your case. It frankly looks like you guys ran out of time, which is understandable. But there are a few steps we feel you should take before moving on from this project. The best strategy for accomplishing this would be to work on how your argument is framed. Your site would benefit from an introduction and a conclusion, and would also benefit from referring to your overall argument about momentum throughout the site. Without already knowing this was your argument, it would be hard for us to discern it from the current state of your site.
You guys could also do a better job of contextualizing your data and sources, and also reading them with and against each other. The 1960 section presents an advertisement, but just kind of floats it out there. What does this ad mean, in relationship to the debates? Additionally for 1960, more data on the first debate — which Jordan notes is the most influential — would go a long way to making that case. This part of your argument is not clear until the end of that section. What other data do you have on this debate? More polls? Qualitative sources? Research into the campaign strategy following the debate?
For 1960, the integration of photos — the black and white against the black and white WordPress theme — looks fantastic. A good aesthetic choice.
For 1992, you could use more contextualization of the polling data for the first debate — it’s just kind of put out there. You could also use some data to make your point about the status of the candidates going into that debate. You also note: “Polls revealed that Perot had won the first debate and Bush was struggling.” What polls are you referring to? You mention Clinton took part in an “electronic town hall” before the debates. What is that? This is symptomatic of your larger tendency to miss potential connections between sources– those connections form the fibers of your argument, they pull everything together.
Love the screenshots of the iconic moments, but those need to be described for the reader. Tell us about them. Interpret them.
In the “synthesis” section, you say the debate was “full of name calling”… but where is that in the body of your presentation? Where’s your evidence? Where is the relationship to “momentum” in this section?
For 2012 — fantastic intro. We like what you did with social media in the Wordle, but it could use more analysis. Send us a link for the Gallup video and we’ll embed it for you. We could use closer analysis of what The Debate Pulse video of second debate shows us. The General Election interactive map isn’t visible. And the final post needs contextualization– your words, not just the data. The 2012 section is strong, but loses steam towards the end, and this ultimately leaves the project feeling very unfinished.
Overall, you guys can think a bit more about design components. Do you want comments on the front page (you can turn them off on selected pages/posts)?
And: we want to see a bibliography page. You guys have done a lot of research, and did a decent job of citing throughout. Create a page on your site to show what you did.
We think if you focus on these questions and put a few more hours into the site before the final due date, you’ll have something you can be very proud of.
Luke and Tom
Below you’ll see some feedback about your projects. We’ve asked you to take some specific steps that should not be too time consuming — another two hours or so per person in the group should enable you to make those changes. You can also use the feedback we’ve given to help you write your paper: we’ve asked you some questions about choices you made, or asked you to suggest possible routes this project might take in the future.
Remember that your papers are due by 11:59 pm on Thursday, December 20th. You should make any changes to your site by that time as well.
As always, we’re available to answer questions.
Luke and Tom
Here’s the link to Contra’s final project: War on Drugs
If you guys have the time, we would love to hear your opinion on the issue.
Best of luck on your finals, and happy holidays from the members of Contra!
Optional draft: email us a draft by 7pm on 12/17, and we will give you feedback by 7pm on 12/18.
Final paper due by 11:59pm 12/20: email the final paper to both instructors as an attachment (Thomas.Harbison at baruch.cuny.edu and Lucas.Waltzer at baruch.cuny.edu).
Your final paper should be 8-10 pages. In the paper, you will describe your contributions to the group project, detail the decisions your group made, and articulate how your group and your work individually drew upon the ideas we engaged during the course.
This is an essay. It should have an argument, and then evidence to support the argument.
Here are some questions to consider. You need not answer these directly, but thinking about them will give a structure to your essay, and help you find your argument.
- How did collaboration work — or fail to work — within your group?
- What audience did you envision for your project?
- What was the biggest challenge you (as an individual, as a group, or both) faced in doing this project?
- How did the notion of failure factor into your process?
- How did the methods of digital history change your approach to doing a historical project from previous projects you’ve done?
- If you could do the project over again, what changes would you make?
Historical Games and Simulations
- On Wednesday we are going to imagine a historical game based upon presidential elections. Come to class with one idea for how the historical content of your group project might be represented in this game.
Blogging and Group Work
- If you’re behind on your group project — and you should know who you are — use this time to make up lost ground.
- We will carve out at least half of Wednesday’s class for technical questions around the production of your final project. Post any questions that you know you would like us to answer to the course blog by 8 am.
- Revised presentation schedule
- Guide to writing the paper will be coming
- Information on Citation
- Textual analysis
- Where will your sites be located?
- Blogs@Baruch questions?
- Individual projects review
- Jeremiah McCall, “Historical Simulations as Problem Spaces: Criticism and Classroom Use,” Journal of Digital Humanities, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Spring 2012).
- What is meant by the notion of a “problem space”?
- What characterizes the analytical limits of the historical games McCall examines? How does this impact the potential value of these games as products of scholarship, or teaching and learning tools?
- “One absolutely should question whether the roles and goals selected for the players are historically legitimate.”
- “One can rightfully question why each and every element of the game is portrayed as it is. But these questions should not be divorced from the consideration of the problem space as a whole, especially the historical roles and goals conceptualized by the designers.”
- How do the qualities of historical game design intersect with and depart from the methods of doing scholarly or public history?
- “A variety of players with roles: we would term them actors or agents, but the idea of the past being full of people who had choices, made decisions, played roles, and mattered is certainly well within the norm for historical sensibilities.”
- “Players with goals: Games clarify goals; life obscures them …”
- “Players and actions in physical space: … teachers and students too easily and often forget that humans in the past (and present) operated in physical, spatial contexts.” (environmental context creates “constraints and affordances”).
- “Players with choices and strategies: Granted, philosophers can argue about whether anyone really has any choices whatsoever. Pragmatically speaking, however, historians speak in terms of choice and decisions. Furthermore, we as humans act and comprehend the world in terms of the choices we and others can make (even when we feel victimized and assign all the choice-making to those who seemingly harm us).”
- If we were to design a game about presidential elections, what might it look like?
By midnight Sunday, your group must post to the blog a description of how your final project is fulfilling the distribution requirements. Remember, your projects must combine
spatial history, data mining and analysis, textual analysis, and visual and aural artifacts:
For Spatial History,we plan to use this interactive map, because it showcase changes in national medical marijuana laws from 1995 to 2012. In addition, the color code is easy to follow, ranging from green to white gray. The green and lime green stats have legal medical Marijuana while gray and white gray stats represent where it has fail to pass and have any legalization medical marijuana bill. Next, is the interactive of the map, where when you click on a state it show the stats regulation/law regarding the medical marijuana. For example if you click on New York State on the map, a small text box pop up, with information stating New York is considering legislation for medical marijuana, with brief information about the bill, what is then name of the bill and when was it introduce. Next is the easy to use handle bar on the top of the map, where it allow user to travel back in times to look at the map when the first medical marijuana was passed in 1996 in the state of California.
This map help strength our group argument because it showcase the changes over time on the stances on illegal drugs being more accepted into society. It show before 1996, there was no stats allow the uses of medical Marijuana, now in 2012, there are 17 stats that allow the uses of marijuana for medical purpose.
For visual we decide to showcase a TV ad by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Colorado, because in this video, it embody a messages that what is consider illegal drugs by federal standard, help US veterans to combat with the effect of his post-traumatic stress disorder.
data mining analysis, textual analysis, and aural artifacts.
Textual Analysis – This is pretty straight forward. There is a lot of information on the use of internet in presidential campaigns, especially in 2012. Our main priority was finding the best possible sources. We found many opinion articles and sites that cited others. We resisted the temptation to pick those sources no matter how easy it was to find them. We found sources that reinforce our argument and help answer our historical question.
Visual artifacts – We have graphs and tables that compare candidates’ PPC. We have screenshots of campaign websites from each election. We want to create a timeline on the home page of our website, that will include textual and visual data. Unfortunately, Timeline JS proved to be to difficult for us to use, so we are looking for an alternative.
Data mining – We are planning to use Voyant on the candidates’ social networking websites to determine the agenda of each campaign. In 2004, we found “fundraisers” being used regularly. In 2008, “change,” and “economy” in 2012. The candidates were using those words to connect with voters. We will attempt to show that the repeated usage of those words is an important strategy of the candidates.
Spatial history – We have talked about maps, but we couldn’t think of any that could help our argument. Since the “space” is online (internet), we don’t need traditional elements of spacial history, like maps. If we create the timeline, perhaps it can be the spacial element as well as a visual artifact.
Each individual in our group is analyzing a specific election and using our own methods for spatial history, data mining and analysis, textual analysis, and visual and aural artifacts. This is because we are each covering unique elections in which the technology available varied significantly from the 1960s until modern times.
I plan to use data mining and analysis to construct my argument of the correlation between debates and outcome of the election in determining the winner. This includes statistical analysis of polling data before and after debates, along with graphs to support data. For visual artifacts, I will use videos from research organizations that were done on the same topic with more in-depth and conclusive research to help support our argument. Some of our aural artifacts will be YouTube clips of voters’ responses. There are also interactive maps from one of CNN’s own John King segments, but I’m not sure if I would be able to embed a working map into our website. These maps will be used to show turning points in the election before and after debates as a result of voter response to candidates. I will use textual analysis through newspaper articles from various prominent sources such as The New York Times and Huffington Post. We will also analyze debate transcripts through Wordle to see what words were frequently used, which might tell us what the important issues were for voters during the election.
To show important aspects of the 1992 presidential debates, and how they affect voting tendencies, I plan on using several methods to fulfill the requirements related to the assignment. Visual artifacts will be used, using images of each of the debates and images of particular moments that affected the viewers. Examples would be Bush’s infamous time check, Clinton becoming close and personal with his audience in a town hall debate format, and the layout of each debate. As this is visual, the aural aspect will be similar. I will embed videos that show important times of the debates, such as Perot’s humorous one liners that grabbed national attention, and attacks by Bush and Clinton on each other.These images and moments are iconic of the 92 debate and surely affected voters. I will show how this affected voters by using statistical numbers collected by CNN which polled voters after each debate and asked who they thought won each debate. This data will be used to create a graph of each, which is an analyzing tool. I have examined the transcripts of the first debate and inserted it into wordle, a means of textual analysis, wordle can show us what important themes were present for the debates. These themes are important because they relate to the viewers and a correlation can be made from the individual words and phrases used by each candidate and how it affected voters opinions. Certain words such as “money”, “economy”, and “country” are important to the public, especially since going into the ‘92 debate the economy was in the doldrums. This background info has helped me understand why Perot was such a contender because of his sharp business record. Interviews directly following each debate with random undecided voters gives an important insight into their opinions of the debate. I am using PBS interviews with people that are undecided, there are teachers, college students and manufacture workers that share their feelings towards each debate. As i analyze these interviews i can create an argument that tells an important story as to what issues touches them, and how it will affect their voting tendencies. Candidates who empathize job creation will certainly grab the attention of jobless voters (such as Clinton attacking Bush for the jobless rate at the time). Voters who are more concerned with the economic condition of our country will be intrigued by what Perot has to say because it was the underlying theme of his campaign. These are all aspects that influence voters on election day. Using these interview transcripts are an example of textual analysis.
Seeing as the debates of 1960 were the very first Presidential Debates ever to be televised, the general opinions and reactions of voters were extremely varied and possibly naive due to the initial shock of actually being able to see the candidates argue one on one. The visual nature of these debates played a massive role in the representation and coverage of each candidate throughout the media, and more importantly, in the eyes of the voters. Within my analysis of these debates I will focus largely on visual components to supplement my argument, such as actual footage of the debates, what pictures were printed in the newspapers of the time, and video/photographs taken on each campaign trail. The method of what is now modern campaigning, a process highly reliant on striking visual rhetoric, was born in the broadcast of the 1960 debates and I plan on bringing that spirit into my work.
The platforms for which voters could publicly voice their opinions regarding their perspective on the Presidential Debates of 1960 were very limited compared to those of 2012, and 1992 to a lesser degree. National polls, television interviews, newspaper editorials and letters will be my main source of primary textual evidence of the voters opinions. I am exploring the potential of Wordle in bringing some of the key themes to the surface, however, I am interested in finding a software in which I can find more complex strings or phrases within the testimonials of voters. As the primary voter opinion in 1960 is not as prevalent for examination compared to that of the other elections our group is studying, I will need to take the information I do have and apply different methods of analysis so as to extract the core of each message.
During our research, we applied textual analysis method to all sources that we found. This involved asking the correct questions such as is this source primary or secondary, what article is talking about, what is the author’s personal position, is this a reliable source or not, and etc. As a result, this guided us to limit our research material and to focus only on what can be used to support the team’s argument. In some cases, textual analysis helped us to see that some sources do not provide objective and reliable information. In other cases, the method revealed that authors focus on meaningless and trivial information. So, our research will be based on the reliable and unbiased material.
Data mining and analysis
As we know, candidates make a lot of statements and promises in their speeches during their presidential campaign. While doing our research, we came across an archive that contains all speeches that Obama and Bush made during their presidential run. It is a long list of speeches and it would be difficult for us to analyze it in short time period. So, we used data mining application to analyze the large amount of text and identify a pattern. Specifically, we used Voyant (http://voyant-tools.org/) word cloud software in order to generate word cloud of these speeches. It is a great tool to analyze a speech because it immediately shows the key words that are frequently used in the text. Word cloud helps to effectively prove our argument by visually showing the pattern in the speeches of both candidates.
Visual and Aural artifacts
Artifacts such as photo images, videos and audio are very effective in supporting our argument. Just like transcripts of speeches, video recordings of candidates’ public addresses are considered to be primary sources. Videos that our group found on YouTube and C-SPAN will be instrumental to bring attention to the specific statements and promises the candidates made. It’s one of the most effective and reliable proves that later cannot be denied by either candidates or media.
Finally, we came across the detail information about what states candidates visited during their campaigns and how often. We are going to plot this data using Fusion Table and create a map that will visually present all US states visited by candidates using color gradation and label them with the number of times visited. This information emphasises the important role these states play in the final results of the presidential race.
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The White House. Office of the Press Secretary. Fact Sheet on the Framework Agreement on Middle Class Tax Cuts and Unemployment Insurance. December 7, 2010.
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Dan Primack. Obama’s second-term economic promises. CNN Money. September 6, 2008.
Democratic Convention: Obama Promises Economic Problems Can be Fixed. Fox News Latino. September 6, 2012.
Walter Hickey. Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Obama’s Economic Plan. Business Insider. October 19, 2012.
The Broken Promises of George W. Bush. Rhetoric vs. Reality. Center for American Progress Action Fund. August 9, 2004.
Bush Economics. PBS NewsHour. Paul Solman speaks with Glenn Hubbard about President Bush’s economic policy. August 30, 2004.
Overview of the 2004 Election and Electorial College Vote. President Elect. The Unofficial Home of the Electoral College. Year 2004.
Collins, Sara R., Jennifer L. Nicholson, Sheila D. Rustgi, and Karen Davis. “The 2008 Presidential Candidates’ Health Reform Proposals: Choices for America – The Commonwealth Fund.” The Commonwealth Fund, 2 Oct. 2008. Web. 01 Dec. 2012.
“Barack Obama makes few promises in 2012 campaign” BBC-News, accessed October 30 2012 (published October 20, 2012)
“PolitiFact | The Obameter: Campaign Promises that are about Foreign Policy” Tampa Bay Times Politifact.com, accessed October 2012 (2012)
“Foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia” Wikimedia Foundation, accessed November 29, 2012 (October 26, 2012)
“Campaigning on foreign policy: World looks different from Oval Office – CNN.com” CNN.com, accessed October 2012 (October 20, 2012)
John Kerry’s Facebook Page:
“John Kerry – Boston, MA – Government Official | Facebook.” Facebook. John Kerry, 13 Dec. 2007. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. <https://www.facebook.com/johnkerry>
John Kerry John Edwards 2004 Campaign Site:
“John Kerry John Edwards 2004 Campaign Site.” John Kerry John Edwards 2004 Campaign Site. Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc., 3 Nov. 2004. Web. 30 Nov. 2012. <http://web.archive.org/web/20041104041706/http://www.johnkerry.com/fec/>.
George W. Bush White House Homepage:
“Welcome to the White House: President George W. Bush.” Welcome to the White House. U.S. Government, 16 Jan. 2009. Web. 30 Nov. 2012. <http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/index.html>.
Election Night 2012 Social Media: The Memes, Photos, Stats
Blue State Digital: Obama for America
SEO measures for the 2012 Elections
Media Bias in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election and the Effect of the Blogosphere:
Spagnolo, Justin. “Media Bias in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election and the Effect of the Blogosphere.” Conservative Blog & Conservative News Source for Right of Center Activists. Red State, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. <http://www.redstate.com/standardcandle/2009/10/19/media-bias-in-the-2008-us-presidential-election-and-the-effect-of-the-blogosphere/>.
Analyzing the Representativeness of Internet Political Participation.
Best, Samuel J., and Brian S. Krueger. “Analyzing the Representativeness of Internet Political Participation.” JSTOR. Springer, June 2005. Web. 30 Nov. 2012. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/4500191>.
Summary Data for George W. Bush 2004 Re-Election Campaign
“Bush-Cheney 2004 Elections.” Summary Data for George W. Bush: Campaign Finance/Money. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. <https://www.opensecrets.org/pres04/summary.php?cid=N00008072>.
Maureen Dowd’s New York Times OpEd Piece on John Kerry’s Campaign 2004 Blog
Dowd, Maureen. “Blah Blah Blog.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 13 Aug. 2003. Web. 30 Nov. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/13/opinion/blah-blah-blog.html?ref=presidentialelectionof2004>.
New York Times Topics: 2004 Election
“Presidential Election of 2004.” New York Times Topics: Presidential Election of 2004. The New York Times, 2004. Web. 30 Nov. 2012. <http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/subjects/p/presidential_election_of_2004/index.html>.
Social Media And Presidential Election: Impact Of YouTube, MySpace
Media Spectacle and the 2008 Presidential Election: Some Pre-election Reflections
2012 Presidential Election: Social Media and Internet Advertising Major Indicators
Inside the Obama Campaign’s Hard Drive
Commission on Presidential Debates (1960,1992,2012): http://www.debates.org/
2012 Debate Transcripts:
Research on Presidential debates:
- Peoplepress.org /2008/11/13/ section-1 report card on the campaign
- Huffingtonpost.com /2012/10/23/ presidential debate polls
- Gallup.com polling research Romney vs.Obama historic debate
- Gallup video – election matters: why debates make a difference
- Gallup Poll Video: Romney debate bounce short lived
- Pew research center: Link
- PBS “debating our destiny” transcripts (1992): pbs.org link
- AP Images, 1992 debates, Baruch Library database
- Gallup (news, analysis, politics: Gallup.com link
- Online Museum tv debates: Museum tv debate transcript (1960 first debate)
- New York Times September-26-1960 first televised presidential debate.
- Huffington Post :“Bill Clinton Won 1992 Town Hall Debate By Engaging With One Voter”10/16/2012.
Youtube Clips and Audio
- First Debate – Nixon v. Kennedy (video) : debate link
- Second Debate – Nixon v. Kennedy (video): [Part one link; Part two link; Part three link; Part four link.
- Third Debate – Nixon v. Kennedy (video): [ Part one link; Part two link;Part three link; Part four link.
- Fourth Debate – Nixon v. Kennedy (audio) : [ Part one link;Part two link; Part three link ;Part four link.
- JFK Youtube Channel : http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL56D4F0CEC7279B40&feature=plcp
- Rare photos of JFK campaign trail: Link
- transcript of 4th debate :Transcript link
- Boston globe (graph) (2011): Boston Globe graph link
- Scientific Journal (1992 debates): Scientificjournals.org journal 2007 articles
- “The Election of 1992” Pomper, book, pages 93-96
- JSTOR: Social Influence on Political Judgments: The case of presidential debates, (Fein, Goethals, Kugler) (pages 166-171).
- Miller center- Virginia- campaign bio: President kennedy essays biography link
- Did the 1960 Presidential Debates Really Matter?: Articles link
Media Myth Surrounding the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon Presidential Debates & the Boston Globe : Angelia Levy /2010/05/09/ media myth surrounding the 1960 Presidential debates
- “November 06, 2012 General Election Result” Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed, accessed December 1, 2012
http://vote.wa.gov/results/current/Measures-All.html Its a important because it show the poll result of initiative 502 and the general elections.
It show that more people voted for legalization of Marijuana than Mitt Romney.
- “Colorado Election result Secretary of State Scott Gessler” Colorado Secretary of State Sam Reed, accessed December 1, 2012
http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/CO/43032/113552/en/summary.html# More people voted for the Amendment 64 than either presidential Candidates.
- TV ad ,Video “Veterans with PTSD ” Regulated Marijuana, accessed December 1, 2012.
http://youtu.be/t3uKp1tT8j4 In the video, US Marine Veteran, Corporal Sean Azzariti stats that the use of Marijuana help deals with post-traumatic stress disorder he suffer after he came back from his tour in Iraq.
- TV ad, Video, “Yes on 64 radio ad – Tom Tancredo”, RegulateMarijuana.org ,Former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo endorsing Legalization of Marijiuana.
- International Drug Policy Consotrtium
http://idpc.net/accessed November 17thIDPC, is a library containing over 800 publications on international drug policy. I’ve enjoyed drawing facts from the site because of the consortium’s policy of promoting objective and open debate on the subject. This offers the visitor to the site, an opportunity to read a range of biases, as well as the sites rule of all publications must be backed up by research and evidence. It does not only tackle the United States war on drugs, but international policies as well. This gives you a good basis for how our countries spending and policies compare to other world powers.
“DRUG POLICY: LESSONS LEARNED AND OPTIONS FOR THE FUTURE”, Mike Trace, Accessed November 20thThis is a report by Mike Trace, that was commissioned by the ‘Global Commission on Drugs’. He outlines the ineffectiveness of the global prohibition efforts in regards to drugs. Also offered, are various solutions to a failed War on Drugs. Since he claims, eliminating all drug use is not possible, there needs to be a different direction international policy must take. I will draw from this source, to give viewers of our site an idea of what future policies could look like.The Global Commission on Drugs, has a team of commissioners that include former presidents, UN officials, and various people that have held prestigious positions. Recognizing the people behind the commission, helps add to the legitimacy of all findings the commission reports on.
- “AP IMPACT: After 40 years, $1 trillion, US War on Drugs has failed to meet any of its goals”, Associated Press, accessed December 1, 2012
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/05/13/ap-impact-years-trillion-war-drugs-failed-meet-goals/ It talks about the cost and point out the failure in the War on drugs. @ professor, its possible to use this sources? I was trying to find the reports that back up the claim made by the author but to no unveils.
- Andrew Cohen, “Will a Marijuana-Legalization Vote Help Obama Win Colorado?”,the Atlantic , Published November 2, 2012
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/11/will-a-marijuana-legalization-vote-help-obama-win-colorado/264435/ , This article touch on the turn out of youth voters on election day to vote for the legalization of Marijuana, and while at the voting site, their are likely to vote for Obama. The impacted of the youth votes might help Obama win Colorado.
- “Law Enforcement Against Prohibition”
Http://leap.cc, accessed November 7thLEAP was founded in 2002 and is made up of former and current members of law enforcement, and the criminal justice community. This website will be drawn on, to show that even members of the police are against what they have to do. LEAP also actively goes around the country giving speeches on the failed prohibition of drugs. These videos will be used to help build our argument.“Drug War Facts 6th Edition”
http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/, accessed November 28th
- ” Map: National medical marijuana laws” Associated Press, accessed Dec 1, 2012
Jeremiah McCall, “Historical Simulations as Problem Spaces: Criticism and Classroom Use,” Journal of Digital Humanities, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Spring 2012).
- When you come to class, be ready to discuss what Jeremiah McCall’s argument is.
- Do you play video games that have historical content?
- If you were to design a historical game, what might it look like?
Group Blog Post(s)
1. By midnight Saturday, we need to see each group’s working bibliography. We’ve previously called this an inventory of artifacts, but now want a more formal and thorough presentation of your sources. This will be necessary for your final project anyway, so this gives you an opportunity to get started on it now.
- The list should be broken up into primary and secondary sources.
- It should not merely be a list of links. Write out who the author is, what the name of the source is, where you found it, when it was published. If it’s online, include a link.
- Here are two examples of citations for online sources:
- “McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy Safety Facts,” McDonald’s Corporation, accessed July 19, 2008, http://www.mcdonalds.com/corp/about/factsheets.html.
- Roy Rosenzweig, “Can History be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past,” Journal of American History, Vol. 93, No. 1 (June, 2006): 117-46.
- Click here for an example of a bibliography with resources broken up by type.
- Here are two examples of citations for online sources:
- You may either post this to the blog, or email it to the professors. This assignment will factor into your group grade.
2. By midnight Sunday, your group must post to the blog a description of how your final project is fulfilling the distribution requirements. Remember, your projects must combine spatial history, data mining and analysis, textual analysis, and visual and aural artifacts.
- Be as precise as you can in your description. If you are creating a map, say how it is helping articulate or visualize your argument. If you are using maps created by others, say why you’re doing so and what it adds to your argument. What is the data that you’re using in your mining, analysis, or visualization? Etc.
- We will respond to these posts Monday morning. Be sure to read our responses prior to class on Monday.
Group Project discussion
Reading on Social Media and History
- Lauren Martin, “Archiving Tweets,” Cac.ophony.org. (Read post and comments).
- “Every public tweet, ever, since Twitter’s inception in March 2006, will be archived digitally at the Library of Congress”
- “… Do you think tweets are something worth archiving? Are there privacy concerns? Will knowledge that your tweets will be archived change the nature of what you write? Any other thoughts or concerns?”
- “Uncle Fred’s tweet about his failed sandwich won’t be noteworthy in isolation; but, as part part of say, a complex database compiled from millions of tweets about food habits cross-checked against location and date, I could see it being part of a scholarly argument.”
- Jeff Howe, “The Rise of Crowdsourcing,” Wired, June 2006.
- Bill LeFurgy, “Crowdsourcing the Civil War: Insights Interview with Nicole Saylor,” The Signal: Digital Preservation, December 6, 2011.
- Interview of Nicole Saylor, head of Digital Library Services at the University of Iowa Libraries
- Civil War Diaries and Letters project
- Crowd sourcing transcription
- Scripto (CHNM)
- Modeled on Zooniverse
- Importance of acknowledgement and rewards for transcribers
- “I really like how Sharon Leon, a historian at George Mason University, addressed that question in a New York Times article. ‘We’re not looking for perfect,’ she said. ‘We’re looking for progressive improvement, which is a completely different goal from someone who is creating a letter-press edition.’
Our argument is the internet has been a very big part of the elections especially in recent yeas. Our project focuses on different points of views such as candidates affecting voters via the internet, web users affecting each other’s opinions in blogs, and other various tools the internet provides plays a big rule in the elections. For example this past elections you were able to place your vote online! progressively over time the impact of the internet on elections has and will continue to increase.