Every so often, as citizens of the greatest country on the face of this earth, we are asked to participate in one of the most fundamental tenets of a participatory democracy- voting. Today, as millions across the nation schlep to their polling places, our social media overlords are doing everything they can do to make this process as harmless, fun, and social as possible. And major props to them for it!
Facebook is doing their part, complete with polling place information and a running tally of facebook members who have already taken to the polls. What I really like is monitoring the total number of your own friends who have voted! Of course, once you vote you get your very own badge on your wall.
Not to be outdone, foursquare is offering its members their own special “Election 2010” badge just for checking-in to your polling place with the #ivoted hashtag. Foursquare has also launched a constantly-updating website to watch people checking-in to their polling places across the country.
What I love about both these efforts is that they both play on an on-going theme in our American democracy that goes back decades itself- proudly displaying your “I voted” sticker when you go to the polls. In recent years many municipalities have done away with the physical-world sticker, but now our social media titans have stepped in to provide that much-needed badge- both for us to wear with pride, and also to pressure our friends to join in on the fun.
So get out. VOTE! You forfeit your right to complain and moan if you do not vote. Our democracy cannot survive without it’s citizenry participating in this most basic functions, and when Democrats vote, EVERYONE wins!
Update: Readwriteweb just published a similar blog post on the subject with even more information. Check it out!