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INTRODUCTIONBackground and Rationale

The media landscape has evolved since the internet emerged and flourished. Together with the widespread use of the World Wide Web is the rapid popularity of social networking sites, sometimes called social network sites, among people of all ages.

Social network sites are “web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site (Boyd and Ellison 2007.)”

Millions of users are now using different social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Friendster and Bebo among others. These sites have catered to different preferences and interests of people, and most of the members “have integrated these sites into their daily practices (Boyd and Ellison 2007.)”

Social network sites often offer the members to reunite with their friends, family members, former schoolmates and acquaintances in the cyber world. But amazingly, some of these sites also allow the user to meet other people whom he or she does not personally know, thus widening his or her social network. It literally breaks the notion of distance, thus creating a more intimate and familiar sphere from which people get to interact despite physical absence.

Other than connectivity, social networking sites also allow the users to express themselves through shout outs, status messages, blog, notes, tags and bulletins. The messages or contents of those features are primarily based on the preference of the user. Another remarkable feature is the ability of other users to post comments on another user's blog, note, and status message or shout out. This aspect therefore allows more exchange of ideas, online debates and communication.

Because of the features and the popularity SNS has achieved, senators, congressmen and other politicians have created their own SNS profiles, while others also maintained personal websites. This gave them instant and easy publicity, plus a wide connection of voters and future voting public. “Commentators and journalists have often seen the expansion of interactive media technology on the Internet as telltale signs that the Web has broken through the barriers of communication between candidates and citizens (Romano 2009.)”

Aside from personal profiles, other SNS users post blogs, shout outs or status messages containing their two cents worth on political and social issues. The issues may range from local, national or international in scope, generally based on the interest or preference of the user. Other users then, having read the posts send their replies or reactions by leaving comments, which are allowed by the SNS. These usually spark online debates, intellectual discussions and may affect other people's views. The extent of how a person's point of view or stand on an issue is affected by blogs and the like could not be easily quantified or qualified.

“While there has been extensive study on the effects of Web-based campaigning on campaign participation, much of the focus has been on specific forms of participation in the political system, such as donations or working for a campaign, and has been drawn away from two of the strongest indicators of participation, that is, interest in the political campaigns and the physical act of voting itself (Romano 2009.)”

This study was inspired by the lack of local studies on how these social network sites and their contents affect the voting public. Also, this study wants to focus on one of the two “strongest indicators of participation” (Romano 2009), “the physical act of voting itself” but will not limit to the act itself, but the voting behavior as well.

Traditional media such as newspapers, television networks and radio networks are of course continuously affecting the campaigns and voting behavior but the form of communication is not as intimate as that being offered by SNS.

A blog entry from Campaign U.blog (November 2008) states that “the influence of social networking could be significant. Unlike a newspaper article or television broadcast, the information presented on sites like Facebook and MySpace is filtered through a user's circle of friends and acquaintances. ‘They may trust those people more than they would a media organization or a campaign,' Mr. (Paul) Haridakis (Kent State University) said.”

The effect of traditional media on voters vis a vis the SNS's effect on the voting behavior could not be concretely compared in this study.

Research Problem and Objectives

This study aims to determine if political participation in Social Networking Sites affect UP Diliman undergraduate students' behavior toward voting during the recent USC Elections.

Research questions

  1. Are UP Diliman students getting involved in the campus political scene through SNS?
  2. Is there a direct relationship between the levels of involvement through SNS to the physical act of voting?

Significance of the Study

This study does not cover a very large sample but will be able to provide an overview and insights on how the voting youth of today are affected by SNS. Trends, if any, will be studied by the researchers. Also, this study may serve as a peg for more in depth studies on the effect of social networking sites on voting behavior.

Students, academic and media institutions may find this research as an insightful source for classroom discussions, forums or future fields of study. This study is also timely because of the upcoming 2010 elections.

Scope and Limitations

Foreign studies of the effect of social networking sites and the Web in general have been done by some academic institutions but so far, no known study on how social networking sites in particular affect the voting behavior of the young voting population in the Philippines. To fill this lack, the researchers decided to conduct a study to establish the effects of political involvement in social networking sites on the behavior of voters, primarily students from the University of the Philippines Diliman. This study is quantitative, but is so far limited in the scope of sampling, mainly focusing on UP Diliman students.

METHODOLOGY

In the country, the evident use of social networking sites for political participation only began in recent years, perhaps during the 2007 National Elections. The survey questions used for the first data gathering for the study were thus developed to center around the said event. However, since most of the earlier respondents were not old enough to vote at the time the National Elections were held, the group re-evaluated the research. It was then settled that the focus of the study would be the recent USC elections. The group based some of the survey questions from those developed by Martin and Schmeisser in their University of Florida research entitled, “The Effects of Social Networking Websites and Youth Voter Participation”. Respondents chosen were college students from the University of the Philippines - Diliman campus. Non-probability convenience sampling was used for the study. The group also conducted an online survey by sending the link http://www.surveygizmo.com/s/116894/social- networking-sites-and-students-voting-behavior to different contacts and groups.

The State University educates approximately 20,000 diverse students from different cities and provinces. This institution was chosen since it is a microcosm of Philippine society, particularly of tertiary-level education in the country, and could be indicative of the voting behavior of the Filipino youth. However, the group acknowledges that the culture and the level of activism in the University can influence the political behavior of the students.

This research involves several stages. The first stage focuses on the characteristics of social network users who have searched candidates, or have been contacted by candidates through these websites. This research wants to determine first if certain personal characteristics of social network users influence them to participate in political activities happening in the site. This is significant to validate the group's hypothesis:

H: Participation in political activities through social networking sites positively affects the actual act of voting.

Data were collected to explain the hypothesis by using several questions from the survey. One of the questions asks respondents if they have “Friended” a political party or candidate. Another question aks if they have participated in online discussions about the political parties or candidates. The physical act of voting, denoted by the question, “Did you vote in the last campus elections?” represents our dependent variable for the research.

The group also employed the explanatory variables used in the University of Florida study to test the hypotheses. As mentioned in their research, “individuals who are more likely to be politically involved on a social networking site will also exhibit politically active behaviors outside of the virtual realm”. This suggests that personal and political characteristics of our respondents need to be examined first. Political Activity Indicators pertain to political and community related organization membership, and interest in campus politics. Questions that measure this variable are under Section 4 - Campus Involvement. Social Activity Indicators refer to political activities that an internet user can perform on social networking websites. Some examples are asking a friend to support a politician or political party, creating a political group for others join, or viewing a video about a candidate. These are measured by questions under Section 5 - Social Networks and Campus Politics. Initial data gathered were then tallied to determine the percentage of respondents who yielded similar responses to the different factors.

CONCEPTUAL AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

Max Weber's Action Theory is the analytical tool used in this study. This will focus on human individuals and how their actions determine the larger structure which is the society.

In this study, the human individuals are UP Diliman students, and the actions which are studied are involvement in social networking sites and the physical act of voting. The larger structure is the University Student Council which acts as the governing body of the students.

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

The 1990s heralded the explosion of information, made available in several formats over the vast universe of communication that we call the Internet, ever far in its reaching tendrils, the only requirements a computer, a phone line, and electricity. With the technology today reducing these basic requisites to just one (a computer), the exchange of information from before this age of information has no doubt undergone a radical transformation in method and medium. In terms of collective action as well, Reyes (2008) states in her paper entitled “Text Me When You Get There” as a Means of Political Mobilization: Examining the Rising Use of Modern Communication Technology by Latinos in the U.S., political agents found out that information dissemination may no longer be effectively executed through traditional organizations, as well as coordinating the behavior of potential participants. The author goes on to explain that the Internet as well as mobile communications were beginning to be utilized as means of coordinating collective action and political activism. Not only do these new technologies keep up with the lack of formal and physical organization, they also reduce the costs and communication time required by each participant, and also unifies individuals who have common identities and interests, despite the difference in geographic location.

In a paper by Christina Wright (2008) entitled Helping Serendipity Along: The Internet's Role in the Evolution and Enhancement of Social Capital in the 21st Century, it was stated by the Pew Internet and American Life Project in 2006 that “the Internet helps build social capital” (p. 2). Despite the modern trend of mobility among families and individuals, the community was said to be transforming - social networks of geographically dispersed members were being formed. But even though this broadness in communication circles is new, people's networks still have traditional “bases of community”, such as relatives, friends, workmates, and even neighbors. Even minorities who had difficulty in the 20th century to express themselves socially, have increased opportunities for self-expression.

The year 2008 saw a lot of network traffic in social networking sites, especially in the United States. These sites enabled people all over the world to explore profiles of people they would never have the chance to even bump into otherwise; users have the freedom to upload and download pictures from each other, post in web logs (aka blogs) and leave comments, exchange instant messages and access other personal information. Erik Borra (2008), in a blog entry with the title Vriendjespolitiek.net: research into post-demographics he posted in his site at Wordpress.net, noted that social networking sites have enabled mankind to show their likes and dislikes to the general public. He also stated people also display the persons with whom they relate closely to, and even preferences regarding movies, music, food, and even brands (par. 2).

Borra also defined an online social network as a “web service where people form communities and share interests and activities or explore the interests and activities of others” (par. 4). Utilization of social networking sites have become part of the culture, and daily routine for some, particularly for the youth of the 21st century. Even in countries considered to be behind in terms of technology like the Philippines, in urban areas terms like Friendster, Multiply or Facebook are generally known. In the University of Michigan in the US, about 99.5% of the student population maintain a Facebook page, according to Renée Van Vechten and Wendy Johnston (2009) in a paper they presented at the Teaching and Learning Conference of the American Political Science Association. Their study, entitled From MySpace to “Our Space”: Collaborative Websites for Teaching Political Science, stated that college students have their own kind of “civic engagement” (p. 2) in the form of mobile SMS or of logging in and updating their Facebook, or MySpace (which is popular in the US) profiles, communicating with each other online. Kanter (2008) also maintains that more than 50% of Facebook's 50 million users (which is growing by more than 1 million weekly) check the site on a daily basis, and also garners more than 2 billion visits per day (par. 5). Martin and Schmeisser (2008) also conducted a study from which it was found out that out of the 519 students they studied, 97% have an account in a social networking site (p. 7).

In the same way that checking out each other's activities or preferences online is a form of social networking, Kanter (2008) suggests that getting involved in politics is also a prominent, if not one of the earliest forms of social networking. And when the networks go online, so do political entities. “Supporting a candidate or cause is a critical way in which people connect with the world around them and express themselves to others,” (par. 1) and technologies like the Internet and Facebook make the process easier. Online groups can be made in sites like Facebook and Multiply which carry titles like “Urge a Gaza ceasefire now” or “For Obama and Change”, which although digital and virtual, provide a venue for meaningful and substantive discussion among like-minded members. These groups also sometimes become facilitators of heated debates (Martin and Schmeisser, 2008, p. 6) between people who come from different backgrounds and geographic areas of the world. Martin and Schmeisser also stated that about 60% of their respondents belonged to at least one political group in their social networking sites (p.19). These people belonging to the 60% joined their groups in order to seek and obtain political information, ang involve themselves in the discussions (p.20). An illustration of this is found in Reyes' (2008) paper, citing the example of the League of United Latin American Citizens, a formal Hispanic organization, which has an account on MySpace and updates their site regularly to post their own activities, blogs, news and documentaries with political content (p.20). Wright (2008) also cited an example in her paper, wherein a University of Texas law student created a group last 2007 in Facebook.com called “UT Students for Obama”, when the running Senator was scheduled to be in a gathering in Austin, Texas.

In Kanter's (2008) online article, the author claimed that early social technologies like blogs and emails received “mainstream media attention” in the 2004 and 2006 US elections, providing the digital steps that technologies such as Facebook, Friendster, MySpace and even YouTube followed. Due to the utilization of a network of “friends”, with whom the user can closely affiliate him/herself with, as well as the usage of “virtual word of mouth” strategies, social networking sites showcase the opportunity to deviate from the impersonal and “unfriendly” thrust of most media. “On sites like Facebook, trusted people spread political messages in a way only dreamed of in the age of mass media” (par. 6). The virtual world in general is being “invaded” by real-world, political issues and communication. Even in popular MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) like World of Warcraft, where Wright (2008) claims to host 9 million players from around the globe, the political scene is present and active. Social networks are being formed, dubbed in this case as “guilds”, where some players even require undergoing interviews in order for their potential guildmates' teamwork skills to be evaluated.

World of Warcraft (WoW) has been “teeming” with people gabbing about the [2008 presidential] election, says Sean Goldman, 36, a player from Van Nuys, California. “Here we are, logging into a virtual world to escape the grip of the real world for a few hours, but this election has brought the real world closer to the virtual world,” says Goldman, who was running a “heroic dungeon” (a more challenging level) with a pickup group of players recently when a break in the action led to an online conversation about supporting [Sen. Barack] Obama. And the debate continued through the rest of the game (as cited in Wright, 2008, p. 9).

Candidates, being users themselves of these technologies, have the opportunity to take advantage of the vastly intricate communication networks that each person possesses with his/her friends, personally and virtually addressing their friends and other people within their social circles, making them potential voters (Martin, K.D. and Schmeisser, H.E., 2009). Candidates have a new venue for making themselves visible and their party's platforms, policies and programs available for scrutiny, as well as make users aware of the rules in voter registration and the location of various nearby precincts. This results therefore in a bundle of possibilities for candidates to interact between themselves, and with the potential voters who otherwise cannot be reached for this purpose (Kanter, 2008, par. 1). What makes these media more effective is that people from ages 18-29 have a higher chance of obtaining information of political nature from the Internet, according to survey data in the 2004 US elections (as cited in Martin and Schmeisser, 2008, p.1). An example of candidates involving themselves to their potential constituents via SNS (social networking sites) is from Reyes (2008), where MTV and ImpreMedia, a popular Latino media corporation joined efforts to offer “La Vibra” on MySpace last 2007. This online channel airs presidential candidate 'dialogues', and targets urban Hispanics ranging from the age of 18-34 years old. The users could also post and submit questions through Ims or instant messages during the airing of the said dialogues (p.21).

Martin and Schmeisser (2008) go on to indicate that the respondents whom they found to have joined political organizations or groups in social networking sites did so because a “friend” suggested it to them (p. 20), and previous studies have concluded that when someone gives another political information, that person is likely to cast a vote (Gerber & Green, 2000, as cited in Martin & Schmeisser, 2008, p. 20). The authors recommend using online social networking sites instead of developing their own websites to candidates, if they want a cheap and effective means for establishing substantial relationships with potential voters. Also, due to the immense amount of profiling that these social networks enable, targetting an audience of specific preferences is much easier, as terms like “liberal” or “Democrat” are searchable. However, the study also revealed that only a minority of the respondents contacted the candidates themselves in the online networks, despite the majority's high involvement in politics. The authors made inferences for the reasons behind this, and stated that although the youth of 'Generation.com' are highly involved in the virtual political arena, they spend more time building relationships among themselves, among people who have the same interests as they do, rather than with the candidates they are said to be supporting (p.22). In effect, voter turnout from the youth still seems to be unaffected by the growing trend of involvement in social networking sites.

According to Kanter (2008), political relationships that have more chances of lasting longer than usual are those who are founded in good communication and good constituent services, both of which can also be attained or at least explored in the field of online social networking sites. But the author proceeds to emphasize that virtual support and communications cannot replace the value that physical, human connections in its driving relation to politics, and politics should remain personal. In an article written by Moran (2008) in the website The Chronicle of Higher Education, the author warns that although Paul Haridakis, a communication professor from Kent Unversity, stated in an interview that social networking sites have become a key factor in the 2008 presidential elections, without any quantifiable data to base inferences on, an accurate account of the effect of online social networking to voter behavior “may be overstated” (par. 3). Haridakis also goes on to state that, similar to Martin & Schmeisser (2008), the majority of online users obtain their information from blogs or videos or articles posted by a friend, but they themselves post their own content. This, according to Haridakis, is just “getting more information, not more empowerment” (par. 3).

Wright (2008), however, saw an increase of youth voter turnout from 2004-2008, particularly in the Super Tuesday democratic primaries in the United States. The author states that the number of 17-29 year old voters increased by a median 5% for these past 4 years. In some states like Georgia and New York, participation percentage went as high as 7% for each (p. 6). Wright inferred that this increase was spurred by two reasons: 1) a general disappointment with the current administration, and 2) a significant increase in the grass-roots participation using the Internet as a medium for communication (p.6). Social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Meetup provide the means and venue for the average young voter to make a “direct impact - donating time, money, and opinions” (p.6). A particular example of this was cited in her paper, involving Howard Dean's popularity increase in the 2004 presidential election campaign period, thanks to the SNS called Meetup.com (p.23). His campaign failed, but Wright states that the way in which a social networking site like Meetup was instrumental in bringing about his “fame” was revolutionary in terms of encouraging and empowering the individual's right to vote. The author went on th mention that the power was being brought back to the “common citizen” rather than remaining with the elite, due to the accessibility and proliferation of online social networking environments.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The survey performed by the group was divided into five sections: General Information, Internet Use, and Social Network Account Use, Political Involvement in the Campus and the Social Networks and Campus Politics. There were 123 respondents, randomly chosen using non-probability convenience sampling.

Of the 123 respondents, 70 were female and 52 were male. All of the 123 respondents or 100% use the internet. Purposes of using the internet vary from educational, communication, entertainment and news gathering purposes.

All the respondents are aware of Social Networking Sites but only 120 out of the 123 respondents have SNS accounts. Majority of the students who answered the survey said they have been using their SNS accounts for more than three years already. The most popular networking sites are Friendster with a tally of 111, 102 Multiply users, followed by 65 Facebook members.

Forty five percent (45%) of the respondents check their accounts once a day followed by the 27.5% who check their SNS accounts more than once a day. Social Networking Sites are used by the respondents primarily to find old friends and to upload and view photos, videos, music and blogs.

Although 79 (66%) out of the 120 respondents who have accounts in various social networking sites are members of social, academic, and/or service student organizations in UP, only 14 (11%) of the students belong to a politically-oriented student organization. Fifty-one percent (51%) of the respondents answered that they sometimes follow what's going on regarding campus politics, while 28 (23%) rarely keep themselves updated. Twenty (17%) respondents stated that they always follow political goings-on on campus.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of the respondents have viewed a blog or watched a video supporting or criticizing a university political party or candidate; 9 of these 68 students wrote they used Multiply to do this. Despite this, twenty-one percent (21%) used social networking sites to encourage their “friends” to support a candidate/party, and 27 out of the 120 (22.5%) used SNSs to express their political support for a candidate/party by writing on their public profiles and/or changing their profile pictures to indicate their preferences. Additionally, only 3 students (0.02%) created a group in a social networking site in support of or against a university candidate and/or political party, while only 21 (17.5%.) of the respondents have joined a group that supports or goes against a candidate/party.

Twenty-seven point five percent (27.5%) of the respondents in this study contacted or attempted to “add as friend” a political party or candidate, and only 39 (32.5%) respondents were added by candidates and/or political parties as a friend in social networking sites, or been invited to join a group.

Regarding participation in online discussions about UP political parties, their policies and programs, and their candidates, sixty-one percent (61%) of the students who answered the survey stated No in participation to the said activity, while 15 answered Yes, and indicated that they used Multiply and Plurk, and even Peyups.com in participating in the discussions.

Despite the relatively low occurrence of student participation through social networking sites in political issues and activities, and their expression of preferences, support or criticisms about political groups and candidates, eighty-three percent (102 out of 120) of the respondents voted in the recent UP Diliman campus elections. Out of these 102 students, 51 of them (50%) stated that they were indeed influenced by what they saw online in the SNS they have accounts in about political parties in UP and their corresponding candidates.

DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS

(Note: Only selected questions were graphed.)

Section 1. General Information.

Based on the results of our survey, we can conclude the following:

The Internet is ubiquitous in terms of availability and function. All of the respondents have some use for the Internet in one way or another. It has truly permeated into the culture of the youth today. Social networking sites have more or less been in the mainstream for a while as evidenced by the majority of the respondents having used their SNS accounts for more than three years already. With the majority of respondents checking their accounts at least once a day, it can be ascertained that their accounts are an integral part of their daily life. Social networking sites provide a bridge for communication between friends that can keep them in touch.

Political awareness and involvement by the students is somewhat middling. Most of the respondents answered “sometimes” or “rarely” when asked on how often they checked on the political goings-on in the campus. In addition, only a scant 11% of the respondents were members of a politically-oriented student organization. This turnout signifies that most of the students do not consider politics as a high priority.

Although social networking sites have been around for quite some time, its use as a tool for spreading political ideas is still in its infancy. Roughly 20-30% of the respondents have used their accounts to engage in political activities in some form. This is not quite a majority, but this result can be further improved upon in future political activities.

The majority of respondents voted in the recent USC elections. A little more than half of them said that they were influenced by what they saw in their SNS accounts regarding the different political parties in UP and their roster of candidates. Therefore, SNS had a noticeable effect in the outcome of the elections.

We recommend that the use of SNS to spread political ideals be further emphasized upon. In today's technological world, information is the most important commodity. SNS enables students to learn about their prospective candidates for the political arena at their own pace and time. Also, the power to participate instantly in discussions about politics may encourage more students to look at political standpoints in a new light. The rapid changes in society brought about by technological advances extend onto these areas as well. The ones who can quickly adapt to these changes would be at an advantage come election time. The ease at which ideas are spread throughout these sites can encourage more students to scrutinize campus politics more and let them realize their position in all of this.

The researchers recommend that further studies be conducted with the same topic but with a larger sample size and using the simple random method. This would allow the study to generalize its conclusions and provide more concrete correlation between the use of social networking sites and the physical act of voting.

Focus group discussions and focus interviews are also recommended to establish personal and professional views on the use of social networks as well as on voting behavior.

REFERENCES

Borra, Erik (2008). Vriendjespolitiek.net: research into post-demographics. Retrieved March 16, 2009 from wordpress.justlol.net Website:

(http://wordpress.justlol.net/2008/06/vriendjespolitieknet-research-into-post-demographics/#more-573)

Boyd, d. m., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), article 11. March 16, 2009 from jcmc.indiana.edu Website:

(http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/boyd.ellison.html)

Hayes, Rebecca. Providing What they Want and Need on their Own Turf: Social Networking, the Web, and Young Voters"Paper presented at the annual meeting of the NCA 94th Annual Convention, TBA, San Diego, CA, Nov 20, 2008 Online <PDF>. Retrieved March 16, 2009 from AllAcademic Research Website:

(http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p260797_index.html)

Kanter, Beth (2008). The 2008 Tools Campaign: Social Networking. Retrieved March 16, 2009 from New Politics Institute Website:

(http://www.newpolitics.net/content_areas/new_tools_campaign/social_networking)

Martin, K. D. and Schmeisser, H. E. (2009). Emerging Trends in Youth Voting Behavior: Social Networking Websites and the 2008 General Election. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, Hotel Intercontinental, New Orleans. Retrieved March 16, 2009 from AllAcademic Research Website: (http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p283003_index.html)

Martin, K. D. and Schmeisser, H. E. (2008). The Effects of Social Networking Websites and Youth Voter Participation. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA 2008 Annual Meeting, Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts. Retrieved March 16, 2009 from AllAcademic Research Website:

(http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p280149_index.html)

Moran, Caitlin (2008). Study to Explore How Social-Networking Sites Influence Voting Behavior. Retrieved March 16, 2009 from The Chronicle of Higher Education, Website: (http://chronicle.com/blogs/election/2583/study-to-explore-how-social-networking-sites-influence-voting-behavior)

Reyes, Corinna A. “Text Me When You Get There” as a Means of Political Mobilization: Examining the Rising Use of Modern Communication Technology by Latinos in the U.S. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA 2008 Annual Meeting, Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts, Aug 28, 2008. Retrieved March 16, 2009 from AllAcademic Research Website:

(http://www.allacademic.com//meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/2/8/0/1/5/pages280152/p280152-1.php)

Romano, Michael. Bridging the Gap: The Effects of the Internet versus Television on Political Participation and Voter Turnout.Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference, The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL, Apr 02, 2009 Online <PDF>. Retrieved March 16, 2009 from AllAcademic Research Website:

(http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p360233_index.html)

Van Vechten, Renée and Johnston, Wendy (2009). From MySpace to OurSpace: Collaborative Websites for Teaching Political Science. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Teaching and Learning Conference of the American Political Science Association, Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, Baltimore, MD. Retrieved March 16, 2009 from AllAcademic Research Website:

(http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p320075_index.html)

Wright, Christina Pfenning (2008). Helping Serendipity Along: The Internet's Role in the Evolution and Enhancement of Social Capital in the 21st Century. Retrieved March 16, 2009 from AllAcademic Research Website:

(http://www.allacademic.com//meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/3/6/1/1/9/pages361197/p361197-1.php)

Study to Explore How Social-Networking Sites Influence VotingBehavior. Retrieved March 16, 2009 from chronicle.com Website:

(http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/3437/study-to-explore-how-social-networking-sites-influence-voting-behavior)

APPENDICES

Hello! We are students of Sociology 101. This is a survey for our study on social networking sites and students' voting behaviour.

We would like to ask for a few minutes of your time in answering the following questions. Thank you!

Section 1: General Information

Age __ Sex: Male Female

Years in UP: 1 year 2 years

3 years 4 years

5 years More than 5 years

College/Course:

Section 2: Internet Use

  1. Do you access the internet? Yes No
  2. How much time, on average, do you spend each day using the internet for the following activities?

A.Education/school work (also includes learning outside formal schooling)

Less than 10 min. 10 to 30 min. 30 min. to 1 hr 1 to 3 hr(s)

More than 3 hrs

I don't use the internet for this purpose

B.Communication (i.e., email, chat and social networking sites)

Less than 10 min. 10 to 30 min. 30 min. to 1 hr 1 to 3 hr(s)

More than 3 hrs

I don't use the internet for this purpose

C.Entertainment (i.e., online games, movies)

Less than 10 min. 10 to 30 min. 30 min. to 1 hr 1 to 3 hr(s)

More than 3 hrs

I don't use the internet for this purpose

D.News

Less than 10 min. 10 to 30 min. 30 min. to 1 hr 1 to 3 hr(s)

More than 3 hrs

I don't use the internet for this purpose

Are you aware of social networking sites?

Yes No

Do you have an account in any social networking site?

Yes No

If NO, you have completed the survey.

If YES, please proceed to the next question.

Section 3: Social Network Account Use

How long have you been using your account?

Less than 6 months

6 months - 1 year

1 - 3 years

More than 3 years

Which social networking sites do you have accounts in? Please check ALL that apply.

Facebook Friendster YouTube

Multiply MySpace

Others: __

How often do you log in to your account? (If multiple accounts, base it on the one most accessed.)

Multiple times a day

Once a day

A few times a week

A few times a month

A few times a year

8. How much time, on average, do you spend on the website each time you log in?

Less than 30 min.

30 - 60 min.

1 - 2 hrs

More than 2 hrs

What do you use social networking sites for?

Please check ALL that apply.

Finding old friends

Keeping in touch with friends

Making new friends

Promotion of events and products

Pictures, videos, music, blog (posting/viewing)

Applications (i.e., chat and games)

Others: _

Section 4: Campus Involvement

Are you a member of a social, academic, or service organization or club in UP? Yes No

If YES, what are they?

Do you belong to any political organization in UP?

Yes No

If YES, what are they?

In general, how often do you follow what's going on in campus politics?

Always Never

Sometimes Don't Know

Rarely

Section 5: Social Networks and Campus Politics

Using social networks, have you ever viewed an entry (blog, video, etc.) in support of or against a political party or candidate? Yes No

If YES, what site/s did you use?

Using social networks, have you ever asked any of your “friends” (not) to support a political party or candidate? Yes No

If YES, what site/s did you use?

Was there a time when your profile, site's design or primary photo indicated your support or criticism on a party, candidate or officer? Yes No

If YES, what site/s did you use?

Have you ever created a group in a social network in support of or against a particular political party, candidate or current officer? Yes No

If YES, what site/s did you use?

Have you ever joined a group in a social network in support of or against a particular political party, candidate or current officer? Yes No

If YES, what site/s did you use?

Using social networking sites, have you ever contacted or “friended” a political party or a candidate?

Yes No

If YES, what site/s did you use?

Using social networking sites, has a political party or candidate “friended” you or asked you to join a group online? Yes No

If YES, what site/s did you use?

Did you participate in online discussions about the UP political parties and their candidates, programs, policies, etc. through social networking sites? Yes No

If YES, what site/s did you use?

Did you vote in the recent campus elections?

Yes No

Were your votes influenced by what you saw online about the candidates and parties?

Yes No

If YES, by how much?

Please encircle the number of your choice.

  1. Not influential at all
  2. Weakly influential
  3. Somewhat influential
  4. Strongly influential

If YES, please rank the following with 1 as the most influential and 5 as the least influential.

Blogs by candidates

Blogs by supporters of certain candidates

Blogs by critics of certain candidates

GPOAs and posters online

News from online publications (i.e., Kule)

Thank you! J

TABLESGeneral Information

AGE

16

2

17

12

18

12

19

19

20

19

21

14

22

6

23

4

24

3

25

0

SEX

Male

52

Female

70

YEARS IN UP

1

17

2

18

3

42

4

12

5

21

> 5

3

QUESTIONS

1. Internet Access

Yes

123

No

0

2. Time Spent on Browsing

A. Education

<10

1

10-30

6

30-1

21

1-3

66

>3

25

don't

0

B. Communication

<10

1

10-30

7

30-1

27

1-3

60

>3

27

don't

0

C. Entertainment

<10

4

10-30

4

30-1

21

1-3

34

>3

47

don't

12

D. News

<10

28

10-30

30

30-1

33

1-3

5

>3

1

don't

23

3. SNS Awareness

Yes

123

No

0

4. SNS Account

Yes

120

No

3

5. Duration of Membership

<6 months

3

6 months-1 year

9

1-3 years

33

>3 years

75

6. Accounts in SNS

Facebook

65

Multiply

102

Friendster

111

MySpace

14

YouTube

28

Others

22

7. Frequency of Log In

Multiple times a day

33

Once a day

54

Once a week

28

Once a month

5

Once a year

0

8. Time Spent

<30 minutes

18

30-60 minutes

49

1-2 hours

31

>2 hours

20

9. Use of SNS

Finding old friends

103

Keeping in touch

86

Making new friends

49

Promotions

43

Pictures

102

Applications

42

Others

0

10. Membership in Organizations in UP

Yes

79

No

40

11. Membership in Political Organizations in UP

Yes

14

No

105

12. Frequency of Following Campus Politics

Always

20

Sometimes

61

Rarely

28

Never

7

Don't Know

3

13. Viewing Entries About Candidates/Parties

Yes

68

No

51

14. Asked Friends (Not) to Support Candidate

Yes

25

No

88

15. Profile Indicated Political View

Yes

27

No

87

16. Created a Group in Support of Candidate

Yes

3

No

117

17. Joined a Group in Support of Candidate

Yes

21

No

99

18. Friended a Candidate

Yes

33

No

84

19. Friended by a Candidate

Yes

39

No

81

20. Participation in Online Discussions

Yes

15

No

73

21. Voted in the Campus Elections

Yes

102

No

18

22. Votes Influenced by SNS

Yes

51

No

51

Degree of Influence

Not

3

Weakly

6

Somewhat

20

Strongly

25

Ranking

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

Ave

Candidates

8

11

11

12

17

3.27

Supporters

10

16

11

9

11

2.77

Critics

6

11

22

14

5

2.92

GPOAS

24

10

8

12

4

2.27

News

10

10

6

8

21

3.08

Rank

GPOAs

1

Supporters

2

Critics

3

News

4

Candidates

5

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