I am a political junkie. I spent the first 10 years of my professional career working on political campaigns and am pretty sure it will never be completely cleansed out of my system. For me, social media has completely changed the way, and speed, in which I receive my election night news.
I have sat in that election night hotel room so many times; Candidate pacing; Spouse and kids glued to a TV; Campaign staffers on phones and laptops trying to get whatever results they can and then analyze each return. The problem in that hotel room that we always had was the speed at which we received information from the field.
Last night, there was no hotel room for me. I was in my home in the woods, comfortably seated in front of a fire and TV with my laptop next to me. The difference between the hotel room days and now- I, and everyone else using social media last night, had access to the same information as the campaigns- and it came to us much quicker than in the past.
All night, social media was multiple steps ahead of the TV news and just about every election website. As soon as the polls closed, the information came in fast and furiously. Campaign volunteers were Facebooking and Tweeting like crazy, reporting the results of various voting precincts they were stationed at. Political pundits were taking to social media, calling some of the smaller races and keeping running tallies. Candidates were proclaiming victory and thanking their followers. I was glued to Tweetdeck all night. It was a polico's candy store.
It still amazes me how connected social media makes you and how much it has changed life in a very short time. Every now and then I have to take a moment and reflect on how different things are now.
I can't wait to see how much we can improve the election night experience further for the next cycle!