#ausvotes is surely trending ahead of Oz Fed Election hashtags - although #mofo is definitely cheekier - yet it's only Day 1 of the 31 day of the Australian 2010 federal election campaign .
And there's #aus2010 #ozelection #election2010 and a host of other hashtags : #environmental #myliberal #openinternet #nocleanfeed - undoubtedly more will emerge.
@JuliaGillardPM opened with #MovingForward, her opening campaign speech on YouTube in the ALP campaign blog - withing hours that hashtag had been shortened Aussie Style to #mofo - which may have other connotations - looking at timeline of its use pre July 17 2010 !
We are invited to connect with Julia by the ALP - and to donate $5 to the campaign - seems to herald the Barack Obama campaign of many many small donations that gave him an unprecedented election campaign war chest.
The fake Twitter personalities are emerging - as are the personalities seeking to expose the true person eg Tony Abbott Revealed. There's also some fairly ugly personal tweets around that might attract some legal actions if widely circulated in conventional print form
However seems it's not just Facebook or Twitter that is redefining this Australian 2010 Federal Election. notwithstanding the NSW Opposition Leader's Ranga goof - a public broadcast Tweet rather than a private DM - Direct Message.
There are rules around elections and rules of engagement - the big effort currently is getting people onto their correct electoral roll.
The on-line call to make sure you are enrolled to vote in this election is just so unprecedented - Tweets like "if you're 18 and not enrolled to vote then get yourself enrolled on Monday. No excuses m'kay." And it's being re-tweeted
This election seems to have a really different feel with such community participation in the electoral processes - within 6 hours !
And it's so easy to check you are correctly enrolled - if not then update it - or if you are a new voter then download the form - fill it in - scan it - and email it back in - they've even included - how to find the right email address for your electorate based on your postcode - with a few helpful hints on avoiding glitches - too easy ... for the digitally well endowed ! And besides - they're even opening up electoral enrolment centres on Sunday July 18 2010 to give everyone a chance to make sure they're enrolled. The Australian High Commission in London has already advised UK based Aussies of early voting dates or how to do a postal vote. With 1.4 million not on the rolls with Australia's compulsory voting system - the effort to get people onto the electoral rolls is stunning.
There are strict rules on electoral how to votes, election pamphlets & posters - contravene them and you risk having them withdrawn. I've been a candidate (successfully) in a few elections and it is just such a trap - even the most experienced in major parties have been caught. What does it mean for a social media context ?
And there are the usual election blackouts of television & radio electronic media advertising coverage several days out from an election ie "This three-day blackout effectively provides a “cooling off” period in the lead up to polling day, during which political parties, candidates and others are no longer able to purchase time on television and radio to broadcast political advertising." In the 2007 federal election the internet basically circumvented this blackout.
So how it all pans out #movingforward on the August 21 2010 #mofo election is going to be interesting.