I love watching all the crazy things that happen leading up to a US Presidential Election. I love the hype and the spin and the frenzy. The most interesting part is watching the candidates react under pressure, especially now in the age of camera phones, YouTube videos, and instant, intimate coverage of every blink, breath and wave. It’s crazier than any reality show. It’s also fantastically interesting to see how various candidates are using the online space, be it Flickr, SecondLife, MySpace, blogging, podcasting, etc.
The Democrats are kicking ass on MySpace, with tens of thousands of friends. Obama just cracked 40,000, Hillary’s on her way to 23,000 and Edwards has over 11,000. The closest Republican, Ron Paul, has a lonely 2300. An election won’t be won or lost on MySpace, but it does say something about how people want to connect to their (prospective) leaders.
Micah Sifrey pitches his site, which has amazing graphs charting the fluctuating MySpace friends of the major contenders:
Come check out TechPresident.com, where we’re tracking not just how the presidential candidates are using the web, but how the web is using the candidates. Some features: we’re scraping their MySpace pages to track trends in presidential friending…we’re delivering a live feed of citizen photojournalism culled from Flickr…we’re looking at how they’re using search (would you believe the Republicans are taking more advantage of buying keywords than the Dems?)…and we’re about to post a detailed look at their presence on YouTube.
Then there’s Discursive‘s post on the platform various candidates are running on. And I don’t mean their party platform, but their technology platform: Did you know Obama uses Linux? Interesting and geeky discussion and dissection.
PresidentFeed (created by Tim O’Brien from Discursive above) tries to cover everybody in the race, with links to their blogs, MySpace accounts, Flickr pix, Wikipedia entries, YouTube channels, and official sites. It also allows visitors to login and vote for their favourite right now.
Man, this is going to be fun.