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24 reasons to visit today.

BY David All | Tuesday, February 20 2007

Joshua Levy reminded me about something which I wanted to address:

Patrick Ruffini calls John Edwards' site a "mess," in part because, as Todd Ziegler notes, there are icons for and links to 24 social news/social networking sites. "I get it. The Edwards campaign is really into the whole Web 2.0 thing. Message delivered. I understand the power of these networks. I do. But 24 accounts? This just strikes me as sort of ridiculous," Ziegler says.

John Edwards' use of 24 different social networking tools is smart. And it's given me 24 more reasons to visit his website, again, to see what he's doing.

Edwards is so far ahead of the pack, especially Republicans, that he continues to make his way in to every story regarding the tech + politics sphere.

Clearly, he is using an approach I like - the spaghetti tactic - "lets throw it all at the wall and see what sticks." If one or two of these sites adds real value to his team before it's mainstream, he may be able to find the next meetup which Howard Dean first used effectively.

The cost to have these accounts up and running is free, and once he gets them going, his team should be able to identify a modern volunteer in each pool to be the lifeguard on-duty. In other words, serious no-brainer ROI.

That being said, his team should recognize these tools as what they are and what they mean in the modern world. For example, a majority of their attention should be given to their youtube channel, myspace page, and facebook profile.

"We" have a hierarchy, so keep "us" happy by giving "us" attention/content.

Ruffini makes a good point about how Edwards is actually presenting the networking communities. They took the lazy, circa 2000 route: they created one image in photoshop and swapped out a layer with the different logo. This is really hard to follow.

He should have just stuck with text links arranged alphabetically. If I'm in the community, trust me, I'll find it.

FREE PRIZE: But the fact that he even has 24 different accounts is noteworthy and gives folks a reason to talk about John Edwards' use of community-building tools around the water-cooler. The most common note I've read with regard to this is, "Twenty-four accounts? I didn't even know there were 24 social-networking communities?" He'll get a lot of earned media hits for it too.

Perhaps, the "problem" is that people are very "me"-centric in the modern world. In other words, if I primarily use facebook to connect with my friends, I'll probably never understand the other communities or recognize their importance.

Remember, as a child, you either went swimming at the public pool or the country club pool. Sure, you'd move around based on which pool had the better diving boards or the prettier lifeguards, but you primarily spent a majority of your time at one pool or the other.

Edwards' team has taken a different approach. They are saying that they will swim at every pool and that "you" are in charge.

An interesting experiment would be for John McCain or Mitt Romney to upload their email list to a Gmail account and then run this nifty little tool, upscoop, to see who was where and how many thousands of ways they were missing to connect with their supporters.

After all, for some absurd reason, none of the serious Republican candidates even have a myspace profile - the #1 most popular watering hole.

I guess I just see things a little bit differently.

BTW - feel free to check out my latest YouTube video, "See. Listen. Understand." It's a message to Republicans from those of us in the modern world.

(And yes, Micah, some Republicans do actually use YouTube.)