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Daily Digest: 9/25/07

BY Joshua Levy | Tuesday, September 25 2007

The Web on the Candidates

  • Yahoo journalist/blogger Kevin Sites, tooting his company's horn, announced that Barack Obama is the winner of the Huffington Post/Slate/Yahoo "Mashup." Obama won 35% of the vote to Hillary Clinton's 31%, and about 15% of the 1.1 million viewers voted. "That's not so different from the low-turnout rates we usually see in actual elections," Sites points out.
  • Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson have still yet to sign up for November's CNN/YouTube Republican debate, reports Jose Antonio Vargas at the Washington Post. The irony, of course, is that "Both Romney and Thompson, however, have effectively used online videos in their respective campaigns."
  • Wired's Sarah Lai Stirland profiles Shawn Dixon, the 24-year old activist and Columbus, KY (pop: 229) resident who participated in a contest run by the Edwards campaign and Eventful to successfully rally his town and region to demand that John Edwards make an appearance. "We want to see John Edwards come to real rural America and address the problems we face and hear his plan for revitalizing small American communities like ours!," Dixon wrote during the contest. This week Edwards will announce his plans to stop by the town in early October.
  • Off The Bus, the citizen journalism collaboration between the Huffington Post and, has a new feature called Roadkill that rounds up the goofy, the scary, and the wacky moments from the campaigns. Recent items include Ron Paul saying the nation's highways are more dangerous that the twin towers, the writers pleading with Duncan Hunter to update his website, and the selling of John McCain party kits.

The Candidates on the Web

  • Newt Gingrich is pulling out all the stops to promote his upcoming Solutions Day, including blogging on a potential opponent's website. Wired's Sarah Lai Stirland discovered that since Mike Huckabee is presenting a workshop at Gingrich's event, Gingrich posted news of the event on Huckabee's blog. I'm still looking forward to meeting Gingrich in Second Life on Thursday.
  • Open Left's Matt Stoller and Chris Bowers and Siun from Firedoglake are featured in a new video from Bill Richardson's campaign. It's a direct attack on Richardson's Democratic opponents, claiming that out of almost all the Democratic candidates (the ad doesn't mention Dennis Kucinich or Mike Gravel), only Richardson advocates completely pulling out of Iraq. Richardson is clearly getting nervous; despite a modest amount of momentum he's still failed to even compete with John Edwards. In any event, the video -- like most of Richardson's videos -- is a good piece of political advertising that pays direct tribute to the netroots, who may be partly responsible for keeping his campaign afloat. More at MyDD.
  • Richardson has also launched a site to promote the video, titled "End This War Now: Get Our Troops Out." It provides a chart showing the candidates' stands on Iraq side-by-side, a detailed plan for ending the war, and, of course, a big contribute link. But the coolest feature is a Google Maps mashup that lets you upload a photo or a YouTube video, add your name, location, and message, and see it show up on a map of the country. You'll see a bunch of signs reading "Get Our Troops Out" scattered throughout the map; click on one to read a supporter's name, message, and photo if they uploaded one.
  • Mike Huckabee has been hosting a 24-hour conversation with supporters dubbed "Vertical Day" to attract traffic to his website. Essentially, it's an ongoing Q&A session. There's also an email link program designed to send more traffic to the site; you sign up with your email address and receive a unique URL to send to friends and family; as they visit the site you get credit for bringing in traffic and are given "rewards." Pretty neat.

In Case You Missed It...

Patrick Ruffini writes that a Republican mashup debate produced by the Huffington Post, Yahoo, and Slate isn't happening because two of the sponsors are liberal sites. In the comments, Micah Sifry has a good point, asking why it's so threatening for candidates to be quizzed by their ideological opposites.

Slate's crack team of reporters (and now, videomakers) has produced two videos criticizing Mitt Romney, turning his own language and storytelling back at him.

Future Majority's Michael Connery takes a look at Our Voice 2008, a new non-partisan youth politics site.

Over at Personal Democracy Forum, Nancy Scola questions the conventional wisdom about the Jena 6 protest in Louisiana. How did so many people get organized? Was it the power of social networking or of strong leaders? Nancy thinks it's a little of both.

Also at PdF, Peter Deitz describes the ins and outs of four fundraising applications on Facebook that are targeting prospective donors between 18 and 35.