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Daily Digest: "Who's Web Savvy Now?"

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, July 16 2008

The Web on the Candidates

  • Celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton is not at all pleased with John McCain recently saying "I don't believe in gay adoption," and he's letting his audience know. (For the record, McCain is now attempting to reel those comments back in.) Now, Perez might not be the most reliable of sources -- he's well known for having repeatedly reported the death of Fidel Castro last summer -- but his traffic numbers are huuuge. On a daily basis, he has touches an audience that might not otherwise be closely tracking the '08 race.

  • is a new anti-Barack Obama site making the case that the Democratic National Committee's own rules permit delegates to switch their allegiances at the nominating convention. "What the Left giveth," says the site, "the Left can taketh away!"

  • Time for a fun new JibJab video! "Time for Some Campaignin'" is set to Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are a-Changin'" and has a requisite 2.0 twist -- you can put yourself into the piece. The digital throws some pointed elbows, sure. But something about the equal-opportunity mocking is oddly uplifting. To democracy!

The Candidates on the Web

  • "Who's web savvy now?" snarks McCain campaign blogger Michael Goldfarb. Team McCain used a Wikipedia-inspired tool called Versonista to track screen captures of the Obama website, as Wired's Sarah Lai Stirland reports. And, as first reported by the New York Daily News, the service found that in its section titled "Plan for Ending the War in Iraq," the Obama campaign replaced an excerpt from 10-month old from Iowa speech with one from North Carolina from this March, did away with a section on the troop "surge," fleshed out a plan for Iraq, and deleted one bullet point on immediate withdrawal. The Obama campaign's response? This is a website, not the Dead Sea Scrolls. We update it as events warrant.

  • The Next Right Patrick Ruffini wonders if the Obama campaign's investment in field organizing -- including the involvement of paid organizers in local groups on -- makes Obama '08 the "spiritual successor to Bush-Cheney '04."

  • Have some hump day fun with, where the whatever can be, well, whatever. The URL produces a gorgeous Obama poster emblazoned with your slogan. Big Gotham fans, we made The site, which features a McCain ad, is being used to protest Obama's vote on the FISA bill. (via @matthewstoller)

TechCongress and Beyond

  • In his continuing effort to become a "real time representative," Texas Rep. John Culberson held a groundbreaking virtual townhall meeting last night that made use of telephone conferencing software, UStream, Twitter, and an online chat room. Culberson was stuck in his Cannon Building office but was able to reach his Houston constituents where they live. With Gallup pegging Congress's approval rating at a rather extraordinary 14%, maybe inviting the people into the People's House is the way to win back favor. Culberson's event was remarkable -- innovative and informal, with staffers milling about in the background (and laughing at an unfortunate slip of the tongue by Culberson, which, let's just say, involved a new twist on the word "Twitter.")

  • A tip from us to you: keep an eye on

  • Ask the Speaker is a Digg-like tool for putting together a Q&A with Nancy Pelosi at this week's Netroots Nation conference. The top three questions at the moment center around the impeachment of George Bush; the wisdom of arresting Karl Rove and Harriet Miers; and the moving of Congress to small-bore donations.

  • We've drawn attention in the past to an interesting fissure in the conservative landscape: the battle over broadband access. And we'll do it again! After Michigan Republican Party chair Saul Anuzis and TechRepublican's David All penned a Politico column that sounded alarms about telecom companies' Internet stifling, conservative new media guy Eric Odom expressed disapproval. Shorter Odom: "Good grief."