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Edwards Visits Community Counts

BY Joshua Levy | Sunday, July 22 2007

Last week I noted that John Edwards will be conducting an online forum on his website immediately following tomorrow’s CNN/YouTube debate. As Edwards explained to James Kotecki, people can submit questions for Edwards by using a form on his website, texting “DEBATE” to 30644, or through sites like Facebook, MySpace, Care2, or Twitter.

The forum will also be webcast on Edwards’ MySpace page, Ustream.tv (which lets people embed live streaming video), Care2, and David Colarusso’s Community Counts, which has been aggregating all of the videos submitted for the debate and letting people vote for their favorites.

Edwards will also respond to the videos on the site with the highest "community counts" (with the most positive votes). Some — like CNN executive producer David Bohrman — are worried that, if they follow this model, candidates would be forced to answer inane questions like, “is Arnold Schwarzenegger is a cyborg?” But the structure of the site not only lets users vote both for their favorite video but also against their least favorite, which seems to keep the loonier entries on the sidelines. Therefore, the top two videos are about the semi-standard (and non-loony) subjects of impeaching the president and how to appeal to non-religious voters.

Edwards apparently agrees with us that CNN and YouTube aren’t going far enough to include the YouTube community in the debate; hopefully other candidates will follow his lead and stop by Community Counts for their own forums.