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Obama's Golfing Habit Spurs New Romney Fundraising Microsite

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, December 8 2011

As populist outrage continues to run unabated outside of the Beltway, both President Obama's re-election campaign and Mitt Romney's team are racing to paint each other as part of the out-of-touch one percent.

Romney's campaign pushed ahead Wednesday with a new fundraising microsite with the web address Fortyfore.com, a play on the golfing term "Fore!" It's a term that golfers shout out on the course to warn others to steer clear of a ball that's headed their way.

The site urges visitors to donate $18 to send President Obama on a "permanent vacation." It's an online extension of Romney's recent rhetorical campaign trail attack that criticizes Obama's plan to go on Christmas vacation this year while many Americans are still hard up and searching for work.

While the simple microsite isn't an earth-shattering technological development, its launch is a reminder of how the web is becoming an integral part of the campaigning process.

Modern political campaigns are all about preparing for and positioning oneself to be ready to ride any waves of sudden surges of interest, and using those waves to fundraise, sign up new volunteers, or take some other action that can help to propel the candiate's process forward.

Matt Drudge boosted the Obama-going-on-vacation meme on Friday by posting a portion of a White House travel office press scheduling memo on his site. Romney's team apparently jumped on that with the subsequent launch of the microsite, which then got a boost with a coveted link at the top of Drudge's site on Wednesday.

Despite the mention, it doesn't seem to have gained much traction -- on the social networks at least. Its social media buttons tell us that it was only tweeted 215 times, liked by 482 people on Facebook, +1ed on Google 44 times and e-mailed 23 times as of Thursday morning.

Still, without knowing how much money the site has actually managed to pull in, it's hard to draw any real conclusions.

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New Media Sites in Iran Blur Lines Between Citizen Journo, Professional Journo, & Activist

In 2010, Newsweek declared Iran the “birthplace of citizen journalism.” Iranian bloggers were hailed by Westerners as “brave” for their coverage of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election. A 40-second video of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during an anti-government protest won a prestigious George Polk Award, the first anonymously-produced work to be so honored. And then came the 2013 study “Whither Blogestan,” which sought to explain Iran's shrinking blogosphere. Of nearly 25,000 highly active and connected blogs in 2008 and 2009, only 20 percent were still online in September 2013.

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