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Daily Digest: 5/21/07

BY Joshua Levy | Monday, May 21 2007

The Web on the Candidates

  • Blogpac, a group comprised of MyDDers Matt Stoller, Chris Bowers, and Mike Stark that gives grants to online progressive activists, has awarded $1000 to former John Edwards blogger Amanda Marcotte "for her courage in the face of an irresponsible media." Earlier this year, a mini-scandal erupted after conservatives criticized comments Marcotte had written on her Pandagon blog before she was hired by the Edwards campaign. In the post announcing the award, Mike Stark gives us Marcotte's story, from the time she was hired by the campaign (she was working as a financial aid counselor at UT-Austin) to how the cable news sites helped blow the thing out of proportion to how and why she resigned from the campaign.
  • Jose Antonio Vargas of the Washington Post explains that the Democrats are beating the GOP online, getting more traffic, raising more money, and gaining more popularity on the "social-networking triumvirate" of Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube. TechPresident's Mike Turk says that it goes beyond using the right technologies. "They've all got Web sites. Yes, they're doing videos. Yes, some are blogging. But that's not enough to really connect with voters." And while Republicans are fighting back, with TechPresident's David All forming TechRepublican and former Reagan campaign aide Charlie Gerow starting QubeTV to counter what he calls the "liberal bias" of YouTube, All says "for the most part Republicans are stuck in Internet circa 2000."
  • A battle is underway about what voter-generated online platform will be king during the 2008 election, reports Scott Martelle of the LA Times. With YouTube and MySpace both announcing online townhalls and debates, both sites are "engaged in what is shaping up as an old-style media fight over online information consumers — and the ad revenues they bring." Meanwhile, "in order to fully embrace the power of people-powered politics and user-generated politics, we're going to have to get through the phase of 'gotcha' politics," says Moveon's Eli Pariser. Will the online campaign be about generating ad revenue and eyeballs or actually engaging voters, regardless of who own the platform?
  • As we've been noting recently, despite his extremely low poll numbers, Ron Paul's supporters of come alive online, wreaking havoc for the mainstream elements of the Republican party. TechPresident's Micah Sifry talks on NPR's Weekend Edition about how online support relates to offline support.
  • An addendum to the Joe Anthony/Barack Obama/MySpace story: A note is posted on the official Barack Obama MySpace page (the one that uses the URL that originally belonged to Joe Anthony) that attempts to make amends. "Some of you may be coming from the previous unofficial Barack Obama MySpace profile, and we want to give you a warm welcome. That community was built by a supporter named Joe Anthony, who deserves thanks for the hard work he did there. Even though people have said all sorts of things, we want to be clear that attacking Joe directly for his actions is inappropriate and unacceptable. We want to dispel any negative rumors and make clear that Joe helped build a great profile and deserves to be thanked. Barack gave him a call to do just that." Anthony doesn't see think this is an apology; in a comment below the post he writes, "Nobody is attacking me for my actions. I'm very proud of my actions from November of 2004, when I created the profile, to the present. They are attacking me because Joe Rospars said things that weren't true in his blog. Where is the apology?" It may be time for all involved to move on, as another commenter suggests...

The Candidates on the Web

  • Rather than upload a YouTube Spotlight video, in which he, like several candidates before him, could ask viewers a question that they could answer in their own videos, last week Bill Richardson sat down for a formal interview with YouTube's Ben Smith (something tells me this has something to do with Richardson's sit-down at Google...). Among other things, Richardson discussed the role of online video (well, YouTube) in the election. "YouTube is a way that voters connect with candidates... YouTube can see candidates on the issues, can make them see if they've got passion and commitment and can bring people together." He also appeared to endorse net neutrality by issuing a warning that telecoms want to own how information is spread online. "The telecoms want to take you over, they want to take broadband over. You [YouTube] shouldn't let them, you should be free... it's important that you have champions that recognize the value of a free internet, a free society, a free way of communicating." Let's hope Richardson still produces a Spotlight video; as we've seen from his popular Job Interview ad, he has a way with the camera.

Dispatches from PdF 2007

We had an amazing turnout for this year's Personal Democracy Forum conference, and befitting our networked and connected audience, the conference was blogged, and blogged, and blogged. Some highlights from the blogosphere and the regular news-o-sphere:

Andy Carvin
on Lessig,
Eric Schmidt,
the first Tech President, YouTube, Steve Urquhart, and MySpace.

Aldon Hynes on keeping it personal, Eric Schmidt, and Larry Lessig.

Alison Byrne Field on danah boyd.

Kelly Heyboer of and Chuck Olson on the YouTube election.

Nate Westheimer on the Cool-to-Tool Ratio.

Kate Kaye on Eric Schmidt.

Molly Webb from Demos on mashup politics.

David Cohn on rubbing elbows with heroes and peers.

Bill Hobbs from Elephant Biz on Steve Urquhart.

Isabel Wolcott Hilborn on Larry Lessig and Eric Schmidt.

Cynthia Brumfield of IP Democracy and the Mouse Squad Wire on who will be the first Tech President.

Robert Bluey thinks technology really is changing politics.

Jonathan Shradar on Eric Schmidt and Seth Godin.

Sophie Leon of EchoDitto on, well, everything.

Jed Miller on the candidates' Internet directors.

TechCheckDaily on Seth Godin and embracing voter-generated content.

The LA Times on YouTube and MySpace embracing the '08 election.

Ed Cone with a critique of sessions.

Jeff Jarvis on the first Tech President, danah boyd, Eric Schmidt, and Larry Lessig.

Dave Winer on the unconference and Tom Friedman.

Jeffrey Keefer on Seth Godin.

Steve Garfield with some fleeting video moments of the attendees.

Jill Walker on the unconference.