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Daily Digest: 9/14/07

BY Joshua Levy | Friday, September 14 2007

The Web on the Candidates

  • A new study by Princeton and the University of Michigan claims that using text messaging to get out the vote can increase the youth vote by 4-5%. Mike Connery at Future Majority has the details. Two interesting points: sending any text message at all increased the likelihood of voting by 4.2%, and Hispanics are particularly receptive to such reminders. If this is true, why aren't all of the candidates chomping at the mobile bit? Jose Antonio Vargas at the Washington Post writes that only Barack Obama is using text consistently, though John Edwards has been pretty good about it too (I received a text from his campaign alerting me to a special voicemail waiting for me. Just for me!).
  • Two days ago we reported that the Huffington Post/Yahoo/Slate mashup debate wouldn't actually be a mashup after all, since Yahoo wasn't allowing the material to be edited on its Jumpcut site. Now it seems that this isn't the case. Arianna Huffington herself told Wired's Sarah Lai Stirland that the debate will be using Jumpcut after all. "It would have been impossible for The Huffington Post and Slate to be involved if we didn't use Jumpcut, and Yahoo was always on board," said Huffington. Either there was a messaging problem on Yahoo's side or Arianna flexed some muscle and set things straight.
  • Having looked closely at the footage generated from the mashup debate, I have to admit I'm pretty underwhelmed. There doesn't seem to be much citizen involvement at all beyond the ability to create mashups of the candidates' responses and embed them on individual sites. The questioners, Bill Maher and Charlie Rose, are nice guys and all, but they're not exactly emblematic of the people. Weren't we promised an "interactive" forum in which we could directly address the candidates? In the end, citizens didn't get to ask any questions themselves and are limited to post-debate video editing. In any event, this experiment does pave the way for future, more adventurous attempts at online debates.
  • Many months ago techPresident's Micah Sifry reported on a fascinating controversy involving an Obama volunteer's MySpace page and the Obama campaign's clunky attempt to take it over. The story was covered across the media, including on CBC radio, which produced an absorbing interview with Micah for its Search Engine show, which was still in development. Now the show is a full part of CBC's rotation, and they've re-produced Micah's segment, which you can listen to here. They've done a great job with it - do take a moment to listen.

The Candidates on the Web

  • Ron Paul may still be just a blip in the national polls, but at the rate he's going, he'll surely be elected Presdient of the Web 2.0. Bill Tancer, writing in Time, says that Paul, despite polling at around 3% nationally, "represents the new 2.0 candidate, with his success recruiting supporters through new social media channels." His national poll numbers might be skewed however, since younger voters tend to abandon land lines in favor of cell phones, which aren't reached by pollsters. We'll have to wait until the primaries to gauge Paul's true popularity on the ground.

In Case You Missed It...

Check out our second semi-subjective, semi-scientific round up of our favorite political videos. If you have seen (or made) a video that you think we should include, we want to hear from you! Just send us an email at info-at-techpresident-dot-com and put the words "Political Video" in the subject line.

Did conservatives miss an opportunity to tap conservative outrage at MoveOn's General Betray Us ad? Patrick Ruffini thinks so.

Steve Garfield viewed the videos for the Huffington Post/Yahoo/Slate mashup debate and discovered that Chris Dodd supports marijuana decriminalization. Who knew?

Micah Sifry's re-posting of his and Andrew Rasiej's Politico column about the General Betray Us ad received some heated responses about whether any publicity is good publicity, and the merits of such a controversial ad.