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Daily Digest: 9/18/07

BY Joshua Levy | Tuesday, September 18 2007

The Web on the Candidates

  • Yesterday The National Journal launched the National Journal Political Stock Exchange, or the NJPSE, a fantasy political stock market. It's actually pulling in numbers produced by Intrade.com, which has been in the political futures market for a while. These kind of political predictions can be surprisingly accurate, though I'm not sure if it encourages or discourages civic participation...
  • The New York Times' Katherine Seelye reminds us that yesterday was supposed to be the day of the Republican CNN/YouTube debate. Watching the submissions (which have slowed to a trickle), Seelye thinks the cautious candidates have little to fear; most of the videos are tame and approach broad issues rather than vying for gotcha moments. She does wonder, however, if this next debate will be less exciting than the first. "With the proliferation of video and of debates in this campaign, you have to wonder if the novelty of a YouTube debate isn’t wearing off," she writes.

The Candidates on the Web

  • This week's Hitwise stats point to Fred Thompson's continuing dominance of the Republican and overall online market share. In English: more people go to Thompson's web site than any other candidate. Thompson has over 21% of the overall share of candidate sites, about 4% more than Barack Obama. He completely dominates among Republicans, owning close to 40% of the market share, almost twice that of web favorite Ron Paul. Despite making relatively few campaign appearances up to this point, Thompson has made a big splash online.
  • Tonight at 8pm Hillary Clinton is discussing her new health care plan in a live webcast on her website. The campaign says it will be "interactive," but we're not sure what that means. You have to RSVP to attend, so perhaps viewers will have the chance to ask questions. We'll check in tonight to see how it's run.
  • In a new episode of "Running with Rudy," Rudy Giuliani staffer Dan Meyer follows Rudy to New Hampshire, where the candidate shows off his NASCAR cred. I couldn't help but find it odd to see the urbane, opera-loving New Yorker meet with Herbert Ames of NASCAR in a suit and tie while nitro-enhanced tires squealed in the background.
  • Mitt Romney's create-your-own-ad contest -- much more of a true mashup contest than the recent Huffington Post/Yahoo/Slate "Candidate Mashup" -- wrapped up yesterday. The campaign, reports Wired's Sarah Lai Stirland, thought it was a success (big surprise!). "The most inspiring part is that a lot of the supporters have formed a community -- they comment on each others' videos and give tips to each other ... It's what America's all about -- collaboration," says Romney director of eStrategy (and former techPresident contributor) Mindy Finn. More than 700 people participated and submitted 110 videos. Interestingly, the finalists "will be selected based on number of page views and user 'love' -- Jumpcut's term for users voting up a particular piece of user-generated media," Stirland says. This was exactly the element missing from the first CNN/YouTube debate. Maybe CNN will change their approach now that Romney -- the snowman-fearing YouTube skeptic himself -- is giving this much control to the community.

In Case You Missed It...

We won! The winners of the 2007 Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations Journalism were announced yesterday and techPresident took home the grand prize!