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Daily Digest: 10/23/07

BY Joshua Levy | Tuesday, October 23 2007

The Web on the Candidates

  • The Politico has launched a new student-focused section of its site called Campus Politico that will track campaign issues as they relate to the college-age crowd. Syndication partnerships with college newspapers will place college writers on the site alongside other articles about trends and issues among younger voters. The page also features a few widgets (are they Politico’s next big thing?) asking readers to friend Politico on MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, and MyPolitico, the site’s social networking app. Videoblogger James Kotecki gets a spot too, for good measure. It’s actually a pretty cool sub-site, and points to the paper/website’s welcome interest in expanding outside the Beltway.

  • Last week the folks at Off The Bus gave volunteers an assignment to monitor the presidential campaign’s field operations. Anthony Atamanuik and Marcy C. Matthews, who produce the video blog Debate Porridge, produced their own twist on the idea. They called every campaign and the DNC and RNC headquarters on a Saturday afternoon between one and three p.m. ET to see which campaigns are working on the weekend. Only the Bill Richardson, Barack Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden campaigns answered the phone. Either the other campaigns were literally out to lunch, or they don’t feel the need to work on Saturdays. I can’t really believe that John Edwards or Mitt Romney feel like they can take weekends off at this point — maybe their staffers were just eating a long brunch or something.

  • It’s been hard for campaigns and observers to measure the effectiveness of candidates’ Facebook profiles or YouTube videos, so the Politico’s Ryan Grim looked to web analytics service to get a better look at how voters are using the web. According to number-crunching performed for the Politico, “A significant number [of voters] get their news from mainstream media versus political blogs. YouTube, meanwhile, is one of the most reliable ways for candidates to communicate directly to voters.” The socnets are far less popular than YouTube. “Overall, only 1 percent of readers who visited an official campaign website last month also visited a candidate’s Meetup page. Two percent checked out the candidates’ MySpace pages, and 1 percent hit his or her Facebook page,” Grim reports. Read the whole thing for more good stats and analysis.

  • In a puff piece in the Washington Post, Chris Cilliza points to Joe Trippi’s close relationship with Elizabeth Edwards as the source of Trippi’s growing influence over the John Edwards campaign. In addition to bonding over health problems (a story documented in another puff piece by the New York Times’ Adam Nagourney), the two have found common ground over aggressive campaigning tactics and a shared love of the web. It’s an interesting history of Trippi’s rise to de facto campaign manager, but like Nagourney’s piece it features virtually no viewpoints about Trippi and Edwards other than those advanced by members of Edwards’ staff.

The Candidates on the Web

  • I guess Stephen Colbert deserves to be mentioned in this section… He’s already moved past Bill Richardson in one poll, and there are now 514,505 members in the “1,000,000 Strong for Stephen T Colbert” group. His website has been getting more traffic than some candidates too — stay tuned for more about that.

In Case You Missed It…

Zephyr Teachout continues her fascination with Mike Huckabee, noticing that he’s raised $325,000 in the last six days, which, for a candidate that raised only $1 million last quarter, is a tidy sum.

In an update about 10Questions, our new online presidential forum, Micah Sifry writes that we saw about 7,000 unique visits over the weekend and have had more than 17,700 votes cast by 4,600 participants. More details here.

Micah also tracks a Chris Dodd boomlet happening among the netroots.

TechCrunch, everyone’s favorite tech-nerd blog, will host a series of podcasts with Presidential candidates, reports David All. First up: Mitt Romney.

Reading a blog post announcing that the Edwards family has named two new puppies, we wonder if Joe Trippi has lost his mojo. It’s all in jest, of course.

The Mike Huckabee-obsessed Zephyr Teachout writes that last week the bass-playing governor’s website received more views than Romney’s, McCain’s, Giuliani’s, and Thompson’s.

techPresident was nominated “as one of the best blogs in the world” by the Best of Blogs Awards. Vote for us here!

Barack Obama would probably rather not have ads promoting “Asian Girl Photos” on his profile, so his campaign and others are working with Community Connect, the publisher of,, and other sites to ensure a potential reputation damaging situation like that doesn’t occur, writes Kate Kaye.