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Daily Digest: Who Says Experience Matters?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, March 13 2008

The Web on the Candidates

* Republican consultant and all-around-web-guru Todd Ziegler has a fresh post up on the topic of "Technologies that will impact the 2008 elections," and as usual the whole thing is worth reading. He mercilessly grades himself on the predictions he made a year ago, and adds a few fresh ones to the mix. I am with him on the coming impact of live video online, as well as the rising power of Twitter enabled self-organizing crowds at events (watch out Denver and Minneapolis!).

* It's not the same thing as a call-girl's MySpace page, but it sure is a sign of the times that you can also see former Romney media strategist Alex Castellanos' wishlist on Amazon. The address listed is for Alexandria, VA, so this is probably really his, but we haven't confirmed that. Apparently he's hoping someone gives him the seventh Harry Potter book, along with a guide to catamaran sailing, a Bunn single-serve coffee maker, a high-def home theater projector, a mega-zoom camera lens, a new Blackberry, and a Celestron GPS telescope. (Hat tip to Ben Smith.)

* Our friends at TubeMogul have a post up arguing that "online video views are driving donations to presidential candidates," that shows a correlation between video views and campaign fundraising, particularly in the cases of Ron Paul and Barack Obama. They found that "spikes in online video views and comments tend to both precede and follow spikes in campaign contributions." Um, sorry guys, but this doesn't prove anything other than the fact that when supporters of a candidate are really engaged by what they're doing, they tend to look at them more online AND give them money. (Mashable's analysis of the same post is here.) One interesting fact that emerges from their data--Barack Obama's total video views were a whopping 34 million as of March 9. Our YouTube chart shows him at 26.6 million on that day, which means he's got almost another 7.5 million from his MySpace and Brightcove channels, as well as the independent "Yes We Can" channel.

* If you can't get enough of Election 2008, check out this excerpt from Election 2024, brought to you by the Wikipedia Street Journal. (Actually, Daily Show head writer Steve Bodow and Wired.com.) The whole thing is pretty wacky, including references to a "24-hour Anderson Cooper Network," a "Franken-Limbaugh Bill" passing the US Senate, a US Ambassador to "the Republic of Second Life," but my favorite is the ticker: "Beloved Buddhist guru Harold Ramis is 80...NBA results: Brooklyn Nest 89, Mt. View Searchers 87..."

The Candidates on the Web

* The last time the McCain blog was updated was March 4 at 11:23pm? Nine days ago? What's up with that? And before that it was February 25? This is blogging for the catatonic. Jeez, guys, you could just repost your press releases and do a better job than you're doing now!

* Does presidential greatness have any relationship to prior experience in government? Well if you chart actual experience to various historical rankings, it looks like there is absolutely no correlation at all. (Hat tip to EM.)

In Case You Missed It

YouTube is expanding its YouChoose platform to cover senators, representatives and state candidates. David All gets the scoop.

A job listing sheds light on MoveOn.org Political Action's ambitious plans for November. Can the Right match them?

Mindy Finn, director of e-strategy for the Mitt Romney campaign, talks shop.

Zephyr Teachout reports on a promising new networked investigative reporting project covering Eastern Europe.