How are 2008 Presidential Candidates using the Internet in their campaigns? That’s what I wanted to find out when I started putting together data for Campaign 2.0: 2008 Presidential Campaigns and their Use of Web 2.0.
It all started when Don sent me a link to John Edwards’ page on Social Networking. I was astounded when I saw that his campaign had setup profiles on 20 different social networking sites. At first, I couldn’t believe that someone spent that much time getting setup on so many different networks… but then, I realized this might be really, really smart: his campaign can now be seen on twenty different, established networks.
Reviewing the websites of candidates that have formerly announced and/or filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission was eye-opening. Most Democrats are utilizing RSS feeds, and have setup accounts on one or more social networks. Few Republicans are offering an RSS feed. Only one is using a social network. All three Libertarian candidates are using RSS feeds, and two of the three are on multiple social networks – and one has included options to Digg the site, add to Del.icio.us bookmarks or view their Technorati profile. I’m not surprised that the Democrats are using technology like they are… but I am surprised by how little the Republicans are using the web…
This brings up a number of questions that I hope to have answered between now and November 2008:
- Will using social networks (or Web 2.0) make a difference or will homegrown social networks be the real winner?
- Will social networks “accept” candidates as legitimate participants in their communities? More specifically, will users “friend” candidates, comment on content submitted to the community, etc.?
- Will candidates increase their use of existing social networks as we draw closer to the election?
- Will Republicans use the web more?
For now, I’ll be detailing which social networks candidates (and providing links to their profiles and/or groups on each of those networks). As additional info becomes available, I’ll be updating the site. Of course, you can help with this too… if you know of any additional information that would be helpful with this table – let me know! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.