The Presidential Election Race using Web 2.0

According to recent results published by Pew Research Center, nearly one in four Americans regularly use the web to learn about presidential candidates and their campaign.

Hopefully you have seen at least a little of the varied and creative ways that the presidential candidates have been using the internet to engage potential voters?  Over the last three months I’ve really enjoyed reading the many reports about different various uses of online technology used by candidates and ways to track the campaign  Also many internet marketing and analytic experts have been chiming in with web analysis on the campaigns.

Track the Election Online

Google maps has been helping us visualize the primares and how candidates are performing on a live basis, take a look at this map of the New Hampshire Primary.  You can visit Map the Candidates to see where they have campaigned!  Yahoo has a Political Dashboard that you can visit and track the candidates in a nice flash layout.  MSN chimes in with an Elections ’08 Leaderboard and a Candidates and Issues Matrix.  If that’s not enough check out the Super Tuesday ’08 Channel on YouTube.

Social Networking

I also went to the homepages of seven candidates.  McCain was the only one who didn’t have links to MySpace, Facebook, and other sites like YouTube on his homepage.  He did have an online community called McCainSpace on his site.  McCain is by no means the only candidate to create their own social network though.  Obama also has created a social network, my.BarackObama.

I followed the links from each candidates official sites to their MySpace and Facebook profiles.  Here are the friend counts (rounded down to the nearest thousand) as of Jan 26.

Myspace

  • Barack Obama 234,000 friends
  • Hillary Clinton 169,000 friends
  • John Edwards 52,000 friends
  • Ron Paul 119,000 friends
  • Mitt Romney 34,000 friends
  • Mike Huckabee 31,000 friends
  • John McCain 42,000 friends
  • Rudy Giuliani 10,000 friends

Facebook

  • Barack Obama 271,000 friends
  • Hillary Clinton 81,000 friends
  • John Edwards 37,000 friends
  • Ron Paul 77,000 friends
  • Mitt Romney 33,000 friends
  • Mike Huckabee 45,000 friends
  • John McCain 30,000 friends
  • Rudy Giuliani 17,000 friends

Barack Obama has an enormous lead in both networks, his Facebook support is not that much smaller than the support of every other candidate combined.  Also of note on Facebook is a group called “Stop Hillary Clinton: (One Million Strong AGAINST Hillary)“.  This group currently has 729,000 members!

Web Experts Take on the Election

One of Google’s most addicted new tools is Google Trends and it’s been absolutely fascinating to follow the Obama vs Clinton battle on their tracker.  Note: If you would like to learn more about how to use Google Trends this is a good video for starters.

They have slacked off a bit in the last few weeks, but Compete.com has run many excellent stories analyzing the Presidential Candidates Online data.  Their most recent election post, Candidate FaceTime in December, was a great post to check out.

The guys at HubSpot have written a few very interesting posts looking into the Presedential campaign and their marketing habits, but I have to say the Internet Marketing Report on Presidential Campaign Websites was their best piece of work.  Also while I’m plugging these guys if you have never used their Website Grader tool then I highly recommend running your site through a 10 minute test, it’s free!

TechCrunch, a blog devoted to discussing breaking tech news, as been running their own primaries.  As they put it:

TechCrunch wants to provide a voice for digital policy and technology issues in the upcoming U.S. Presidential election, and so we’ve decided to hold our own political primaries online. Voting will be open from Tuesday, December 18 through noon pst Monday, January 28. TechCrunch will endorse one candidate from each the Democratic and Republican party as the pro-tech candidate based on the popular results of reader voting and blog input from our community of technology leaders and entrepreneurs.

Just yesterday they gave their endorsements choosing Obama and McCain.

Tools to assist in making an Educated Decision

I would like to close by encouraging everyone to go out and vote.  Being from South Carolina I’ve already cast my vote and hope that you will do the same.  I’m not in the business of telling you who to vote for, or even push my opinion upon you, but please be responsible and do the research to make your own educated choice.  Besides checking all the candidates sites here are a few tools that I’ll suggest that ask questions to tell you how candidates align with your beliefs.

  • Select a Candidate put together by Minnesota Public Radio
  • 2008 Presidential Candidate Selector by SelectSmart.com

This post was written by:

Kyle James

Kyle James - who has written 227 posts on .eduGuru

Kyle is currently the Customer in Residence at HubSpot, a Co-Founder at nuCloud and  formerly the webmaster at Wofford College. Kyle is an active contributor in the social media spectrum. Although his background is technical, he claims to know a thing or two about marketing, but mostly that revolves around SEO, analytics, blogging, and social media. He has spoken at multiple national conferences and done countless webinars on topics ranging from e-mail marketing to social media and Web analytics. He's definitely a fairly nice guy.

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13 Responses to “The Presidential Election Race using Web 2.0”

  1. Avatar image
    Matt Herzberger Says:

    Yeah this is a really cool phenominon. I wrote a post about that awhile back. There are a lot of people talking about this. subject. Howard Dean was the one that really got this idea rolling with DeanSpace now CivicSpace that pairs with Drupal.

    Reply

  2. Avatar image
    Joe Gaylor Says:

    Great post Kyle, lots of good insight.

    Reply

  3. Avatar image
    Erica DeWolf Says:

    Great post, Kyle. It really is cool how web 2.0 is bringing in the younger audience, hopefully resulting in a higher vote turn out this year!

    Reply

  4. Avatar image
    Anowar Says:

    Great posts!

    Reply

  5. Avatar image
    Matt Pace Says:

    Thanks for the mention, and sorry for falling asleep at the wheel. Here’s our latest post:

    https://blog.compete.com/2008/02/01/democratic-presidential-race-primary-obama-clinton-super-tuesday/

    Reply

  6. Avatar image
    Republicans Says:

    Hello!I got the most reliable knowledge about voting and non-voting behavior to 2004 presidential election, it is better to have some explanation on the theories themselves. Theories of voting are put into party identification and issue voting. If in an election people vote according to their party ID, regardless of who the candidate of their party is, we can say their model of voting behavior is party identification.

    Reply

  7. Avatar image
    jennifer Says:

    WOW! the information you have provided is very interesting really many people will gain most of the knowledge regarding the US presidential elections 2008 such as voting process, list of the participants and the total number of voters.

    Reply

  8. Avatar image
    vacantclean Says:

    my misguided raspberries, work because else suggested

    Reply

  9. Avatar image
    sameera Says:

    This is a good work.It gives reliable information on voting system.

    Reply

  10. Avatar image
    joseph caviston jr Says:

    It is so apparent to me that, ABC,CBS,NBC are trying so hard to sway americains to vote for Obama every thing is OBama Obama OBama. everything John Mcain or Sarah Palin say gets twisted to make Obama look like he is being attacked, but everything Obama says is gosipal truth. On the other hand right after the debate before Obama and Mcain finished shaking hands the panel of reporters who are suppose to be partial called the debate for Obama. George Stephnellopolis who was a paid democratic cabnit member for Bill Clinton and now works for ABC was used to ripe Mcain apart word for word but put Obama on a petastel. Let the people choose the next President without interference form our so called perfect media!!

    Reply

  11. Avatar image
    Jarek Says:

    Hello,

    I have been looking for interesting services on US Election and I came across this site.

    We have been working on an innovative tool for candidates’ promotion.

    We have created interactive video characters that know all candidates’ program details.

    Please visit: https://www.avaguide.net/us_election

    It let’s you support and vote for your candidate. You can choose one of 4 interactive video characters and use it for your candidates promotion. All you need to do is choose a character and copy and paste it into your site completely for free.

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    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] test this I worked many hours the other week to promoting and soliciting votes to my Presidential Election post.  With literally hours of work I was able to get it up to 107 votes and still not make the top [...]

  2. [...] The Presidential Election Race using Web 2.0 - yeah I know this post has nothing to do with Higher Education, but looking way back to January 30th man we have come a long way in electing Barack Obama president.  Looking way back at some of the numbers it’s quite obvious that Social Media easily picked this one correctly months ahead of time.  This election also really brought Social Media into it’s own as a very powerful brand building and campaign tool. [...]

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