If you're trying to keep up with U.S. politics today, be prepared for an onslaught. There's an all-day mudslide of information, and no end of sources to get it from. Google's decided to join the fray and, with the help of microblogging service Twitter, has created a live, moving mapplet to track people's tweets that are related to politics. All the tweets are geotagged with the Twitter user's city and state, so you can see where they posted from, right down to the county.
While a good deal of the tweets are useless (see example above), there are a few that link to blog posts, or important notes about long wait times at the polls. However, my bet is that most people will stick to their regular news sites for the most up-to-date information. Speaking of which, if you're in the mood for more tangible poll results, you can check out Google's primary results gadget, which displays percentages for each candidate, by state on a simple chart. It's available as a standalone embed (which I've added after the break) and as a gadget for your iGoogle homepage.
The Huffington Post's new "Fundrace 2008" feature allows you to see who the big donors are in the 2008 presidential race campaigns, with a Google maps mash-up that lets you search by region, donor name, party affiliation and donation amount. It's a light-hearted but also serious look at who the big donors are (it mostly tracks donations over $200) and, in some cases, you can see who's playing "both sides". They also track donations from employees at specific companies. For example, Microsoft and Google employees have primarily given to Democrats by over 2:… Read more
Techcrunch had the chance to interview Governor Mitt Romney, US presidential candidate on the Republican ticket. The good news is that his views on taxation of venture capital and the Internet seem reasonable. The bad news? He's a PC user (though a few of his sons run the blessed Mac).
Of particular note to the tech industry is his view on H1B visas, which allow qualified candidates to come to the US to work:
I like H1B visas. I like the idea of the best and brightest in the world coming here. I'd rather have them come here permanently rather than come and go, but I believe our visa program is designed to help us solve gaps in our employment pool.… Read more
The 2008 presidential race resembles any sophisticated Internet marketing campaign that lets consumers swap information, connect with friends, make a purchase--or, in this case, a donation.
It's not clear whether the online techniques will turn interest into actual votes, but the latest crop of candidates has built on Howard Dean's Web success in 2004, say experts at Wharton.
Read the full story at Knowledge@Wharton:" Marketing presidential candidates on the Web goes mainstream: But does it get votes?"
MANCHESTER, N.H.--It sounded like a good idea at first: let Internet users be part of, virtually speaking, the Democratic and Republican presidential debates on Saturday evening by posting comments on a special Facebook message board.
But it turned out to be one of those ideas that may be better in theory than in practice. During the East coast broadcast of the debates, Facebook users posted around 35,000 "Soundboard" messages, meaning that at perhaps 50 characters each, that's some 1.75 million characters to read during an approximately three-hour period. All of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, by contrast, is only 700,000 characters.
To read all those messages, at 20 per page, you'd have to refresh your browser's screen 1,750 times. That's not even counting comments posted by west coast Facebook users (Facebook, which co-sponsored the debate here with ABC News, said the west coast figures were not yet available).
No doubt, the political twitterers must've felt empowered to know their Soundboard comments were being beamed out to an audience of potentially millions of Facebook users, and, if plucked by ABC's designated Facebook-monitoring reporter on TV, millions of offline viewers as well.
Still, it's a little unclear whether the comments will prove all that useful for campaigns looking to boost their candidates' standing.
Presidential hopefuls, take note: America's high-tech workforce would generally prefer that government keep its hands off the Internet, privacy matters included.
That's the message contained in a recent poll of 600 "information technology" workers (click for PDF) released Tuesday by the Computing Technology Industry Association. CompTIA's members are generally smaller tech businesses around the world.
The poll, conducted in August and September by the firm Rasmussen Reports, is billed as the first in a series of steps the association plans to take in an attempt to amplify the views of tech-sector workers among the 2008 … Read more
Yesterday, as the Republican presidential debate took place via YouTube, the Democratic National Committee quietly launched a rather notable Web 2.0 initiative itself. FlipperTV is a new service from the Democratic Party site that offers a growing library of video clips of the Republican candidates on the campaign trail. Users are encouraged to take the video and "use the footage as they wish." Wink wink.
In an era when home-brewed YouTube videos are more entertaining than 90 percent of network television, the DNC's strategy seems obvious. Why pay high-priced advertising companies to create mudslinging attack ads (that could blow up in its face) when you have millions of supporters with the technology to make their own videos and take responsibility for the content. The site even suggests that we "hold these candidates accountable for their comments and actions."… Read more