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Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2007 at 4:06 am

Technology and the 2008 Presidential Campaign

By Michele Miller
March 14th, 2007

John Edwards twitters me nearly every day.

It’s not quite as provocative as it sounds. The John Edwards campaign is working hard to connect and start discussions with people through technology. Whoever is in charge of the Edwards online presidential campaign has a firm grip on the effect of social media and is workin’ it hard.

john_edwards.jpgVisit Edwards’ website and prepare to be amazed. On the home page, there’s a large section titled, “Connect With the Campaign,” which gives visitors a choice of plugging in via MySpace, Gather, Flickr, eAssembly, and more. The site’s blog doesn’t just report campaign news; it’s an interactive tool where anyone can write and post.

Then there’s Twitter, the latest social media platform that’s taken the Internet by storm. Allowing for only 140 characters per post, it’s a cool combination of mini-blog and IM. Almost every day, I receive a text message directly from Edwards:

3/8/07: Interviews, airplanes, and just arrived in Houston.

3/9/07: Left Houston this morning. Holding a community meeting on healthcare in Council Bluffs, Iowa today. Des Moines tonight.

3/10/07: Community meeting on healthcare in Newton, IA. Then 1 hr 1/2 drive to Burlington for a similar meeting. Later tonight, back in NC.

Suddenly, watching Edwards on the evening news, I can connect with where he is and what he’s doing. I am in-the-know. When I joined Twitter last week, I became Friend #256 on the John Edwards Twitter list. As I write this less than a week later, the number of friends has reached 738.

How cool would it be if John Edwards promised to keep Twittering if he were elected? Can you imagine how hooked into the White House we’d feel if we got a daily Twitter from the President?

2/1/09: Lunch today with Kim Jong Il. He wants to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” afterward. Hope there’s popcorn.

4/12/09: Calling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this afternoon. We’ll talk uranium, religion and peace.

10/23/09: Today is the vote on universal healthcare. Have you called your congressman to register your vote?

I don’t even know if John Edwards is my personal choice for president, but already I feel I know him better than any of the other candidates. His Second Life headquarters may have been trashed by insurgents, but his real life on the campaign and his attempts to reach out via social media are fascinating.

Could this be the election that hinges on connection… and winning… through technology?

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Comments (2)

  1. Obama: More techie than mainstream media…

    Just read the recent letter from Obama to Dean asking that "video from any Democratic Presidential debate be available freely after the debate, by either placing the video in the public domain, or licensing it under a Creative Commons……

  2. [...] also a great example of the speed with which we move these days. Michele's earlier post about Twittering with John Edwards is [...]

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