Our MySpace Experiment

Here is the other side of the story. That Anthony changed the password changes things a bit, but I still think he should be compensated for the amount of work he has done. Hopefully, negotiations on that front will continue. Also, I don't like the "we are making this up as we go along" part of the explanation--Chris

I won't have time to post today, but you should read this post from TechPresident. The account written here does not quite accord with what Micah reported--Matt

Hi, I'm Joe Rospars and I'm the New Media Director at Barack Obama's campaign. There have been a lot of questions and comments in this community related to our MySpace profile, and so I wanted to come by and clarify how we got here and answer questions.

Our campaign started quickly. People around here say that this has been like building an airplane in mid-air, having already taken off. This is especially true of the New Media operation. While the campaign in general is going from zero to sixty, our team is at the same time charged with exploring the new ways we can build relationships between Barack and his supporters, and foster relationships among supporters themselves.

When it came to MySpace, we decided to take a leap. We decided to make the attempt to combine the organic support and community-building of a grassroots effort with the official campaign outreach efforts.

There's more...

Obama and MySpace: Why the blogosphere got it wrong

(cross-posted at Daily Kos)

The blogosphere is abuzz today with the news that Barack Obama's presidential campaign took control of its MySpace domain after initially working with the previous holder of that user ID, Joe Anthony, for no cost. Here's a sampling of the reaction at some of the major liberal blogs. After turning down what they viewed as the high cost - $39,000 - for the rights to control of the site, the Obama campaign, working with MySpace, was granted full control without having to pay Anthony.

The general reaction from the leading blogs - Daily Kos, MyDD, and Eschaton - seem to indicate that they believe the Obama campaign screwed Anthony over big time. I do agree that the Obama campaign could have handled the issue more tactfully. That being said, the blogosphere criticism seems to show an underlying lack of understanding about the functioning of social networking websites such as MySpace. Follow me beneath the fold for analysis...

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The Sheriff, the Webmaster & MySpace Policy

(cross-posted at Daily Kos)

So, the Big Blogosphere Brouhaha of the day is the Obama/MySpace debacle.

I posted this info as a couple of comments in Kos's front-page diary, but this seemed pretty relevant and worthy of its' own diary as well, so I'm posting it there as well as here at MyDD.

I was retained as an expert witness for a civil trial here in Michigan last fall, in which a website developer was suing the Macomb County Sheriff's Department over payment he felt that they owed him for developing the Dept's website.

It was a long, messy, complicated case with lots of stupidity on both sides.

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Charting the Role of Social Networks in the Coming Election

Like Mike Connery, I am skeptical of the role social networks will play in the coming primaries and election.  I think the political utility of "Web 2.0" has been over-hyped and it's going to take awhile before we start to see most candidate use of these sites rise above the level of glorified advertisements.  That said, on a more academic level I'm interested in tracking candidate usage of social networking and related sites as best as possible now, so that the impact of these sites, such as it is, can be better evaluated in the future.

However useful these sites are for inspiring grassroots political participation, they are clearly only going to become more and more relevant as time goes on.  Even if being able to friend a candidate on Facebook doesn't increase a person's ability to interact with and influence that candidate, as people begin to check such sites at greater frequency they will at least have some kind of daily reminder of the potential to become politically involved.  So I think some optimism might be warranted when it comes to the question of whether or not these sites could help to boost young voter registration.

For this reason, I've lately been developing a script and accompanying website that gathers together data from several social networking sites (number of Myspace friends, Youtube subscribers, etc.), with more information to come.  I'm honestly unsure at this point as to whether or not this is a trivial exercise.  On a geeky level, I like being able to see this information all at once and get an idea of the extent to which it correlates with recent polling data.  So there's that.  But I also think this keeping an archive of this information could be helpful in ultimately deciding the role social networks played in the 2008 election.

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AdAge article - will there be burnout? And why the need for $$$?

There's an interesting article today in AdAge entitled "Too Soon? Two-Year Prez Race Could Lead to Marketing Miscues, Burnout"

http://adage.com/article?article_id=1153 59

Two excellent quotes:

"I think the current process of spending an entire year running in order to spend an entire year running in order to get sworn in in January 2009 is stupid." - Newt Gingrich

"If you assigned the task of developing a political system to an insane asylum, this is what they would come up with." - Larry Sabato

There's more...


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