Myspace GOTV: The Plan

Myspace is the third most popular website in the United States with well over 100 million accounts and tens of millions of individual users. A great deal of it's users are young adults most of whom probably feel disenfranchised with our current government. We have an oppurtunity to increase voter turnout across the country if we can work together to communicate accross this vast network.

The plan after the fold...

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Racial Politics This Week -- A Roundup

Yo, I heard it's said the revolution won't be televised
But in the land of milk and honey
There's a date you gotta sell it by
Otherwise it just expires and spoils....

The revolution's here
No one can lead you off your path
You'll try to change the world
So please excuse me while I laugh

-- lyrics from Talib Kweli's The Beautiful Struggle

Welcome to another look into the cross-section of race and politics in America. Things are getting down to the wire; the clock is running out on what we hope will be D-Day -- Democrats' Day -- on Nov. 7. Republicans are desperate and trying a new flava of fear -- instead of terrorism, it's fear of the brown, fear of the Other. Trouble is, this time, it's failing. People have stopped buying the Rethuglicans' bull and between Iraq, child sex predators, indictments and other assorted crimes and misdememors. Join the beautiful struggle and let's keep working towards a Nov revolution. Please excuse me while I laugh. --Jill

Lead Story: Tan Nguyen Gets His 15 Minutes of Fame

In the CA 47 race for Congress, Republican candidate tries to erode incumbent Rep. Loretta Sanchez's base by sending out a flyer to 14,000 Latino residents in her district that read in poorly written Spanish:

You are advised that if your residence in this country is illegal or you are an immigrant, voting in a federal election is a crime that could result in jail time, and you will be deported for voting without having a right to do so.

Nguyen quickly adopted the Hastert Defence: blame a staffer. He's been asked to withdraw by Orange County CA Republican party officials. But there's more to this story than meets the eye. Nguyen had been running on an anti-immigration platform and drew support from organized, "border security" racists on the fringe of the Republican party exemplified by Pat Buchanan. DailyKos Diarist Duke1676 has the best analysis on this I've read so far.

Meanwhile over at AsiansVote.com, they're encouraging local Asian Americans to do the right thing:

...the fact that [Nguyen's] campaign was involved eliminates him from any serious consideration by anyone with any commitment to democracy in America. Orange County readers, vote for Nguyen's opponent, Democrat Loretta Sanchez. BTW, Jim Webb's campaign has had its ups and downs with VA black folk(mostly up right now post-Barack Obama visit), but hanging out at AsiansVote.com, I learned Webb's got strong cred in VA's Vietnamese-American community. Also, Tammy Duckworth, Asian-American Iraq war veteran, got a big boost in her run for IL 6 with an endorsement from the Chicago Tribune.

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Who's Really Using Social Networks?

Cross-posted at Future Majority

By now there is a standard story about social networks and politics.  It goes something like "Young people congregate on MySpace and other social networks.  If politicians want to tap the power of the youth vote that emerged in '04, they need a presence on these networks.  This is starting to happen, and FaceBook and MySpace administrators are actively facilitating it."

But who really is on social networks?  A new study suggests that social networking isn't just for young people.  In fact, it's mostly for folks over 34.

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Microtargeting with MySpace

Crossposted atFuture Majority

The Washington Post took a look again this week at "microtargeting" of voters, which they define as:

the new science (some say dark art) by which candidates use the latest data-mining technology to vacuum every last scrap of information about voters, then churn out custom-tailored messages designed to herd their supporters to the polls
This is, in my eyes, the future of politics. Targeting masses of people within huge demographics is such a blunt tool that it is bound to completely miss large percentages of the targeted audience.

As we have noted on Future Majoritynumerous times, young people are a great place for campaigns to look for support, but with the emergence of microtargeting as a campaign communication tactic they should be even more enticing. Take a look at any of the social networking sites, like MySpace and Facebook, and you quickly see that young people are telling the entire world about their tastes, desires, dreams, etc.  And, there are cheap and easy to use tools that can help campaigns to do the targeting for them. For myspace there is the FriendBlaster Pro and Badder Adder, both of which help you to add up to 500 friends a day (any more than this gets you in trouble with the MySpace police) according to a large number of easy to configure variables. They can also help to manage labor intensive tasks such as adding comments to large numbers of pages and keeping up to date on bulletins. (I haven't been able to locate a friend adding program for Facebook. If you know of one please leave the URL in the comments)

Update:
I almost forgot to mention this article, which looks at MySpace's new voter registration push - MySpace launches voter-registration plan:

The youth-heavy online hangout MySpace.com is launching a voter-registration drive to engage its members in civics. In partnership with the nonpartisan group Declare Yourself, MySpace is running ads on its highly trafficked Web site and giving members tools such as a "I Registered To Vote On MySpace" badge to place on their personal profile pages.

"Young people in this country ... are really engaged in what's happening in their community and want to make a difference," said Jeff Berman, MySpace's senior vice president for public affairs. "The key is to make it easy for them to get engaged. By putting these tools on MySpace and putting it in front of their eyes, you make it far more likely they will use them."

I hope that every candidate has this on their MySpace account! It boggles my mind when I find campaigns, including the DNC's field campaign, that don't register people to vote.

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Jimmy Webb Reports from Iraq

Below is Jim Webb Jr's most recent update from Iraq.  We should do like he says and send him shit.

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Diaries

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