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)

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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Help Wanted: Programmers for the Common Good

Cross posted at Firedoglake.

Many of you may know we are close to completion of our Roots Project beta site.  This Drupal site will provide a social networking and organizing infrastructure for progressives all over the country.  Whether people want to create groups based on their local communities, based on issues of interest or even based on lifestyle interests and hobbies, our site will provide the infrastructure for common people to gather together for the common good.  The site will be a place to create tools and best practices designed by locals for others to copy and adapt to their own circumstances all across the country.  The focus of the site is to connect people, making the distinction between the grassroots and the neetroots ultimately obsolete.

To get the site from its current 0.8 state to 1.0 during the next month, we need additional site development help.  Lambert from Correntewire, our highly talented and experienced lead developer, sent me the following information about who and what we need.  Please email me at pachacutec01 at gmail dot com if you think you can help.  Let me know what your programming experience has been and please provide me any references you may have that give me confidence you share our progressive values.   Those interested in helping complete what will be, I think, an historic project must be available for focused work right away, during this month of August.  Thanks!   

Here's what we need:

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Keeping MySpace Ours

I'm almost happy for all the fear-mongering stories written about MySpace. Thankfully, there have been more stories about predators than actual cases. My hope  is that this over-hyped bad press will scare away many Conservatives from investigating this network's potential.

Similar anxieties of obsolescence kept conservatives from letting their children investigate social phenomenons such as reading novels, zippers, jazz, television, rock & roll, and now P2P networks. And thank god for that - for a while, liberals were the only ones listening to jazz, quickly dressing and chilling on MySpace.  

MySpace just passed Yahoo! for the most pageviews per day in the country. 95 million people have set up accounts and built pages. 95,000,000. But the network's size is NOT the important part!

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