Answer: They all promise to bring fulfillment to their users in life, but they can often leave a bad after taste in ones mouth.
With all of the political buzz online between the conservative, progressive, and “unaffiliated” voices in cyberspace, it looks like the road towards 2008 is going to reveal a lot of ugly warts from anybody considering entering the presidential race.
But it seems that some politicians are finding creative ways of reaching out towards their base via the world wide web, and here is a brief snapshot of those using the internet to their advantage.
Although virtually most of the (smart) politicians have started a weblog and/or have established profiles on all the popular social networks, very few of them have decided to create social networks of their own, which is quite surprising (at least to me).
Senator John McCain, who seems to have an ax to grind against the blogosphere has launched a McCainSpace. Unfortunately it seems to be more of a tool to raise funds for McCain than networking, although hopefully we will see some serious effort towards the latter as requesting funds can get old after a while.
John Edwards, who seems to be a popular topic on the right and the left, has created a site where supporters can not only start a blog of their own, but also vote on which entries are worth reading on the home page. Thus far Edwards seems to be the only one implementing this “mini-digg” feature, but it would not be surprising to see other political sites adopting this trend in the future.
Senator Barack Obama has also created a mini social network called My Barack Obama, which not only does the basics (fund raising and networking) but also seems to allow users to create events and allow fans to easily contact all their friends about the black wonder. (note: I’m black so no hating here).
Unfortunately the site is really slow which is either an indicator on how popular this social network is or that a webmaster needs to put more effort in making this site work.
Thus far, these seem to be the only political sites embracing web 2.0 to the fullest measure (or at least beyond a blog, a site feed and “please donate here” link). Hopefully we will see politicians on both sides adopt more measures within their “own backyards,” as hooking up via Facebook, MySpace and YouTube is the last thing I want to do, as there are more entertaining items within those respective sites.