Politics 2.0 – Who is Web 2.0?

Thank you to Anonymous for writing me about this very interesting post: Dimensions of a Potentially Postponed GOP CNN/YouTube Debate .

This post was written by Alex Hammer so I looked up Alex Hammer’s bio and found: “Alex Hammer was a 2006 Independent candidate for Governor of Maine. He is the owner of Media 2.0, including Politics 2.0 (www.hammer2006.blogspot.com). Politics 2.0 focuses on “What’s now and what’s next” in Presidential politics and politics generally. Alex is a columnist for The Magic City Morning Star (www.magic-city-news.com) and a regular guest columnist for The Moderate Voice (www.themoderatevoice.com). Previously, for a decade, Alex was owner of HSC Media, a five-division NYC area based online media company.”

His blog on Politics 2.0 has the most amazing blogroll list of politician’s online sites like their myspace, twitter, facebook, etc. Take a look at his blog for who all is doing what Web 2.0 applications.

Here is just a sampling of links from his list (there are many. many more):

Joe Biden Blog
Joe Biden MySpace Site
Joe Biden Senate Website
Joe Biden Twitter
Joe Biden Website
Joe Biden Wikipedia
Joe Biden YouTube Videos
John Edwards MySpace Site
John Edwards Twitter
John Edwards Website
John Edwards Wikipedia Bio
John Edwards YouTube Videos
John McCain MySpace Site

~Susan Mellott

Politics 2.0 – Are Republicans Afraid of Us?

The CNN/YouTube Democratic Presidential Debates took place on Monday, July 23, 2007. It was a first for that type of debate format and was quite popular, especially among the younger viewers who are perhaps more drawn to this more unconventional approach. CNN says it got a boost in the 18-34 demographic – the most ever for a cable news debate. And those are real-time numbers, not including younger viewers (or any viewers) who may have watched a stream or a Tivo’ed show or even the post-event sound-biteable nuggets on YouTube itself.

Here is a great recap of the debates provided by YouTube. I love the format, it briefly states the question they were asked and then shows their response. You can also watch the videos of each question. There are also the questions that were submitted but not used and video responses to the debates.It is really ‘by the people’, people like you and me and it is real questions from real people. There were difficult questions asked and real feedback given. You can also view the questions that were submitted but not used.

I watched several of the unused questions (there were almost 3000 entries) and was impressed at the thoughtfulness and interest expressed by so many people. Sure, there were some that were just people goofing around, but that doesn’t negate the large amount of people who had real concerns and real questions and who clearly are interested in trying to make the correct decision with their vote.

Mitt Romney (Republican candidate who has refused to participate in the CNN/YouTube debate format) said “[The debates] ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman.” (referring to a question about global warming that was presented on the video as a snowman sock puppet). Well all I can say is lighten up! What, your dignity and stature doesn’t allow you to interact with people who don’t care about all that? It reminds me of people who read a very thought provoking post and all they can do is nitpick about the spelling or grammar. I guess that is safer (and easier) than actually stating an opinion. And it makes a point that you feel you are better in some way than they are (without actually having to do anything that might disprove it).

I think that the Republicans (I’m sure there are exceptions, but I don’t know who they are) are a bunch of control-freaks that can’t handle anything that they have not orchestrated to the nth degree. I think they feel they know better than we do and that we are all a bunch of ignoramuses (ignorami) that need their fatherly protection so we don’t run with a stick and poke someone’s eye out. Shame on the Republican candidates for thinking they are too good to have a voter ask a question directly. Format be dammed, a voter’s question is a voter’s question and deserves an answer.

And there are plenty of Republican party youtube videos put out by the candidates or their people. But of course this is the format they like best, they talk about what they want to say and you listen. No input allowed.

I also think they don’t want anyone telling them what to do and will go out of their way to not do something just to prove it. And they feel no need to explain why they do what they do. At the NAACP GOP Presidential Candidate forum on July 12, one lone republican candidate showed up, Tan Tancredo. The NAACP invited all the Republican candidates to the forum, put out 9 podiums, but only one Republican showed up. All the Democratic Presidential hopefuls showed up for their forum. The excuses given by the Republican campaigns mostly had to do with scheduling conflicts–just too busy to make it.

Here is a telling photograph of the nine podiums and the one candidate. And here is the post that led me to this picture and from which I found out about the NAACP debacle.

There are a group of republicans who are asking their candidates to debate in this format and their website is called Save the Debate. I applaud their progressive attitude and their acumen in recognizing that they stand to lose a lot more by not attending than by having to answer a tough question or two. You can also sign a petition on that website, requesting that the candidates attend. Personally, I doubt that their opinions and requests matter that much to the republican candidates. But if enough people stand behind it, maybe they will get the clue.

~Susan Mellott

Politics 2.0 – YouTube videos Address Energy Bill

There is a new channel on YouTube called CleanMyRide. This is what it has to say about itself: “This channel is aimed at making people aware that Congress is about to begin an important debate about the energy bill. The bill is a good start, but it still needs provisions to take on the really big stuff – increasing gas mileage requirements and mandating the availability of flexible-fuels. These tough solutions will slash oil use and slow global warming.”

One thing new about this is the high production quality and celebrity involvement. Some of the celebrities in these videos are Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Biggs and Jennifer Garner, to name a few.

Here is the first video:

The videos are funny, informative (slight adult content) and really rather addictive. Ben Affleck is hilarious in part one as a big piece of “street” corn. Here is an article from People Magazine about the videos.

Check out their website to see some really cutting edge Web 2.0 used for a campaign to inform people about an important bill before Congress.

Visit CleanMyRide.org to learn more and sign the petition. Tell Congress: Clean My Ride!

Project Phin - Clean My Ride

~Susie

Politics 2.0 and the Digital Divide

So politics and the presidential campaign is going 2.0. While I am certainly a strong proponent of this, it does raise the question that this is slanted towards the technologically advanced and/or those who have the means and knowledge to use the Web 2.0 technology. This potentially excludes large segments of the population. Many people who were not raised in the era of computers and PCs do not understand even what is available, much yet how to use it. This would seem to greatly lean towards and garner a younger audience then. And those who are older who do know the technology are probably those who work in technology and/or have had access to and knowledge of all the new Web 2.0 technology. Therefore, this would encompass a primarily white-collar, upper-class population and exclude those who have not had the means or did not work with technology.

I think this is one area where our school system and our libraries play a huge role. Our schools need to provide training and funding for every student to learn and be able to apply technology. And our libraries especially, can educate and enable everyone, regardless of age, ability or economic status. I think this is a direction that libraries need to go and I think they need to get the funding to do it. I don’t know that I think the libraries are where the sole responsibility for this lies, nor do I even know if they are necessarily the places that should take this responsibility ultimately. But I do know that if the Public Libraries don’t do it, there will be a large portion of the population that will be left behind.

I cannot think of a public organization / facility that could come anywhere near the ability that libraries have to reach and educate the public and to provide access for all people. I know what a difference it has made to have public computers in the libraries and when I see someone who probably isn’t sure where they will be sleeping that night, come in and sit down at a computer and and be the equal of anyone else, I am proud of what our libraries can give and this is something that I think we all need to encourage and promote and consider when funding is needed for our public libraries.

I find it interesting that of any or all of the public institutions that we have created, I can really only think of libraries as one that has the capacity to serve the entire public in so very many ways, regardless of age, means, ability or any differentiating quality.

And the only problem that someone might run into with using a library is that they have difficulty getting to the nearest branch. So I think it is very important for libraries to keep their small neighborhood branches, including (especially) those in poorer areas since they can serve a population that perhaps can’t easily get farther than they can walk. I do worry that the tendency may be to improve the branches in the richer areas and neglect the ones in the poorer areas, especially since the richer branches may be more used. But the poorer ones may be more valuable. Actually, I remember when the bookmobile used to come down our street. They are no longer running and I think that is a mistake. But this is fuel for another post 🙂

Anyway, along the digital divide lines, here is a post from the PBS.org teachers blog where after a June debate, the political candidates were asked about this. Here is a quote from that post “After the event, I had a chance to speak with four of the candidates about their perceptions about the digital divide and the role schools might play in bridging it. The lesson learned: it’s hard to get more than a sound bite when the candidates are in spin mode.” And here is a link to this very interesting post.

~Susie

Politics 2.0 – YouTube Aftermath

I hate to admit that I did not watch (or twitter) the presidential debates last night. However, thanks to the 2.0 aspect, it has been captured in ways that were never (or seldom) done before. Here is an excellent blog titled The YouTube Campaign 2008 that has a great deal of information and I believe they were liveblogging the debate. And here is the post from the YouTube blog entitled The CNN/YouTube Debate: How Did They Do? And don’t forget the next YouTube Debate video entry request which is for the YouTube Republican Debate September 17.

There is controversy over the real value of this though, and many people think it was more of a good marketing ploy for the candidates than a true discourse with “the people”. And questions were raised about the video questions that were selected since they were selected by CNN’s political team. I must admit, I have my doubts too. I love the idea of political candidates really answering to the people and having real people ask real questions. Do I think it is there yet? No. But I think this is the right path to be on and I think it can help the campaigns get more ‘real’. Here is a link to a Yahoo! news article on the Debate over Whether YouTube made a Difference. And one final link to The BuzzMachine about the debate. There are many interesting comments on this post.

~Susie

Twitter joins the Presidential Debates!

On July 23rd immediately following the Youtube/CNN debate John Edwards will answer questions from Twitter users in a live webcast on JohnEdwards.com. He wants twitter-ers to @johnedwards some questions in advance. Pretty cool.

This information came from the Official Twitter Blog.

Elections 2.0 aka Politics 2.0

As I was taking our cat, Ubi, to the vet this afternoon, I turned on the radio to NPR and there was a fascinating discussion on Talk of the Nation about the web’s role in the presidential debate. It was called Digital Democracy: YouTube’s Presidential Debates and you can listen to a podcast of it on that site. It is very well worth listening to. It is about what role Web2.0 tools such as YouTube, MySpace, blogs, web searches, etc. will play in politics, both in the upcoming presidential debate and in politics in general. Here is the NPR Blog of the Nation post entitled Democrawikiyoutubia 2.8 that is about this NPR broadcast.

As you may or may not know, CNN is asking people to submit YouTube videos with a question for the presidential campaign debate that will be taking place next Monday, July 23. Here is where you can submit your video. And here is a Washington Post blog post entitled CNN/YouTube Debate: The Best of The Questions So Far that has videos of some of the best questions that have been submitted so far. There are also many interested comments for this article.

Another interesting fact is that much of this information is in blog format, such as the NPR Blog of the Nation, The Washington Post’s Blog and the Official Google Blog post where the YouTube Presidential Debate program was introduced. YouTube also has a You Choose ’08 channel for the 2008 presidential campaign.

And after listening to this broadcast and reading the associated articles and blogs, I realized just how much Web 2.0 is permeating our culture in every way. Yes Virginia, there is Politics 2.0.

~Susie

John 5 | Official Store

Official online store

All Things Web 2.0

All things web 2.0 and a little more

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

(Point).Oh

Personal thoughts on the future of Libraries; Technology; Multimedia; and the .0 moniker