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Obama leads McCain in utilizing web technology

With roughly seven weeks left in the race to determine the next President of the United States, the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan "think tank", has conducted an analysis comparing how well the Obama and McCain camps are using website technology for organizing, fund-raising, networking, and announcing news. The Pew Research Center is a group that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.

Both campaigns’ official websites www.barackobama.com and www.johnmccain.com are more advanced than anything seen in past elections. For much of the campaign, Obama has had the edge taking advantage of new technology, but the McCain camp has begun to close the gap by adding new features and content to their website such as social networking components. For the week ending August 30 the Obama website attracted 72% of the visits compared to 28% for McCain according to Hitwise, an internet usage research company. The study examined the Obama and McCain websites in August and again in September, before and after the national conventions.

According to the study several interesting points became apparent. The study found on the Barack Obama website it is easier for supporters to initiate grass roots activities. They can receive up-to-the-minute campaign news, pick up talking points, download campaign posters and flyers, make computer-assisted phone calls to undecided voters in swing states, and map out door-to-door canvassing operations in their area.

Both web sites offer ways of encouraging user involvement by allowing people to communicate with the campaign, and personalize their own pages. Until recently, many of these features were not operational on the McCain site while they have been active on the Obama site for the past several months. The Obama website has a customizable page called, “MyBarackObama” or “MyBO,” that closely resembles a Facebook page. They can post a profile, write a personal blog and link to their favorite Obama-related groups or individuals in their “network” of fellow Obama supporters. The McCain Web site offers customizable tools through “McCainSpace,” that allows you to create a personal page.

The Obama website links directly to 15 social networking websites. McCain’s web site does not link to any social networking sites on its home page but maintains a presence on six: MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Digg, Flickr and LinkedIn. Even after the enhancements to McCain's site, Obama has more MySpace friends by a nearly 6-to-1 margin, more Facebook supporters by more than a 5-to-1 margin, and twice as many videos posted to his official YouTube channel.

As a general theme Obama's site links to mainstream media news stories about his candidacy more frequently than McCain's, which tends to rely on campaign-generated press releases. In August, an analysis of content found within the News section of each website revealed about 40% of the news posts on the McCain site were their own press releases versus just 12% on the Obama news page. This trend has declined as the McCain site has begun linking to news stories about Palin.

The McCain website has fully integrated his vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, very prominently into the website's home page. After the GOP convention, of the 17 pictures on the home page, nine featured Palin, and the two largest and most prominent photographs on the page featured Palin and McCain together. The Obama campaign incorporated Joe Biden into the Web site, but only to limited degree. The website has added biographies of Biden and his wife Jill. One interesting point the article mentions is that the Obama website in general avoids criticizing or mentioning Sarah Palin.

To further analyze the two websites the Pew Research Center reviewed the text of the most universal and permanent sections of the site candidate biographies, issues and speeches. This was done to try and determine what message the two candidates are attempting to project online. In general, they found that Obama tends to stress domestic policy and the economy, while McCain focuses broadly on national security and his experience in the military and government.



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RE: “MyBO"
By Ringold on 9/21/2008 3:15:59 PM , Rating: 3
"specially the Republicans," eh?

Who got us, and kept us, in 'Nam again? Kennedy & Johnson, two Democrats.

What about Korea? Truman, another Democrat.

Who campaigned that no American boy would die on foreign soil, then began immediate preparation for WW2? Roosevelt, Democrat.

Who did the same, then volunteered us for WW1? Wilson. Guess what? Another Democrat.

But who was the first to warn against the rising influence of the military-industrial complex? Eisenhower, Republican.

We have these things called "history books." Are you familiar with them?


RE: “MyBO"
By lompocus on 9/21/2008 5:56:02 PM , Rating: 2
Hahaha, I think you must mean "Wikipedia", because history marks Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Roosevelt, and Wilson among the best presidents. If not, then at least Truman, Kennedy, and Roosevelt have helped you not be a nazi or commie in this modern world.

History remembers Eisenhower as buttraping the military, the economy, and america in general.


RE: “MyBO"
By gunzac21 on 9/21/2008 9:31:58 PM , Rating: 2
In fact if not for the democrats the US would not be the most powerful country in the world. Thank you Wilson and FDR.


RE: “MyBO"
By killerroach on 9/22/2008 10:27:24 AM , Rating: 2
Somewhere, Milton Friedman is rolling in his grave at the thought of this.


RE: “MyBO"
By Quiescent on 9/21/2008 11:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
We did this as last resort. Maybe you should really pay attention to your history and not leave out those important parts.

Who campaigned that no American boy would die on foreign soil, then began immediate preparation for WW2? Roosevelt, Democrat.

He absolutely did not want to meddle in foreign affairs. But after pearl harbor, that was the last straw for him. He put us in war, because if we didn't go to war, then Germany would have conquered all of the east side of earth, and then who will US have to be on their side? Germany would defeat us, and we might as well not exist as we are today.


RE: “MyBO"
By Ringold on 9/22/2008 9:16:41 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, hilarity!

quote:
Maybe you should really pay attention to your history and not leave out those important parts.


Followed by..

quote:
But after pearl harbor, that was the last straw for him.


I'm not sure you're aware of the time line leading in to WW2 and the preparations we took long before, despite accusing me of ignorance myself. There are a number of rather important actions we took that you happen to be leaving out yourself; selective memory? Pearl Harbor was pretext, the excuse we were waiting for, and an excellent one it was! But we were in the war long before Pearl Harbor. Beyond that, I can't find a link to the letter but Roosevelt wrote I believe to his son admitting later that the campaign promise was in fact a lie, but a lie he told on the belief that he'd never get elected telling the truth.

To everyone who appeared to construe my position as being opposed to all those wars, that wouldn't be accurate. Some were clearly necessary. FDR didn't have to become America's second tyrant in terms of incredible power (the first was Lincoln), but he got the job done, and Truman's blundering about in Korea at least freed half the peninsula. Good enough. As for Truman, who one person included on the list of greatest Presidents.. the parallels between Iraq and Korea are interesting. Truman was despised at the time, Bush is despised now. Truman was thought to of screwed up the war once we were there; same with Bush. Then later generations look back and recognized that Truman got a bad rap. I contend that with a democracy surrounded by theocracies in the Middle East, Bush may get a little credit at some point down the line as well, especially with so few killed compared Kennedy and Johnson's efforts in Vietnam. Oh, and how about that Kosovo/Serbia deal? They attacked us no more than Iraq, but we bombed them all the same.

The point was that all the major wars, and the vast majority of the body bags, over the last hundred years has been done by Democrats, where apparently it's the Republican's who are the great war hawks according to who I was responding to. Good job to all for missing the point.


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