The MySpace of Presidential Politics is on MySpace

MySpace and Presidential Politics

Sunday’s NYT ran an article about MySpace’s new Impact Channel where presidential candidates’ profiles will be aggregated and presented for MySpace’s 60 million (mostly young) American members.

The article basically says “candidates are going where the voters are” and expects that MySpace and the Impact Channel could have an, err, impact, on youth turn out and the election.

Back in late 2005, or maybe it was early 06 I attended barCamp NYC where i saw John Ressig talk about subverting social networks, or social networking sites. He explained how bots are overrunning sites like MySpace and bands often buy software that goes out and invites people to be their friends. In a system where social currency is counted in the number of “friends” you have, this is a tempting way to up your stats. It will be interesting to see if any of the candidates resort to such tactics to improve their standing.

Another interesting thing to analyze will be the degrees of separation between the candidates. I would expect that we’ll see many MySpace users who are “friends” with many candidates, and candidates who are friends with each other. As anyone who has used it knows, just because your friends with someone on myspace doesn’t mean you really friends with them, and as I am sure we’ll learn in 08, it probably won’t mean that you will actually vote for them.

Recent months have also seen candidates using Flickr and YouTube and growing their social networks there too. What will be next? DodgeBall (as Zephyr Teachout suggested late last year?)

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