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October 16, 2007

“Renewing” political debate…
I’ve tried to always stay on track with my blogs, and not wander too far from our class blog’s actual mission. Inspired by the words of Newt Gingrich, my posts have concentrated on either debate topics, or on actual political involvement. How responsive the 2008 presidential candidates are with their constituents, how they interact with the media (whether they use it to their advantage or not), and how they embrace technology.
Consider this post my “midterm blog.” It’ll focus on the involvement of the candidates. Before this semester I had never blogged, or even spent a notable amount of time at someone else’s blog. Now I recognize that it is a useful tool in the ever-growing technological age. This post is going to demonstrate (hopefully) all that I have learned about blogging this semester (labeling, adding pictures, etc…)

I wanted to get the attention of the people that this blog is actually about – the presidential candidates. I figure the best way to contact them is in an informal way, one in which they are likely to respond. Now, I know that the candidates themselves may not be the ones checking their MySpace accounts everyday, but I went out and friended 16 of them anyway.
As for the democratic candidates, I checked the profiles, and requested friendship with democratic candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, and Bill Richardson. For republican candidates, I friended Sam Brownback, Rudy Giuliani, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo, and Fred Thompson.
Once they confirm the friend requests, I’ll be able to post on their walls, and send them messages…this is where I’ll send them a link to our blogs and ask them to take a look, and maybe even write a quick response to some of their favorite posts.
It’s encouraging to know the candidates have learned where to find the young voters, and are now trying to reach us at OUR level. They have accepted the fact that they must come to us, and the Internet is the easiest way to reach the Y generation.
Their participation in the YouTube debates (YouChoose ’08) is only one example of their efforts to reach a wider array of voters; the fact that almost every presidential candidate has a MySpace profile is another.
The candidates whose names are linked above, were chosen because I felt their MySpace profiles were the best of the 16 that I checked out. They (or someone working for them) took the time to make their profile as user-friendly and interactive as possible. The three I linked were chosen based on several criteria: the last time they checked/updated their profile, how long their “wall” was, the personal information they included, and how much interactive/informational “stuff” they had in their profiles.
Actually as I’m blogging right now, Dennis Kucinich is online.
So, if the candidates are going online for the sake of our generation – we’d better meet them there. I’ve learned that it’s possible to make my voice heard, and intend to do just that when I contact the candidates. I don’t expect them to respond after just one post on their “Wall,” which is why I’ll try to contact them through their homepages, and maybe if I get brave enough.. I’ll post a video on YouTube.. Who knows..

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