The social networking behemoth MySpace.com, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, made waves mid-last month when it unveiled MySpace Impact, a new site where MySpacers can watch videos and read about do-gooders, and more importantly, view the MySpace profiles of all the major presidential candidates for 2008.
The next president is in your extended network
The social networking behemoth MySpace.com, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, made waves mid-last month when it unveiled MySpace Impact, a new site where MySpacers can watch videos and read about do-gooders, and more importantly, view the MySpace profiles of all the major presidential candidates for 2008. It’s more of a giant leap than a small step for the site’s first foray into the political arena–MySpace users can donate money to campaigns through the site and even participate in a virtual primary next January.
This prompts the Vanguard to ask, what kind of digital prowess do these Oval Office hopefuls exhibit? Which aspirant for the nation’s highest office is winning the internet’s biggest popularity contest?
Barack ObamaWho he is: junior senator, IllinoisParty: DemocratMySpace friends: 92,582Page design: Far and away, Sen. Obama has had the most success in wooing the country’s least-likely voters to web-land, boasting nearly five times the number of friends of even his closet competitor. All this without veering from MySpace’s stock white-blue-and-orange scheme, and featuring just two videos. What the site lacks in frills it makes up for in substance, however, featuring policy positions, merchandise-purchasing links, and a rotating cast of Top 8 friends.
John EdwardsWho he is: former senator, North CarolinaParty: DemocratMySpace friends: 17,468Page design: Though dwarfed in popularity by Sen. Obama, ’04’s vice president nominee’s page looks slick, with a big American-flag banner that grabs your attention right from the top of the page, text floating over a contemporary blue, white and brown background and a Top 8-swallowing block of friend pics. Edwards gets props for actually including personal details, too. Music: Bruce Springsteen. Born to run, eh?
Hillary ClintonWho she is: junior senator, New YorkParty: DemocratMySpace friends: 8,379Page design: Sen. Clinton wants you to know she’s popular, and you can tell people she’s popular too with the “I’m not only voting for Hillary, she’s my friend!” banner you can post on your page. Still, the former first lady gets design kudos for her simple, off-white tables with blue borders design, with custom contact and top friends boxes, and loads of videos. Clinton loses points for the deer-in-the-headlights profile photo, though (creepy!).
Mitt RomneyWho he is: former governor, MassachusettsParty: RepublicanMySpace friends: 4,341Page design: Romney is online leader of the pack for the Grand Old Party, despite an apparent fear of technology among young conservatives (Romney boasts about half the friends of Clinton, the third-most popular Dem.). And who could resist that rugged Robert Redford-esque mugshot that graces the top of the page. New England’s favorite Mormon pulls out all the MySpace stops: videos, photo slide shows, Elvis tunes…they’re all here.
John McCainWho he is: senior senator, ArizonaParty: RepublicanMySpace friends: 3,871Page design: Despite lagging in popularity behind Romney, this former GOP “maverick” turned stay-the-courser gives the former governor a run for his money in site design. The clean, monochrome American flag background with gray boxes looks bold and contemporary, with just a hint of militarism tossed in. He loses points for redundancy, as the page features the same campaign ad video twice.
Ron PaulWho he is: congressman, Texas 14thParty: RepublicanMySpace friends: 2,702Page design: I was relieved to discover a section on Rep. Paul’s page entitled “Who is Ron Paul?” because I had no idea. Though Paul’s page sticks to the default white-blue-orange, it makes up in content what it lacks in design, featuring a speaking schedule, issue positions and regular blog posts.
Bill RichardsonWho he is: governor, New MexicoParty: RepublicanMySpace friends: 2,188Page design: Although the former U.N. ambassador’s page features a nice bio, it looks like about 15 minutes of effort was spent setting it up. Once more, the dreaded white-blue-orange, with but one video to spruce it up.
Dennis KucinichWho he is: congressman, Ohio 10thParty: DemocratMySpace friends: 1,894Page design: America’s most loveable liberal might be lagging in popularity, but he can MySpace like a pro. Starting with a commanding, animated banner at the top of the page, Kucinich has videos, including one of the sultry Elizabeth Kucinich (hot! You’ve done well, Dennis, you’ve done well), links issue positions with their own cleverly designed icons, blog posts and a photo slide show. This page is tricked out to the max.
Joe BidenWho he is: senior senator, DelawareParty: DemocratMySpace friends: 1,474Page design: Sen. Biden, who may have deep-sixed his own campaign with his remarks about Sen. Obama, still sports a sharp MySpace page, with videos, custom icons for issue positions, and a pleasant white-boxes-on-blue-background design.
Chris DoddWho he is: senior senator, ConnecticutParty: DemocratMySpace friends: 620Page design: Although Dodd’s page doesn’t venture far from the default, and he only claims four friends in his Top 8, he gets credit for posting a link to his iPod playlist–the “DoddPod.” Number one song last week? Flock of Seagulls’ “I Ran.”
Tommy ThompsonWho he is: former governor, WisconsinParty: RepublicanMySpace friends: 83Page design: The former four-term governor of the Dairy State still has to claim Tom as being in his Top 8–lame! Thompson has so far stuck to the default design, but he has been updating his blog.
Rudy GiulianiWho he is: former mayor of New YorkParty: RepublicanMySpace friends: unknownPage design: At press time, Mister Remember-I-Was-There-for-9/11 had his MySpace profile set to private like oh so many 15-year-old girls.