I've been impressed with the way the candidates have embraced Social Media to connect with the voters...
Follow Senator McCain's open question on LinkedIn and you'll see he has received well over a thousand responses. I was skeptical when I started reading through them (expecting the typical fanboy nonsense)... Not the case. Replies are well thought out and to the point. By posting a question on LinkedIn, this candidate has tapped directly into the pulse of the American voter... Oh, and by the way, it's FREE.
Representation on Facebook is quite healthy.... With spaces for McCain, Clinton and Obama. I was a bit surprised to see the number of supporters who had thrown their virtual vote into the respective candidates. While Obama seems to have considerable traction with the younger generation, he trails Clinton and McCain in terms of overall supporters on the platform (Clinton led the way with 145k, McCain with 110k and Obama with 762k).
And of course, there's Twitter. I'm following each of the candidates, and in true Twitter fashion, some are following me. Afterall, if you were running for the office of President, wouldn't you want to know exactly what I was doing at any given time?
The trouble with Twiiter is finding the legit accounts. Here's a hint - if you want to run for office, start a business, establish a group, etc - Go grab your Twitter account NOW... We did. Much like the domain frenzy in the 90's, folks are grabbing popular names on Twitter like it's a going out of business sale.
If you're interested in following these candidates, I believe these are the primary Twitter pages for each and the respective number of Twitter followers:
I'd suggest the Clinton camp is missing out a bit though - as they're not following any of their followers. Granted there can be some noise on Twitter - But also opportunities to learn about those she's counting on for votes.
From a political perspective, Social Media offers an opportunity to connect directly with the voter in an intimate, one to one fashion. It enables these camps to understand the demographics and the burning issues - at virtually zero cost. What I find most impressive is the speed at which they understood the value and began to leverage the offerings.
This was a just a brief example of political representation online. Naturally, each candidate has a significant .COM presence... What else is out there? What other ways have you seen these folks leveraging the web to connect with the voters?