For all of those who find WebCameron interesting but mainly cringe-worthy (and I’m definitely one of the them), it seems pretty likely the 2008 presidential race in the states will set a new high water mark in the way candidates communicate and connect with their audiences.
Just when does that kick off? Well, amazingly enough about a week ago. John Edwards (the Kennedy-alike running-mate of Jon Kerry in 2004) announced his candidacy. And did it simultaneous online, on MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and loads of blogs on his site. He actually screwed it up and announced it a day early by accidentally turning on some pages on his site www.johnedwards.com.
People will think this is a desperate attempt to be “hip” and “youth” but look at how he’s actually done it. He’s not tried to make it his own, he’s not trying to control it (there are anti-Edwards posts *on his own site*), he’s taken Robert Scoble, tech blogger extraordinaire (an ex-Microsoft tech evangalist) with him. I believe this last move is to show how much he’s open to the stuff and so he gets some quick insight if he’s getting it wrong. I think people are defining some of the rules of engagement pretty quickly here. See Scoble’s post here over bias criticism.
Personally I think there can be nothing better than a political re-engagement. Even if it is just a re-engagement of those who currently vote to think a bit more deeply about the issues. The Edward’s initial tour and announcement has – apparently – caused a real stir, with town hall meetings sold out and big crowds outside. Do you believe it? Well you’re more likely to if Scobleizer says so and John Edwards has 5,000,000 friends on MySpace!
How the hell will he keep up with answering voters’ quesions? That’ll be worth watching. Obviously assistants and interns will have to do it. How will that go down? And finally, whoever wins the 2008 election will have to work out how they actually govern if this is how they are going to get elected.