Archive for the ‘Hillary Clinton’ category

The Candidates’ Webbiness, Quantified

11, October, 2007

Barack Obama has a huge lead over Hillary Rodham Clinton, and John Edwards appears to be drifting in the direction of Dennis Kucinich. Over on the GOP side, Ron Paul is way out in front of Mitt Romney, and Rudy Giuliani is fighting for turf in the middle of the pack.

This horserace is not about voter preference, of course. It’s about the battle for Internet marketshare. The tally comes from a Lansing, Mich.-based Internet consulting firm called Spartan Internet, which has developed the Spartan Internet Political Performance (SIPP) Index.

My guess is if you’re a geek of either the political or web persuasion, you’ll spend quite a bit of time with the SIPP Index. If you’re unlucky enough to be a political and web geek, you may want to pack a toothbrush.

The company describes the SIPP as the “first quantitative metric to measure the Internet-wide performance of each Presidential candidate for the 2008 election.” The index comprises 650-some factors, many of them related to social networks, that measure levels of public connection via the Internet.

The score takes into account such factors as number of FaceBook wallposts, MySpace firends, candidate rankings on search engine results for issues, YouTube channel subscriptions, and Technorati blog posts, along with more conventional measures such as mentions on CNN and Yahoo news. The total score represents what Spartan calls “overall Internet market share.”

Now I am no quant geek, and the specific formula is proprietary. So I’m in no position to validate the results. But in a web sector where armies of political supporters are trying to game the system of social networking to create the appearance of popularity, it strikes me that SIPP could be a way of gathering enough different kinds of data to provide a spin reality check.

[I surveyed the candidates’ use of web 2.0 technologies in “Hillary Needs a Widget.”]

[And I discovered some oddly off-message stuff happening in Ann Romney’s blog. But I digress.]

View scores by individual candidate, and you create some curious Internet horseraces. Ron Paul edges Hillary by a hair. Mike Huckabee nearly caught Rudy G in the digital derby around the week of 9/11, but now the New Yorker has pulled comforably ahead of the Arkansan. The largest gap in Internet performance is between the two African American candidates, Barack Obama (SIPP 21.24) vs. Alan Keys (0.82).

Of course, all you have to do to remind yourself that Internet popularity does not translate into votes is click your heels together twice and say “Howard Dean.” Which may be a good thing. The prospect of a November ’08 face off between Barack Obama and Ron Paul is enough to make you swear off social networks for good.


Hillary Needs a Widget

11, September, 2007

Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination, does not have a widget.

I refer, of course, to those faddish interactive programettes that people put on their blogs, websites, MySpace or FaceBook pages, iGoogle pages, and (even, sometimes) Vista desktops. (Brother Google calls them Gadgets.) These programs deliver news, produce calculations, update statistics, offer games and create various types of exchanges between user and widgeteer. Anybody who wants to build audience in the 2.0 space either has them, will have them soon, or are likely to fall behind some competitor who is using widgets to distribute content, deliver ads, or draw audience. 

Hillary Clinton is the only front-of-the-pack candidate who does not have a widget. Her Web site offers plenty of ways to get involved with her campaign. But if you want to stick an interactive Hill-o-Widget on your blog to spread the good word, you’re out of luck. 

Let’s look at the other Democratic candidates’  positions on the widgetization issue, and other uses of 2.0 technotricks.

Barak Obama has news and video widgets . 2.Oh Points for. . .his Our Story interactive timeline, and invitation to make your own. I have no idea what to make of this.

John Edwards has a Mac-only widgetYeesh. Is Steve Jobs a major contributor? When the post-primary analysis is done, will Edwards’ failure to capitulate to Windows hedgemony turn out to be his key failing? 2.Oh points for. . .Technical Corner, a remarkably patient and detailed work of nerdania that explains to Edwardians how to use all sorts of viral technologies to support their guy.

Bill Richardson: No widget. 2.Oh Points for. . .”En Espanol” link on the top navigation

Mike Gravel: No widget. 2.Oh Points for. . .a Second Life campaign booth.

Dennis Kucinich: No widget. 2.Oh Points for. . .”Text Dennis” feature 

Joe Biden: No widget. 2.Oh Points for. . .um, site map at bottom of the page?  

So, Hillary: Your two most serious competitors are way ahead of you in the widget race. By not having a widget, you are keeping bad company, the folks at the back of the pack. The very people you decline to engage on the campaign trail in order to present yourself as above the fray.

Hillary: Get a widget.