September 20, 2021

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Decision 2.008: The YouTube Election?

Decision 2.008: The YouTube Election?

Presidential candidates from both sides of the aisle are embracing social media in a big way for the 2008 presidential campaign. As we head into tomorrow’s New Hampshire primary, here’s a rundown of some of the work being done. As political blogs were the first to really take off and in a way defined the early days of the blogosphere, it should be no surprise that campaigns understand that the Internet and social media tools are a great way to reach and engage their highly-charged audiences–their supporters. But the open access to the Internet is one with another side too–since supporters can make sophisticated and compelling content on their own. Candidates have no control at all about what their supporters say (about them or their opponents) or how they convey the carefully chosen and tested messages that the candidates have adopted. The rise of user generated content from supporters is then a double-edged sword.
One of the opening salvos in campaign 2008 was just such an ad. Back in March of 2007, a [remix](http://youtube.com/watch?v=6h3G-lMZxjo) of Apple’s classic “1984” ad that attacked Sen. Hillary Clinton in a pitch for Illinois Senator Barack Obama made its debut on YouTube. The clip is more than a minute long, and was just as striking as a political ad as the original Super Bowl commercial was for Apple. The buzz surrounding the video, especially the question of who produced it, extended the story over weeks and the ongoing attention caused thousands more to view the clip. While it was later disclosed that the ad was the work of a seasoned Democratic political operative–Philip de Vellis of Blue State Digital–the stage was set for the 2008 cycle.
At least one of Obama’s supporters really understands what sells on the web: sex. There is no other word to describe the sultry siren song of Obama Girl’s “[I’ve Got A Crush On Obama](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKsoXHYICqU)”. The success of the first video–which joins the ranks of the 1984 ad with more than 4 million views on YouTube–has spurred the creation of additional “Obama Girl” videos on [BarelyPolitical](http://barelypolitical.com), as well as tongue-in-cheek “reactions” to the video, like “[Romney Girls Attack Obama Girl](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXyl39kgBh8).”
Senator Obama’s official site also has social media elements, including a blog, embedded video, and links to the campaign’s presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace. You can also follow the Senator’s Twitter

WP Briefing: Episode 16: A Sneak Peek at WordPress 5.9

In addition to this episode’s small list of big things, Josepha Haden Chomphosy reviews the upcoming 5.9 WordPress release and its Full Site Editing features. Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording. Credits Editor: Dustin Hartzler Logo: Beatriz Fialho Production: Chloé Bringmann Song: Fearless First by […]

Join us for WordPress Translation Day Global Events in September 2021

WordPress contributors around the world are celebrating the sixth Global WordPress Translation Day throughout September 2021!

WordPress 5.8.1 Security and Maintenance Release

WordPress 5.8.1 is now available! This security and maintenance release features 60 bug fixes in addition to 3 security fixes. Because this is a security release, it is recommended that you update your sites immediately. All versions since WordPress 5.4 have also been updated. WordPress 5.8.1 is a short-cycle security and maintenance release. The next […]

The Month in WordPress: August 2021

I really believe in WordPress’ mission to democratize publishing. And I, for one, will never stop learning about what gives people more access to the software, and what makes the software more usable, and especially how we can combine usability with accessibility in a way that puts form and function on a level playing field. […]

An Update on the Classic Editor Plugin

Before the release of WordPress 5.0 in 2018, the Classic Editor plugin was published to help ease the transition to the new block editor. At the time, we promised to support the plugin through 2021 and adjust if needed as the deadline got closer. After discussing this with Matt, it’s clear that continuing to support […]

WP Briefing: Episode 15: A Very WordPress Blooper

Ever wonder what it's like behind the scenes of WP Briefing? Listen in on this episode for a little levity and Josepha's bloopers.

Widgets in WordPress 5.8 and Beyond

Copy and Design by @critterverse WordPress 5.8 brings the power of Gutenberg blocks to widget areas — which means the highly customizable layout and styling options bring you closer to a WYSIWYG editing experience. I made a test site based on the oldie-but-goodie Twenty Sixteen theme, with three separate widget areas. In this post, I’ll highlight […]

The Month in WordPress: July 2021

WordPress is global in reach and open source in nature. And you would assume that what allows the software to be used by anyone would also enable it to be built by anyone. After all, your location doesn’t matter, and who employs you also doesn’t matter. And your relative social standing certainly shouldn’t matter. As […]

WP Briefing: Episode 14: The Art and Science of Accessibility

In this episode, Josepha Haden Chomphosy discusses the nuances of building accessible software, the differences between access, usability, and accessibility, and how this all applies to the WordPress project. Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording. Credits Editor: Dustin Hartzler Logo: Beatriz Fialho Production: Chloé Bringmann Transcription: […]

Configuring Theme Design with theme.json

Starting in WordPress 5.8, a new tool — “theme.json” — is available to use in your theme. Maybe you’re hearing about it for the first time, or maybe you’re testing and developing themes with it already. Either way, I’m glad you’re here because it’s an exciting time for WordPress themes. This post provides a quick introduction […]
(http://twitter.com/barackobama).
Republican candidate Mike Huckabee’s site has a blogroll that sports links to more than 600 bloggers supporting Huckabee. The site also incorporates embedded video, which includes a variety of clips, not just the candidate’s commercials. The campaign’s most notable use of social media to date is a campaign commercial that seems tailor-made for the web. Huckabee’s “[Chuck Norris Approved](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDUQW8LUMs8)” commercial is an amusing take on the standard political endorsement ad. Norris’s reputation as a tough guy is played up, as Huckabee quotes some of the funnier “[Chuck Norris Facts](http://chucknorrisfacts.com).” (Huckabee says: “when he does a pushup, he isn’t lifting himself up, he’s pushing the earth down”). While the numbers aren’t on par with Obama Girl, the clip has a respectable 1.6 million views on YouTube–which is something, considering the fact that people are voluntarily going to a site to watch a campaign commercial.
In May, Senator Clinton posted a video clip on her campaign site, asking supporters to provide advice on “one of the most important questions of this campaign”–something the team had been “struggling with, agonizing, and debating for months” over–selecting the campaign’s theme song. She then showed a clip of herself singing the Star Spangled Banner (badly), and promised that no matter what the choice of song was, she wouldn’t sing it in public. Unless she wins. The video was funny, and showed that the senator had the ability to poke fun at herself, and added a component of interactivity by asking supporters to choose the song.
Republican candidate Congressman Ron Paul has ardent supporters who have been very active in forums, message boards, and on blogs. While the campaign itself hasn’t invested heavily in a social media strategy, quite frankly it hasn’t needed to. The supporters appear to have taken over Digg and Reddit, he’s mentioned on those two Web 2.0 establishments virtually every day. Tech types are an independent bunch, and the contrarian nature of a Paul candidacy appeals to them.
While the above candidates have had the social media “hits” of the campaign season thus far, every candidate has attempted to introduce some social media elements into their official websites. Democrat John Edwards has a
(http://blog.johnedwards.com/) on his site, and incorporates YouTube clips of key campaign appearances. Republican Mitt Romney’s sons have a “Five Brothers” blog, and the campaign has enlisted the services of [VariTalk](http://varitalk.com) to allow personalized greetings to be sent to supporters and friends “[from their dad](http://romney.varitalk.com).” Republican John McCain’s site has a
(http://www.johnmccain.com/Blog/) and a blog roll, embedded video, and a link to “[McCainSpace](http://www.johnmccain.com/Connecting/),” the campaign’s MySpace presence.
While the candidates and their supporters have met with varying degrees of success when utilizing social media to convey their messages, the fact that so many candidates have incorporated these tools into their campaign communications toolboxes shows how important the rise of these technologies has become. As we move closer to Election Day 2008, Media Bullseye will be watching to see how campaigns and supporters evolve in their usage of Twitter, social networks, blogs, video and more.

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