I added networking links for the declared presidential candidates on my Election 2008 page.
The Democrats have more networking links than the Republicans, averaging 3.0 links per Democrat compared with 1.7 links per Republican. I only counted links to Facebook, Flickr, Meetup, MySpace, and YouTube. A couple of the Democrats also had PartyBuilder; I didn’t count those links (if I had, it would only increase this disparity).
For some unknown reasons, the Republicans also make it harder to find their networking links. Duncan Hunter, in an apparent effort to maintain a consistent color theme, camouflaged the networking links in the right column; I found them only after returning to the site for a second time. John McCain hid his networking links two menus down in a press release, and even then they are just text links. Ever the maverick, McCain also posts his videos on veoh.com and reference what appears to be his one and only answer on answers.yahoo.com.
It’s not just the second (or third) tier Republican candidates not trying to do the “networking thing.” Rudy Giuliani (I’ll learn to spell his name before this campaign is over) has exactly zero networking links.
Are networking links necessary? One could argue not. After all, the Internet didn’t propel Howard Dean into the victory circle. Yet, I think that argument is a few years out of date. There’s nothing better than getting buzz going in the voters at virtually no cost. (And there’s probably one thing they’d like to avoid: getting unfavorable posts written about them, like this one…)
So will the networking gap effect my vote? Of course not. My vote will come down to the issues, not whether a candidate is my friend on MySpace or whether I can see pictures of her dog on Flickr.