MySpace are the latest web 2.0 giant to, errr, jump on the politics bandwagon. They’ve introduced a channel for 2008 US presidential hopefuls, called Impact. It’s not bad, although Rudy Guiliani needs to re-think his page as his profile is set
to private. Only people who he’s added as a friend can see it. Not really very useful at reaching out to people.
Again, I think it’s useful that there’s an extra channel. And MySpace is obviously well-used by a lot of young people. But I’m not quite sure they’re fitting the medium quite…
My understanding (and I may be not quite getting it, not being of the MySpace generation), is that a lot of what’s important to people is the social network information – you check someone out by looking who their mates are, or you extend your social network by getting to know your friends’ friends, who you may have things in common with. But you can’t really do that with politician’s MySpace pages. Their ‘friends’ list doesn’t tell you much about them as a person, it’s just a list of thousands of people you don’t know.
I know MySpace has been a success for bands – but I can see how that works. If you really like a band, and you look at other people who really like that band too, you might be introduced to other bands you’d like.
How does the politician story go? One day you are browsing MySpace, thinking, "I believe in affordable healthcare, ah look, that other person believes in affordable healthcare too, and they are supporting Hillary Clinton. Well, I’d never heard of her before, but now I think I’ll vote for her!"?