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April 6, 2007

The MySpace primary

Posted by David Postman at 4:38 PM

MySpace will hold an online presidential primary in January.

From the New York Times political blog:

"Iowa and New Hampshire may be selecting delegates, but the MySpace vote will be the first test of where candidates stand in the election year," said Tom Anderson, president of MySpace, in a release.

At buzzmachine, Jeff Jarvis says it's more than a publicity stunt.

It exposes the absurdity of geographic primaries in this connected age. MySpace members share a lot more interests and concerns with each other than they do with their neighbors; I share more with my fellow internet residents than Jersey residents. But then, the rush to get every primary moved ahead of every other primary also reveals the absurdity of the system. All these states are attempting to get more attention (visits and ad revenue) and influence in the election.

Jarvis is right of course. There is sure to be some media attention given to the event, and to the winner. And this is not just a geek primary, or teen primary. Online Media Daily reports:

How well does MySpace represent the overall U.S. adult population? Well, while MySpace's registration system is far from fail-safe, comScore Media Metrics reports the site has some 65 million monthly U.S. visitors, 85% of whom are of voting age.

It's also important for political consultants to note that MySpace users 18-and-up exhibit a high level of efficacy and are three times more likely to interact online with a public official or candidate, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

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