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MySpace to Hold Presidential Primaries; Should Candidates Care?

TechCrunch reports that MySpace will be holding the first presidential primary on Jan 1-2, 2008. In Michael’s post and in its comments, there are a number of contentions and concerns about this announcement, including:

  • It’s a publicity stunt
  • It will really influence real world primaries
  • It won’t really influence real world primaries
  • “This is pure crap that will be spun as voter base support for a candidate.”
  • The primary would be better conducted through Facebook, which would minimize duplicate/puppet accounts as well as tie “voters” to US residency

Personally, I like the Facebook suggestion (Michael’s idea), and not just because I’m a member of Facebook.

More Mainstream Media Do Social

I’ll just have to assume that these announcements aren’t April Fools jokes.

The Washington Post launched a reader loyalty program for subscribers to earn points by reading stories online. Earn enough points and you can get gift certificates, travel and more. The points can also be earned in the real world with a keychain used at participating companies like CVS.

Steve Hills, president of Washington Post Co., says that you can earn their PostPoints as well as retailer’s own incentive programs when shopping at participating companies, and credit card incentive programs when paying for those purchases, effectively “triple dipping.” The effort to get more customers reading will probably be better received than USA Today’s change, since it’s far less dramatic. (via)

April Fools’ 2007 in Social Sites

The April Fools’ Jokes in Search have already been well covered. In my blog reading today, I’ve only seen one mention of social sites’ April Fools’ jokes. Here’s what Facebook creators thought was funny (with my friends’ info anonymized):
Facebook April Fools 2007

Any readers catch any other April Fools’ jokes by social sites?

Topix Embraces Citizen Journalism

USA Today has the scoop on Topix.com’s (no longer .net) new initiative to encourage the general public to post news and reports from their local community.

“We’re doing this in every ZIP code in the country,” says Topix founder Rich Skrenta. “We see a big hunger for local news. Since Day One of our existence, people have been sending us news, even though we had no place to put it. We have a (tech help) form, and people would type news into it like, ‘Hey, did you hear about Coach Jackson?’ “

Expect to see more “mainstream” news outlets embrace citizen journalism. After all, why wouldn’t you want thousands of free journalists providing you with content?

Some good stuff resources

iMedia Connection has two useful articles in as many days. I like to read their articles, but I seldom feel prompted to link to them. But these might be helpful. Check them out:

  • The Best Website Metrics Are…: If you don’t already know it, your website should be measurable. It should be giving you lots of beautiful data. (I love data. That’s why I love web analytics.) Even if you already have well established web analytics on your site, this article can helps you define which metrics you really need to be watching. And, while it’s very interesting, how many countries your visitors came from doesn’t make the list.
     

Twitter Got the Message

It’s been like a day since we’ve talked about Twitter, so I guess it’s time again. (Okay, it’s really been two weeks, but I just keep hearing so much about it that it’s hard to remember that I didn’t write those things!)

So, in our first brush with the IM/SMS-based “miniblogging” platform, Liana Evans had already covered how Twitter could become useful to business.

A few businesses caught the idea early on, such as woot.com. Woot.com’s implementation, to me, seems like the ideal way to use Twitter (or RSS feeds, for that matter) as a marketing tactic. Of course, part of this is due to the nature of woot.com’s concept: sell only one item a day, at a discount, until midnight or it sells out, whichever comes first. Thus, one update a day keeps you informed of the best deals.

The Citizendium Lie

I like the idea behind Citizendium. It’s good. In fact, it might actually be the best model we’ve found yet. But it’s still a flawed idea—and it’s been flawed since before wikis were ever conceived.

With Citizendium going live this week, there’s been some discussion about its model. If you’ve missed it, the short version is that Citizendium requires contributors to prove their identities and provide a biography or curriculum vitae. In addition to contributors, more qualified editors will oversee the creation and content of articles relating to their area of expertise and postgraduate study.

What’s the problem? Well, aside from the fact that we’ve already seen how easy it is to fool a wiki into thinking you’re someone you’re not, there’s the simple fact that people make mistakes—sometimes glaringly obvious ones.