Pigs in Space

June 24, 2008

McCain must have spoken with his wife. He’s trying to change his image as a candidate who just doesn’t know how the tubes on the internets work. He’s revamped his website and even added an application on Facebook. Sounds pretty good huh? Hmmm.

Gaming is definitely web 2.0. Flying Atari type pigs are not. John forgot to consult his children when he came out with his new game Pork Invaders. It will not get him any cool points. The graphics are very innovative for the 1980’s. I mean, he wouldn’t walk around flaunting his sock garters for fear of his age being called into question. So, why would he add an application from the 20th century? This was a great chance to shine but instead he just fell flat.

Well, there’s still one more innovation that his “supporters” are handing to him. As I mentioned in my last blog, Techrepublican is touting a site called KeepThatFaith.com. Graphic artists can donate their work to the Republican cause. I included one piece of artwork from the site in my blog. It was brought to my attention that embedded in the photo may be a symbol that McCain doesn’t want to be associated with him.

Does this look familiar? Is that a crescent and star? You be the judge.

But, it’s not all bad news for John McCain’s web presence. His redesigned website is turning heads. It’s got a blog, better color scheme, and it basically ushers his website into web 2.0. This means that his web team has it in them. They just need to expand it and keep his web presence growing. More importantly though someone needs to sit him down and give him a crash course on the internet. Maybe we’ll see him in Prof. Graff’s next Social Media class. He can borrow a laptop from the department and be ready to go.

I couldn’t resist another iPhone story. I still want one. I still don’t have one but now, there’s another reason to love it, GPS. I have an awful sense of direction and could really use a nice handheld GPS device. That way when I visit New York City I’ll always be able to get where I need to go.


Enough about me though, this is about politics, so let’s get to it. Techrepublican discusses some possible campaign uses for the new iPhone 2.0 that’s coming out in July. Canvassing has long been a part of political campaigns. If the volunteers had these new GPS capable iPhones they would be able to pin point where they needed to go to spread the word. Once there they would be able to access information about the household that they were visiting. They could then enter in the answers to surveys or add a new email to the campaign’s database instantaneously. Homes that were visited could be checked off. This could make the process more effective and help assure that no home was missed.


Now, would campaigns buy iPhones for all of their volunteers? This is not very likely. How then to utilize the technology? Well, how about using Meetup? Groups could be formed for iPhone users with an interest in politics. These groups could meet and discuss a canvassing plan. They could then coordinate with the campaign that they’re interested in and start working.


The other interesting concept for the new iPhones is the ability for users to create their own private applications. Only phones with authorization can use these applications. In this way campaigns can create their own ways to utilize this new technology. Volunteers that are included in the circle created by these applications will feel a larger part of the campaign. This in turn would encourage their continued participation. What’s not to love?   

Web Wars

June 12, 2008

It’s the battle of the websites, MeetBarackObama.com vs. Fightthesmears.com. Now, at first glance, it may seem that both are Democratic sites but that is the furthest thing from the truth. MeetBarackObama.com is actually a Republican site designed to chip away at Obama.

MeetBarackObama, according to Mark Ambinder, features a clock showing how long it’s been since Obama has been to Iraq. You can even download it as a widget. This is, of course, a major focus of the McCain campaign. The general message is that what McCain may lack in technology he makes up for in battle. It also features an album of Obama pictures showing no white hair on his head. This emphasizes Obama’s youth as opposed to McCain’s age. Obama is portrayed as an impetuous youth. McCain, therefore would be, a distinguished older gentleman. Obama’s resume is also mocked. Describing him as a “street organizer” plays down his time in Chicago as an activist. Considering what the Republican sites looked liked until their current revamp it looks pretty good. They seem to have lifted the graphics directly off of an Obama campaign page so this might have something to do with it.

Fightthesmears.com, on the other hand, is a Democratic site. The Fix and Techpresident discussed it in their blogs. This site is pretty self-explanatory but I’ll explain it anyway. It is designed to confront rumors about Obama as well as smear campaigns. What rumors might you ask? Well, the tape of Michelle Obama saying not so nice things for one. Obama not being born in the United States for another. It seems that in every election there are emails that sneak into our mailboxes telling us to be wary of a candidate. I personally remember getting one during the Dean campaign saying that he didn’t like Jewish people so bewares. These can have a detrimental affect on the candidate so debunking them is always a good idea. As we discussed last semester if a company, or in this case a candidate, doesn’t address these issues they tend to grow out of control. The best thing to do is address it quickly and often so that voters know that there is nothing to hide.

Is McCain too old to run for president? Of course he isn’t. You’re only as old as you feel after all. How about his health? He may have had skin cancer but is monitoring it and doing fine. Just check out his medical report for yourself.


How about Obama? Well, he used to smoke but he’s quit numerous times. He’s currently using nicotine gum to dull the cravings. Aside from that he’s very fit. Don’t believe me? He’s got a doctor’s note to prove it.


Yes, it’s the battle of the medical reports and everyone is talking about it –Marc Ambinder, The Huffington Post, The Fix, and now Blogging it in. I guess I’m in pretty good company.


What about Hillary? How’s she doing? Sorry folks, she’s keeping it under wraps. I guess that means she’s out of the race. It’s interesting how trends start in politics. Candidates will do what they have to in order to win the nomination and then the race.


As many Americans have little or no medical insurance the candidates are flashing their records. Maybe they should instead work a little harder on getting medical records for all. If McCain didn’t have health insurance he wouldn’t be able to monitor his skin. A clean bill of health wouldn’t be available to potential voters to wade through.


In the end, the only thing that the battling medical records really does, is bring more attention to the health care problems in the U.S. I’m sure people with no insurance aren’t saying, “thank goodness a potential presidential candidate is feeling fit and fiddle.” I’m sure instead they are wondering if their family will be as lucky.


Who’s going to be a better president? Age, not so important. Policies, now that can make a difference. So keep your medical records and give us substance instead.