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Politicians caught on Internet candid camerashttp://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa001&articleID=51681A7C14879F9ECA39669DF858F75BPoliticians Try Out MySpacehttp://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB116078551947392672-z5ctEb9NpsFofVV_59CVPknP2Bo_20071013.html?mod=blogs2006 Politics Online Conference Magazine [pdf]http://ipdi.org/uploadedfiles/Politics%20Online%202006%20Conference%20Magazine.pdfDeclare Yourselfhttp://www.myspace.com/declareyourselfHerblockâs Gifthttp://www.loc.gov/rr/print/swann/hbgift/Politicians have been taking advantage of reaching their constituents via the Internet for over a decade, and some have even been brave enough to create their own weblogs. Of course, there are still some esteemed elected officials who have referred to the Internet as âa bunch of tubesâ, but most have begun to appreciate the key advantages of utilizing the web to reach certain groups of potential voters. Given the sustained and immense popularity of such social networking sites (like MySpace and their ilk), some politicians have created their own profiles, and in doing so, have gained the attention (and in a few rare cases, some admiration) from younger voters. Politicians have been rather outspoken about some of the results they have seen thus far. Peter Ashdown, who is running for a congressional seat in Utah this fall, remarked, âItâs the holy grail of politics. The amount of volunteerism was absolutely minimal compared to what we are getting now.â Political scientists have spoken with interest about these virtual forays, and Professor Ray La Raja recently commented enthusiastically âAnything that gets young people involved in politics is great.â Of course, there are some merry pranksters who have created a number of fictitious profiles that have attacked some long-serving public officials, though few of them seem to be actively complaining about such hijinks. The first link will take users to a recent news article from the Boston Globe that reports on the ways in which various parties have attempted to create misleading âprofilesâ of different politicians on sites such as MySpace.com. Moving along to the second link, users will be able to read about how various politicianâs missteps and malapropisms have been recorded and duly placed online for consideration by the web-browsing public. The third link leads to a fine article from the Wall Street Journal which reports on the forays of politicians into the sometimes-chaotic world of social networking websites. New voters (or those who havenât voted in sometime) will appreciate the fifth site, as it allows them to find out how to register efficiently for the upcoming election. The final link will serve as a nice sanctuary for those looking for incisive and visual commentary on the political issues of the past seven decades. This of course means that this last site leads to a lovely retrospective on the career of legendary editorial cartoonist Herbert L. Block (or âHerblockâ, as he was known to readers), who started his career in 1929, and published his last cartoon in August 2001.
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