Politics Gets Social In Time for Debates

Today, a number of companies have announced new services that will help users track the political discussion taking place around the web related to the Presedential debates and the election. Earlier this week I wrote about the new MySpace MyDebates site as well as how the candidates are leveraging social networks for their campaigns.

Today, Twitter, C-SPAN, and Facebook have all made announcements regarding new political offerings. Twitter has launched a new election site which enables users to track all of the discussion taking place surrounding the debates and the candidates. If you check out Twitter’s Election 2008 site, you will immediately notice that the coverage streams in real-time.

The service appears to have a similar feel to Politweets except that it is streaming. I was able to find what I would already consider “classic” Sarah Palin videos by watching the stream of tweets. I highly recommend checking out the Election 2008 site to watch the discussion take place in real-time.

C-SPAN has also announced the launch of their Debatehub site (in conjunction with JESS3) which will track the debates as they are happening. It’s a blogger-friendly site which gives users instant access to blog posts happening around the web, a timeline of the debate and video clips that can be embedded on any site. There is also a keyword diagram which lets users easily see what topics are being discussed most frequently.

The tools available are extremely valuable for anybody covering the debates. One of the most useful tools is the video player in which you can create clips with specified in points and out points.

Finally, last night Facebook announced the release of a new voter registration tool. According to Facebook thousands of new voters have already been registered since launching the new tool. With so much influence, this is an unprecedented effort to register new voters. No other social network has made such strides to promote voter registration.

One thing that Facebook also theoretically has power to do is target voter registration based on various demographic characteristics. While Facebook hasn’t stated what determines whether you see promotions for voting, it’s clear that they will try to drive as many new registrations as possible. If you haven’t registered to vote, go register now.

Overall, it’s impressive to see the increasing integration between politics and social media. Twitter, C-SPAN, Facebook, and MySpace are just a few of the companies stepping up their political activity.

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