The â€™04 presidential election cycle saw the Internet playing an important role in politics, news, and media.
No one knows what will happen in the years leading up to 2008, but itâ€™s a sure bet that the Internet, online fundraising and, significantly, blogs will play an increasingly central role in the communication of politics and the politics of communication.
Already, in mid-2005, there is a 2008 Presidential Wire in place to keep track of up-to-the-second â€™08 developments.
From ABCâ€™s Note:
Patrick Ruffini, President Bush's former campaign webmaster, current political blogger and all-around 2008 fanatic, has created an engine that scours the web for 2008-related stories and blog posts and puts them together on one page.
The execution is iffy; we'd like fewer PR News Releases and would prefer that the most interesting posts be highlighted in some way.
Still â€” props to Patrick for creating his second must-read site.
How often is Hillary Clinton traveling to Iowa and New Hampshire? What organizations are hearing speeches delivered by Bill Frist? Is John McCain setting himself up for general election victory but GOP primary failure?
Now weâ€™re going to be able to watch the show unfold online, every step of the way.
Thereâ€™s a nifty statistics bar on the right-hand side of the page that tracks and ranks who is hot in the world of political coverage online. Democrats are listed in the obligatory blue while Republicans are in red. As of the moment Iâ€™m writing these words, John Edwards is at the top of the charts, with 24 stories (a rise of 50%, a green arrow helps to show us). Newt Gingrich is holding his own in second place with 19 stories. Hillary Clinton tops the list of â€śMost Clickedâ€ť with a 6.27 â€śaverage clicks per storyâ€ť rating. A bit surprisingly, Bill Frist is in last place (22nd) for â€śMost Clickedâ€ť with a 1.12 rating.
For political junkies like me, itâ€™s both a time to weep and rejoice.
Oh, and to hit the refresh button every seven seconds.
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