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And the winner of the US Elections is

Tanya Goodin
Tanya Goodin
CEO
4 November 2008

… the internet!

For the first time in my life on the evening of a major UK or US election I’m going out for the evening and I haven’t bothered to check whether there will be a TV nearby to keep me up-to-date with the voting. As long as I’ve got my BlackBerry with my RSS news feeds and access to the internet I know I’m going to get all the news as it comes in.

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And this to me sums up in a nutshell who (or what) the real winner of these US elections has been. Technology has truly changed politics in 2008. And not just in the way punters like me have used it to get information via news sites and blogs – also in the way the candidates themselves have expertly exploited its advantages.

True Obama has raised more money than McCain to put on a slick and polished campaign but it’s been his use of the internet that has marked him out as the candidate to beat. In a report ranking presidential candidates websites using criteria such as SEO performance, viral marketing, and social marketing Obama scored 5.92 out of 10 for 13 total criteria beating McCain at 4.62.

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Videos on YouTube (the truly brilliant Tina Fey as Sarah Palin) and blogs assessing the candidates (FiveThirtyEight.com‘s Nate Silver and Arianna Huffington are the ones to read) were also part of the unprecedented debate online, which has swept in a new political era.

‘Voter-generated content’ has been credited with helping Obama secure the democratic nomination in the first place and looks like securing him that historic seat in the White House.

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