Can we focus on John McCain now please?

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

I haven’t exactly kept it a secret that I’m a Barack Obama supporter (since John Edwards dropped out of the race, anyway). Now it’s all come full circle and John Edwards has endorsed Barack Obama. So can we please quickly finish up with the remainder of this primary season lunacy and focus on John McCain?

Yeah, Hillary Clinton, everyone knows you’ve lost. You made a valiant effort, and no one can take that away from you, but in the end there could only be one winner and it wasn’t you. It’s time to accept that, graciously admit Barack Obama’s victory, and endorse him so that we can all focus on John McCain now. This latest win in West Virginia? Meaningless. Keep in mind Barack Obama won ten primaries with larger margins of victories than that. That’s why he’s so far in the lead.

Give it up already. Becoming President Pro Tempore of the Senate, which you’re likely to do if you don’t continue pissing off fellow Democrats, is no small accomplishment. Hundreds of millions of United States citizens never get to be president of the country. It’s okay to be one of us regular “hard-working” folks.

The media continues playing petty politics

Monday, December 10th, 2007

First they came for John Edwards and his hair. Now they come for Mitt Romney and his hair. Could they please stop making a mockery of the political process? I really don’t give a damn about our candidates’ hair. The issues are much more important. I oppose Mitt Romney as president for a whole host of reasons, but his hair isn’t one of them. I spoke out when they attacked John Edwards, so it’s only fair, for equality’s sake, to speak out when they attack a candidate I don’t like.

The media has a huge responsibility to the American people because what they report ends up forming the majority of people’s opinions on the candidates. Yet they abuse that responsibility so terribly. Reporting on a candidate’s hair making him seem too much like a newscaster? Please! How about reporting on how he’s a religious whacko who thinks atheists have no part in America? That’s the much bigger story.

Tracking candidate popularity by MySpace friend numbers

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

techPresident is having some fun with non-scientific methodologies: they’re comparing 2008 presidential candidates using the metric of how many friends their profiles have on MySpace. Here are the numbers:

Democrats
Obama 52039
Clinton 25823
Edwards 12346
Kucinich 2565
Vilsack 1333
Richardson 658
Biden 583
Dodd 211
  Republicans
Paul 3061
Romney 1760
Tancredo 1085
Giuliani 817
Huckabee 490
Brownback 184
McCain 66

Notice how many more friends the Democratic candidates have versus the Republican candidates. It’s not even remotely close. The possible reasons include:

  1. Young people are generally more liberal/progressive than old farts and they get involved in social networking a lot more.
  2. Bush makes it embarrassing to be MySpace friends with any Republican.
  3. Republicans don’t know how to use computers.

I’m placing my bets on 1., but 2. might have something to do with it and 3. wouldn’t surprise me.

A Second Life advertising backlash?

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

There’s been a lot of news recently about corporations and other groups with ulterior motives advertising in Second Life. For instance, Toyota now has a presence in Second Life, as does John Edwards’ presidential campaign. On the surface of things, this appears to be good news for Second Life and its creators at Linden Lab. After all, they are getting lots of free publicity over it (the media loves stories about virtual worlds), and it shows that corporations are taking it more seriously. But I think there’s a serious risk of a backlash over all of these outside groups using Second Life to their own ends. After all, how useful is advertising in-game if all of the users are scared off, and the advertisers are just left advertising to each other?

People are naturally distrustful of advertising. They don’t like being exploited, and advertising frequently exploits. Second Life’s media attention recently has been almost entirely focused on organizations using, nay, exploiting, Second Life for their own purposes. Are users and gamers looking at these media stories and honestly thinking to themselves, “Hey, I want to go play a game where I get advertised to!” It doesn’t so much matter that the advertising is only in a small minority of locations, and that you could easily spend years enjoying the game without ever stepping foot into an advertiser’s zone. All that matters is the perception.

Second Life used to be cool because it was an virtual world that was entirely created by users. It still is, for the most part. But it’s changing. It’s increasingly being built by corporations and conglomerates, who are only looking out for their own interests. It’s the difference between, say, Facebook and cocacola.com. People go to Facebook because it’s a user community. People by and large don’t go to cocacola.com because it’s just a big web advertisement. As Second Life shifts further and further away from a peer-created virtual world to a corporation-created virtual world, how many new users is Linden Lab really going to be able to recruit?