The current U.S. Presidential hopefuls are certainly moving with the times, and in the process they are changing the way that election campaigns have been held over the years.
Barack Obama and John McCain are now making good use of the wide reach of the Web 2.0 sites and also search and social networking sites to reach out to their electorate.
Barack Obama had announced that while he had decided on who his Vice President would be, he would only declare that name via email and SMS. This was a great idea, as it meant that he would be able to collect a huge database of email addresses and mobile phone numbers, which would then become an excellent means to reach out to the common man.
This is also a clear indication that the methods of communication used by the White House are likely to change in times to come.
Already several sites are available through which ordinary U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens as well can gain information about various subjects such as laws and legislation, discuss policy matters, learn about where the tax payers’ money is being spent and so on.
Even the Libertarian Presidential candidate, Bob Barr, went online on August 21, to talk to the public about his policies and answer their questions to him.
One of the major disadvantages of online campaigning, however, is the ease with which politicians and campaigners can use dirty tricks and spread malicious gossip about their opponents. While this is nothing new in politics, the use of the Internet, will make it easier to spread such false information, while making it more difficult to catch the culprits.