Rating the RNC Chair Candidates on Web 2.0

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Dec 08, 2008 9:03 AM
Which RNC Chair candidate is ready to lead us into the future?

While being involved in web 2.0 does not guarantee a tech-savvy RNC Chairman, it might tell us something about their commitment to technology.  As such, I thought I'd take a look and rate the candidates ...



On Facebook, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell leads with 3,358 friends.  While Blackwell has "friends," former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele has "supporters" -- 3,008 supporters, to be precise.  Michigan GOP Chair Saul Anuzis has 2,572 friends.  I couldn't find former Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman's Facebook page, but "Draft Chip Saltsman for RNC Chairman" has 501 members.  South Carolina GOP Chair Katon Dawson has 486 friends, but there's also a "Draft Katon Dawson for RNC Chair" page (377 members), and a "Katon Dawson for RNC Chair" page (306 members).



On Twitter, Saul Anuzis has a big lead with 1,588 followers (currently ranked as #16 on "top conservatives on twitter").  Katon Dawson has 524 followers, Chip Saltsman has 169 followers, and Michael Steele has 104 
followers.  In addition, "Steele4RNCChair" -- not an official Twitter page -- has just 14 followers.  Blackwell does not appear to be on Twitter at this point.

Rebuild the Party

Perhaps an even better way to predict how a future RNC Chair might view technology is to see whether or not they have endorsed the Rebuild the Party plan.  At the time of this posting, Saul Anuzis, Chip Saltsman and Ken Blackwell have endorsed the 10-point plan.  Katon Dawson and Michael Steele have not.

Notes...

... I could have used MySpace, Friendster, Linked-In, etc.  However, I chose Facebook and Twitter because, to me, they are the most important social networking venues of the day (this is open to debate).

... Of course, being on Facebook or Twitter does not make one a tech expert any more than not being on Facebook or Twitter makes one a Luddite.  Moreover, some online activity is hard to quantify.  For example, Michael Steele recently told me he is often up late at night, reading blogs.  This activity might guarantee that an RNC Chair is connected and "in touch" with what is going on.  On the other hand, it might mean that an RNC Chair is going to be too quick to react to the frequently shifting opinions of pundits.  Either way, it means he is embracing technology -- but in a way that is hard for me to quantify.

... The statitistics I cite have to do with popularity.  While the number of "friends" of "followers" one has does give some insight into a person's popularity, it does not necessarily reflect anything else.  Still, it is the only metric we have to use.

... Lastly, it should be noted that this is merely a snapshot.  The online world is constantly changing, and next week, the results might look different....