Monday, September 24, 2007

Is Columbus, Kentucky significant?

Is Columbus, Kentucky significant to the political process of deciding a president when it's obvious that the way the town was selected was not truly based on demand from residents of the town but through the creative use of the internet and email by one town resident? That's the question I asked myself as I read this Wired article, Tiny Town Blazes New Campaign Trail, Using Social Network.

The headline should read, "Shawn Dixon of Tiny Town Blazes New Campaign Trail, Using Social Network". The town of Columbus, Kentucky has 229 residents, yet 1,870 people voted. I realize it's being said a majority from that region voted yet:
Hickman's victory was largely due to the efforts of Dixon, a politically passionate Columbus native who is now a first-year scholarship law student at the top-rated New York University School of Law. The son of two factory workers, Hickman, 24, is a Democratic activist, the first person in his family to go to college and an Edwards supporter. (He's also running an internet campaign to unseat Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican.)

Dixon began his campaign in May with an e-mail blast to his friends and acquaintances asking them to join Eventful to demand an Edwards visit to Columbus. He followed up by posting the request on Facebook and MySpace.

Dixon says that Facebook was particularly useful in spreading the word because he had about 800 "friends" in that network whom he knew personally through high school, college and work. He also wrote about his effort on the popular liberal blog, DailyKos.

I think it's awesome for the residents of the city of Columbus and of Hickman County Kentucky that Edwards is coming to visit them, yet I think the real thing demonstrated here is how successful one person can be in getting results by using the power of the internet.

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