Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Politics and... Facebook?

Like most college students, I have a profile on the networking site Facebook. But unlike most college students on Facebook, I haven't added any of their new application features. These applications let you rate your top friends, attack said friends with zombies, or buy them a virtual drink, to name a few, all while cluttering your profile page with graphics.

Today, though, I decided to check out the Politics application that Facebook offers. By adding this application, Facebookers can browse Facebook profiles of different candidates, select which candidates they support (the equivalent of "friending" them), and have their choices shown on their profile.

The candidates' profile pages serve essentially the same purpose as a candidate web site, except that Facebook allows them to be less formal, so they can quote their favorite Bible verses, tell us that they like to watch 24, and get Wall comments. Personally, I'd enjoy it if the candidates truly used Facebook the way college students typically do, so you could get into a poke war with them or send them pointless virtual gifts like lava lamps.

One thing I noticed was that Barack Obama has by far the most supporters on Facebook, with about 150,000. Distantly in second is Hillary Clinton, with about 45,000 supporters. In a previous post, I noted that Obama won the youth vote in a Yahoo! online-only poll, as well as winning the poll itself, because young people were the most likely group to view the debate and vote in the poll. It looks like the same is true for the politics application on Facebook.

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