I can’t resist posting this article from the Australian 12/07/07. I think Kev is onto something here…
Rudd takes election trail to cyberspace
July 12, 2007
ALREADY way ahead in the polls, Kevin Rudd is now streaking past John Howard in the popularity contest that means most to young people – who has the most MySpace friends.
And the federal opposition leader has high hopes that MySpace, which is owned by News Corporatrion, publisher of The Australian, and sites like it represent the future of electoral politics.
The social networking website, which has 3.8 million Australian users, today launched its new IMPACT channel which draws together the MySpace pages of politicians from all sides of politics. MySpace IMPACT also features non-government organisations World Vision and Planet Ark, as well as an area for an “indigenous voice”.
At the Sydney launch today, Mr Rudd joked he hoped MySpace would help his election campaign “to get 50 per cent … plus one more friend than Mr Howard”. But a quick glance at Mr Rudd’s page shortly after 4pm (AEST) today showed he already had more than 570 “friends”, or people who have added him to their list of favoured users, compared to just seven for the Howard government.
Mr Rudd said websites like MySpace allowed politicians to engage directly with more constituents than ever before. “You can never assume the Australian democracy is going to remain robust.
You’ve actually got to work at it,” Mr Rudd said. “(MySpace is) a public hall space, a public meeting place for the 21st century. “It’s a good shot in the arm for Australian democracy to keep it alive into the next century.”
Mr Rudd’s site reveals he listens to Simon and Garfunkel and John Denver and lists The Castle, Austin Powers and Shrek as some of his top films.
He denied the page was an attempt to appear cool.
“We’re already cool,” he joked. “It works if you’re real and it doesn’t if you’re not.”
Greens Leader Bob Brown, also at the launch, was unapologetic about his efforts to be cool.
“I try to use the web and cyberspace as much as possible because that’s where people are communicating,” Mr Brown said. “Yes, we want to be cool because if you are cool people are less inhibited about relating (to you).”
Mr Rudd let slip, however, the likely extent of his ongoing personal involvement.
“If I get some time. Let’s be realistic about it here. Rocking around the country as much as I am at the moment, it’s tough,” he said.
That’s it. I’m getting a MySpace.
N.B. Gary and I both have Facebooks now. Check us out on Facebook 🙂