Feeds

Facebook and ABC News get political

Barack Obama for the Stephen Colbert crowd

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Facebook and ABC News are to offer a new online destination for election-obsessed social networkers.

Today, as reported by The New York Times, the two outfits launched a brand new Facebook application called "US Politics". Integrating with your on-site Facebook profile, this free tool gives you quick access to political reporting from ABC News as well as discussion forums where you debate the campaign issues of the day.

And ABC says that user discussions will "influence" its reporting. "There are debates going on at all times within Facebook," ABC News president David Westin told The Times. "This allows us to participate in those debates, both by providing information and by learning from the users."

As a way of promoting this new app, Facebook and ABC will jointly sponsor the Democratic and Republican presidential debates in New Hampshire on January 5, three days before the state's important primary.

No money is changing hands between the companies. Facebook gets new content for its site, and ABC gets its stuff in front of some extra eyeballs. According to Facebook, its site now has over 56 million active users.

As the US gears up for the 2008 Presidential election, this sort of interactive political venture is popping left and right. In July, CNN televised a prez debate in which the questions were asked by web-cam-wielding YouTubers. And in early October, several former CNET employees, including co-founder Shelby Bonnie, launched a Wiki-powered site known as Political Base.

At Political Base, the idea is to build a one-stop-shop for information about political personalities, from Presidential hopefuls all the way down to small-town candidates.

"It's a place where you can discuss candidates: where they stand on the issues, how they compare on these issues to other candidates, and who's behind them in terms of funding," says co-founder Mike Tatum. "You can sit down and have an intelligent multi-partisan conversation about politics."

ABC hopes to foster similar discussions over at Facebook. But we'll see how well this actually goes. Facebookers seem more interested in faux political candidates than the real thing. After ten months online, a Facebook group called "1,000,000 Strong for Barack Obama" has only 164,000 members, but a parody group called "1,000,000 Strong for Stephen Colbert" topped a million members in just ten days. For those of you who don't know Stephen Colbert, he's an American comedian with a very tired shtick. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.