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Here's news guaranteed to tickle anyone who, like me, is both a geek and a presidential-campaign junkie: Yahoo, Slate, and the Huffington Post have announced that they're going to cohost the first-ever online presidential debates during the 2008 campaign. There will be one for Democratic candidates and one for the Republicans, and both will be hosted by Mr. Charlie Rose.
The press release doesn't have a lot of detail, other than that the debates will be held after Labor Day of this year, and that the Democratic one will have opening remarks by DNC Chairman Howard Dean. So I have a few questions. Such as....
Presidential Debates Meet Web 2.0?
Given the leading roles the sponsoring organizations have played in social networking, it's not surprising that these debates will feature such Web 2.0 aspects. Questions will be e-mailed from the audience to Rose, or may be submitted via video. Arianna Huffington, publisher of The Huffington Post, has said that questions will be solicited from users at Facebook, YouTube and MySpace. Slate, Yahoo and The Huffington Post will also offer opportunities for users to respond online to the candidates as the debate progresses.
And, in ways that could resemble the active give-and-take of political blogs, candidates apparently will be able to challenge and question one another.