Who Cares What Bobble-head Dolls Think?

Originally published at Tech Daily Dose

Back in the summer, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney ridiculed and resisted the CNN/YouTube debate format because CNN let a snowman ask Democrats a question. Romney and the rest of the GOP field will try answering video questions themselves tonight, but now Fred Thompson — or at least one of his staffers — appears to be skeptical of the format.

Adam Aigner-Treworgy, a National Journal/NBC reporter embedded with the Thompson campaign and in Florida for the debate, said Thompson Communications Director Karen Hanretty scoffed at the format when asked if video questions from voters could change the playing field of the race.

“Do you mean real questions from bobble-head dolls?,” Hanretty said. “We’ll see how [big] the viewing audience is.”

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Why Is CNN Still Picking The Questions?

Originally published at Tech Daily Dose

That’s what techPresident wants to know about tonight’s Republican presidential debate, which will feature video questions submitted via YouTube.

Rather than letting YouTube users pick the question, a very World Wide Webby thing to do, CNN is still insisting that it needs to filter the questions to avoid controversy. But techPresident disagrees and is citing a spreadsheet of the YouTube community’s response to all 4,927 submissions to make its case.

The spreadsheet lists the videos by views, favorites, ratings, comments, honors and links. TechPresident focused on the 40 that were viewed the most.

“And guess what we discovered?” Josh Levy wrote. “No cyborgs! No snowmen! Only two of the top 40 videos stick out as possibly too weird to show the candidates. … In fact, that vast majority of these top videos ask important, cross-partisan questions.’

We’ll know tonight how that filter compares with the one chosen by CNN — namely, debate moderator Anderson Cooper, CNN Washington bureau chief David Bohrman and two or three other network staffers.

A Peek Inside YouTube Politics

Originally published at Tech Daily Dose

James Kotecki, now a video commentator at The Politico, rose to new media fame this year by offering unsolicited advice to presidential candidates from his dorm room and posting videos of the sessions to YouTube.

It seems only fitting, then, for YouTube to give Kotecki the keys to its home page on the day of the CNN/YouTube debate featuring the Republican candidates. Kotecki explains in a video and offers a peek inside the political world as seen through the eyes of YouTube users:

Grading The Candidates On Tech Issues

Originally published at Tech Daily Dose

At the Personal Democracy Forum’s annual conference in New York this year, the founders of techPresident announced their standard for what it will take to become the first “tech president” and challenged the crop of 2008 candidates to join that race within the race. This week, techPresident issued a report card on the candidates.

Here are the grades for the Democrats (Republican scores to be announced later):

  • Joseph Biden: B
  • Hillary Clinton: B-minus
  • Christopher Dodd: C
  • John Edwards: A-minus
  • Mike Gravel: D-minus
  • Dennis Kucinich: D
  • Barack Obama: A-minus
  • Bill Richardson: C-minus

Get the details on the grades at techPresident.

Google’s Push Into The Political Spotlight

Originally published at Tech Daily Dose

Google employees in Silicon Valley received a political treat last week when Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama unveiled his innovation agenda in a speech at the Internet firm’s headquarters. But you don’t have to be a Google employee to watch the speech; the company has posted it online at YouTube, the company’s video-sharing unit.

The session with Obama is the latest in a series of appearances by presidential candidates at Google. Others who have spoken to company employees this year include: Democrats Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Mike Gravel and Bill Richardson; and Republicans John McCain and Ron Paul.

‘Beatblogging’ On Technology Issues

Originally published at Tech Daily Dose

Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at New York University, has brainstormed a trio of journalistic innovations into the existence the past year. The new project, Beatblogging.org, went online yesterday, and elements of it will appeal to the technology crowd.

The concept behind Beatblogging is to connect beat reporters with social networks of experts in specific topics who can help them do their jobs better. To test the theory, Rosen recruited about a dozen beat reporters from newsrooms across the country whose editors are on board with the idea.

As it turns out, six of the participating beat reporters will be focused on science and technology topics. The reporters and their topics are:

  • Eric Berger of the Houston Chronicle, science
  • Eliot Van Buskirk of Wired.com, digital music
  • Michelle Davis of Education Week’s Digital Directions, technology in the K-12 classroom
  • Brier Dudley of The Seattle Times, Northwest technology companies, like Microsoft and RealNetworks.
  • Matt Nauman of The Mercury News, energy and “green” technology
  • And Stephen Totilo of MTV News, videogames and their makers

You can get more details on each of those projects at Rosen’s PressThink blog and follow their coverage over the next year at the Beatblogging site.

Mitt Romney Tackles Tech Issues At TechCrunch

Originally published at Tech Daily Dose

This summer, Technology Daily produced a detailed look at the tech policy records and views of all of the 2008 presidential candidates. You won’t find a more exhaustive package anywhere online.

But you can find a good supplement to our coverage over at TechCrunch, where Michael Arrington this week snagged an interview with Republican candidate Mitt Romney. They discussed topics like tech growth policies, Internet taxes, H-1B visas for high-skilled workers, venture-capital tax issues and renewable energy.

Unfortunately, Arrington said he didn’t have time to cover more controversial issues like how, if at all, the government should react to U.S. tech companies helping the Chinese government filter online activities, or whether the U.S. government should mandate equal treatment of broadband content, a concept known as network neutrality.

You can read the transcript or listen to the interview.