Election About Face

US politicians are embracing Facebook in the lead up to the 2008 presidential race.

Stephen Colbert has been able to garner 1 million members of a Facebook group called 1,000,000 Strong For Stephen T Colbert in all of nine days. In doing so he has created the fastest growing Facebook group ever.

In contrast, Barack Obama has a group called One Million Strong for Barack, which has almost 400,000 members…after nine months. And the eight month old group One Million Strong AGAINST Hillary (Clinton) has nearly half a million users.

Australian politicians are deep into election campaign territory already. What has been their approach to social media as a vote generator?

Both John Howard and Kevin Rudd have been using YouTube to post videos and also have MySpace pages, but they have not achieved the same level of engagement on Facebook as their US counterparts.

While Howard and Rudd both have profiles on Facebook (official or not), their use of the groups feature has been rather dismal.

The highest ranking Rudd group has less than 5,000 members – Kevin Rudd will ruin Australia.

For Howard the situation isn’t any prettier. His highest ranking group also has less than 5,000 members – I bet i can find 100 000 people that hate john howard!

Given that Australia has 1.5 million Facebook users, you’d kinda think the politicians would be able to garner a few more to support their cause.

If nothing else, it is a stark illustration, to me at least, that Australia sorely needs some fresh political protagonists.

How many of you would sign up for a Facebook group called: 1,000,000 Strong for Australia 2.0!!!

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