If choosing between two primary colors to align your political ideologies with a candidate has become too difficult and time consuming for your 140-character-limited brain, the universe has offered a new method: check to see which guy has more Facebook friends.
As if Facebook didn’t already rule the planet (save maybe those pesky places that still don’t have Wi-Fi), now there is evidence that the social networking site has entrenched itself in politics. Both leading Texas gubernatorial candidates, Rick Perry and Bill White, have recognized the importance of technology and social media as campaign tools.
Each of them has a Facebook page where interested individuals can post comments and questions, “like” policy statements, and receive messages from the candidates themselves. If Twitter is more your style, then follow them @GovernorPerry and @billwhitefortx, respectively. Their staffers have even created Twitter accounts mocking their opponent, called Part-Time Perry and Liberal Bill. With only 150 million users, Twitter isn’t as prolific as Facebook, but there certainly would be a spike in registration if it were possible to follow the Tweets of the account @RickPerry’sHair. Surely, the executive board of Aqua Net would be the first to subscribe and make a campaign contribution.
Both Perry and White are hopped up on online visibility after the success the Obama campaign experienced with its own Facebook page and iPhone app. After all, everyone knows that these tools are the only reason why McCain lost in 2008. If only the Maverick could have found the power button for his Commodore 64.
A great benefit from potential Texas governors using social media is that the citizenry gets to see the candidates for who they really are. Perry posted a photo on Twitter with teen stars Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato. White posted an update regarding Andre Johnson and Texans football. This dichotomy says it all, and now self-respecting Texans can make an informed choice for which candidate to support.
Bill White has more than 3-times the amount of traffic on his Facebook page than Perry, so it will be interesting to see if the “F-factor” will prove to be as valuable an asset for him as it was for Obama. The folks over at Facebook might thrust White into office just to show that they can.
But, rest assured, their influence is bound to be limited to the political arena. It’s not like the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, will donate $100 million to schools any time soon…what? Oh. Never mind.