Local Mayoral Campaigns Use Social Media, and Apparently That's News

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If you don't have eyes, ears, or a television set with that nonsensical converter box, you may not be aware that today kicks off early voting for stuff that's pretty crucial to the Houston political agenda. Not only can you stick your ballot in the box for City Council, City Controller, community college and public school boards and the like, but you can also plant your seed for change in the fertile soils of the Bayou City's mayoral race. So to speak.

If you believe the Chron, Houston's vote to cement our city's next mayor is not one to be missed. "At the forefront of the Houston election is the choice of a new mayor to replace term-limited Bill White in one of the nation's most powerful municipal offices." City Controller Annise Parker, Councilman Peter Brown, Former City Attorney Gene Locke, Harris County Department of Education trustee Roy Morales, and three candidates that didn't quite score front row seats on the Homecoming court's 50-yard line bleachers -- Dan Cupp, Amanda Ulman and Ralph Ullrich -- will battle it out for the title of Houston Head Cheese.

But if you're anyone who's anyone on Facebook or Twitter (read: if your network is listed as "Houston, Texas") you've probably been bombarded with friend requests from the persistent and stubborn campaign teams of the candidates. Even after you've done everything short of donating your entire paycheck to the supporter-collecting candidate's main competitor. And even after you've rejected these requests once, twice, three times more than Lionel Richie ever thought you needed to prove your worth. In short, the Houston mayoral candidates and their bumbling teams are online. With a vengeance. Everywhere. We got it.

Evidently, however, this social media usage is a groundbreaking development to KUHF.

Because it's so crucial, KUHF gave the campaigns front and center airtime this morning, via interviews with the social media strategists of the Parker, Locke, Brown, and Morales campaigns. And a yellow labrador retriever that blogs in support of Parker. "Like many others, the Parker campaign uses Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and their own website to promote events, respond to voter questions, and fund-raise. But Jeri Brooks, Communications Director, say that with such tools, people can easily spread support to their friends."

You don't say. So that's how Facebook works?

Yawn.

In fact, the only newsworthy information in the KUHF piece is that some candidates are actually using MySpace to register people to vote. MySpace! Can you believe it? The internet media director for the Morales campaign team, TJ Huntley, said, "So on MySpace, we use that to try to register people to vote, we send them a link that they can register online, then we let them know that they can register at any post office, any library." Seriously? Voter registration via MySpace? We're still stuck on the fact that anyone is using MySpace for, um, anything but C-list demos and soft core porn.

The article's ultimate conclusion? "Face to face communication is always important, after all."

Sigh. Weren't you touting social media, KUHF? Sigh, sigh, and sigh again. If you can refrain from smashing your forehead with the palm of your hand, then folks, you're better men and women than we.


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