Vote IQ: Social networking for politics (podcast)
A new Web site serves as a social-networking platform to discuss politics. Larry Magid talks about the site with co-founder Rick Shenkman.
Vote iQ bills itself as "the nation's first major nonpartisan social-networking site built expressly for politics." The site allows voters to find candidates whose views mostly align with their own and to engage in a dialog with other political activists. Working with a variety of data sources, the site provides information on how politicians have voted and also offers a dating service-like matching feature to help voters find candidates they might consider supporting or voting for.
When asked how it's different from all the other sources of political information, Vote IQ Vice President Rick Shenkman said, "What we are doing is pulling information in from all over the Internet to make it a one-stop shop for voters." He added that "it's built on a social-networking platform so that you can chat with your friends about things, you can share links, form groups, and do lots of interesting things with politics in one platform."
Unlike Facebook, your contacts on Vote IQ are not a "conglomerate" of all your friends and relatives, but people who specifically joined the service to talk politics. Using Facebook for politics or religion, said Shenkman can lead to "flame wars."
Vote IQ's advisory board includes Democratic strategist James Carville and Republican consultant and pollster Frank Luntz along with actor Richard Dreyfus and journalist James Fallows.
Click below to listen to Larry Magid's interview with Vote IQ's Rick Shenkman. In addition to serving as vice president at Vote IQ, Shenkman is an associate professor of history at George Mason University and author of six books including his latest, "Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth About the American Voter."
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