Lost by one vote — Mine

I got up early this morning because I have a bunch to do before I fly to Westchester County (NY) this morning.  But as the guilty part of me forced itself to briefly scan my e-mail, I ran across the subject, “David, You’re in this video”

OK, that isn’t such a shocking thing for me to read, as it might be for some, until I saw that the video was from MoveOn, a political action group that came into being during the Clinton years.  In the poster frame of the CNN news looking TV video is my last name.  So I watched.  I almost didn’t.  Too busy.  But I did.

It seems that my not voting resulted in the election of John McCain — by one vote. I am so ashamed! 😉

It seems that John McCain won the election by one vote, and the one vote was mine, because I forgot to vote.  Demonstrations across the US, and internationally, all naming me as the reason the world was given back to the evil….. (Iran to be nuked on Saturday afternoon.)  You get the gist of it.

Anyway, I was extremely irritated — EXTREMELY.  I’ve not missed a vote in almost 40 years — and even though many of them have been devastatingly disappointing experiences, I’ll keep voting.  This advertisement hit me as wrong!  It’s not one bit better than the scare tactics that I deplore.

But then, once I got over the shame, I got to thinking about what’s going on here, and how “new information environment” this is.  The ability to customize ads for a specific viewer.  This is huge.  I know it’s not new, but it’s the first time it’s been done to me, as far as I know.  Then the real shock.  An orange button that says, “Customize this Video for Your Friends.”

Clicking it, I find that I can type the first and last names of other people, their e-mail addresses, and have the same message and video delivered to their e-mail boxes customized for their shame.

This is too much! …and I’m not sure if I mean that in a good way or a bad way.  Much reflection required.

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5 thoughts on “Lost by one vote — Mine”

  1. I too was a received this email from MoveOn but had an entirely different reaction to it. Instead of being upset I was simply tickled at how creative a use of digital video this was. I have been consistently amazed at how technology has been employed this year in politics. First there were the YouTube primary debates and subsequent virtual debates using this medium. Then there is the first use of a social networking site to promote a presidential candidate (even though there is not a whole lot you can do at BarakObama.com). Then there is the way the Obama camp has utilized Twitter to get their message out and keep tabs on how the public feels on issues. Then there are all of the examples of citizen journalism (I felt like I was actually right inside the RNC protests by following the Uptake blog). Then there was the disastrous effect Myspace had on the McCain/Palin ticket. All of those early rumors about Palin’s baby seem to have arisen from pictures posted on Bristol’s boyfriend’s sister’s page. Not to mention the damage caused by the profile of the hockey mom’s daughter’s baby daddy Levi Johnston. Then there was the infamous text message the Obama camp sent out when Biden was announced as the VP pic. While the news media broke the story first (actually I knew it before I heard it on CNN by following a Twitter stream I created using Twitter search (previously Summize). While this stunt was foiled by the media I think we still have not seen the real intended result of this little campaign ploy. The Obama team must have amassed a ton of email addresses and cell phone numbers that I suspect they will use come election day to help get out the vote. Then there was the impact blogs had on the republican VP pick. While it has never been stated publicly by the McCain camp, I suspect the Draft Palin blog had some great influence on the nomination of Sara Palin to the GOP VP slot. All of this helps illustrate how important digital literacy (or digital fluency) is today. If, as it looks from the polls, McCain looses this election it could be argued his own self proclaimed computer illiteracy could largely be to blame.

  2. After I stopped laughing at this video, my wife very much wanted to fill out the form and send it to her best friend, very much our opposite on the political spectrum. I shared with her the possible reaction her friend might have of giving her email to Moveon.org, and she thought the better of it. Teachable moment on information literacy in 2008.

    But it was a funny video! How did they do that?

  3. Hi David,

    One of your RSS subscribers here… I shared your experience with the video.
    I got it last night. My reaction was more like Carl’s. Once I realized it
    was a gag, I laughed until I cried. I’m a polling station chief in rural
    Virginia (the “real” Virginia) and will probably be the first vote
    cast at my princinct on election day.

    I sent the video on to 14 people…

  4. I was insulted by the movie. I have voted in every election since I was old enough to. I don’t need to be goaded by the fear of public recrimination to vote. To use guilt and fear in this way is repulsive. To use it in connection with Obama’s campaign, a campaign that he has worked hard to keep up-beat and positive, tried to keep free of this exact kind of sleazy fear tactics makes it even worse. Then, the additional insult of making a piece of “personalized” junk-mail movie, with my actual name being slandered is just abhorrent.

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