Presidential Race in Cyberspace
Candidates themselves can take a hands-on approach. For example, Democrat presidential hopeful Barack Obama used YouTube, a massive video-sharing web site, to publicly announce his entry into the race.
"With the advent of the Internet and with the commonality that more people are using the Internet, it really brings the opportunity to participate in meaningful campaigns and elections down to a very grass roots level," said Hobbes.
Community web sites like Facebook and MySpace make it possible for ordinary people to create groups for any political camp, and make their voices heard. People can also interact with candidates and campaigns through chats, forums, and blogs.
"With the Internet, you have the opportunity to actually communicate with both the candidate, supporters, others around the country with common positions, or common interests or problems," said Hobbes. "It really brings a much more personal level to politics."
With an electronic democracy, voters no longer have to wait until election day to have their voices heard. YouTube has launched a feature called "you choose," dedicated to candidate videos, and campaign blogs, so they're very easy to find online.