Paul, Huckabee lead pack in November Web 2.0 efforts

Obama slips from second to third place in online campaign push

Ron Paul continues to dominate all the other presidential candidates in terms of how successful his Web 2.0 campaigning efforts have been, according to a study released yesterday.

During November, more online users spent time viewing YouTube videos from Paul's campaign and reading about him online than they did for other candidates, according to Internet research firm Compete Inc. Paul garnered more than 250,000 hours of "FaceTime," or online interaction, with voters in November on an official campaign site, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Flickr and MeetUp (a site for organizing groups), according to Compete.

That is a 50% jump in face time for Paul compared to Compete's October study results. Paul, who has leaned heavily on the Internet during his entire campaign, raised $6 million online within 24 hours last weekend.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who ranked second in Compete's study, and former Democratic Sen. John Edwards both saw dramatic increases in the success of their Web 2.0 efforts in November, with Huckabee's face time up 194% from October and Edwards growing his face time by 181%, Compete said. Edwards' surge was propelled by an anti-Hillary Clinton YouTube video, which has been viewed almost 350,000 times, Compete said.

Compete blogger Matt Pace noted that 11% of Paul's face time for November occurred on MeetUp.com, where his 82,000 MeetUp supporters have planned or hosted 21,000 offline events for their candidate using the site.

"Ron Paul's fanatical grass-roots campaigning and record fundraising last weekend is proof that online support can indeed make a difference in the election," Pace noted. "The challenge for all of the candidates is how to leverage their online support. Paul and his zealous online supporters offer a case study on how, by leveraging Meetup.com, online activism can be harnessed into offline action. Win or lose the GOP nomination, Paul's ground breaking use of Meetup.com is likely to be studied and emulated by campaigns in future elections.

Huckabee knocked Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) from his second place rank in the October study to third for November with more than 90,000 hours of face time. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) ranked fourth for November with more than 69,000 hours, Compete noted.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and U.S. Reps. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) ranked at the bottom of the list, with each pulling in less than 8,000 hours, according to Compete.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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