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Cyber Handshakes: Campaigning in Second Life


With the huge amounts of exposure that vehicles like YouTube and podcasts are capable of generating, it’s surprising that more politicians aren’t fully utilizing new media. But a few are, including Mark Warner, 2008 Democratic presidential hopeful and former Governor of Virginia.

Last month Warner took his campaign to Second Life, a flourishing virtual world comprised of avatars. Warner appeared at Second Life’s New Globe Theater to be interviewed by fellow avatar Hamlet Au, the blog master at New World Notes. Warner is the first political figure to appear on the site, marking a milestone in the political sphere by proactively pursuing younger voters online.

From appearing on Second Life to employing a national voter registration drive using text messaging, Warner is putting new media to good use—his mobile campaign, TXTVOTER ’06, works in conjunction with Mobile Voter, a nonprofit group dedicated to empowering young voters through technology.

It’s exciting to see a presidential candidate recognize the potential of new technological platforms and get involved with the online world more strategically. There’s no doubt that this is an important first step in uniting politicians with an emerging, digitally focused voter block.

Stay tuned to for more on the developments that are shaping the future of the digital universe.