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Online political mashup with US presidential candidates

04 October, 2007
By Allison Orr

People can now completely customise their own political debate with the issues and candidates of their choosing using the Yahoo Election 08 - Democratic Candidate Mashup.

This site allows you to choose the Democrat candidate you’re interested in and then choose one issue from the list Yahoo users have put forward as important to them - currently these issues are Iraq, health care and education – or you can also choose a question from comedian Bill Maher.  You then press play and you will be shown a customised "mashup" of your candidate debating that issue.

"Unlike any debate you have ever seen before, because for the first time you’re in charge," says PBS reporter and compere Charlie Rose in the introductory video.

This has proved to be quite popular, with more than 1 million people visiting this site in the last two weeks of September, according to an AP news story.  Of those, nearly half were between the ages of 18 and 34, and on average, each viewer watched 4 video streams for a total of seven minutes, much higher than the average YouTube viewing, which typically runs at about 2 minutes.

Surprising, the most popular choice by far were the Bill Maher questions, chosen 42 per cent of the time, but the most popular of the candidates was Hillary Clinton, and the most popular issue was Iraq.

Organisers are hoping to produce a similar site for Republican candidates.

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