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The Final Debate – compiled by Katie K.

1.   Debate watching was taken to a whole new level at the Corcoran by Sosolimited, a group of three MIT graduates who have presented “remixes” of each presidential debate using software to digitally split apart and reassemble information from the debate before live audiences.


2.   The Obama campaign got the debate started early, releasing their talking points ahead of the debate.  And blogs seized on them when coverage from the MSM looked a little too familiar.


3.   Snap polls showed Obama going three-for-three in the debate series.  Conservatives were inspired that McCain was still fighting, while liberal bloggers went to town with the “angry” McCain that Obama’s campaign quickly turned into an ad.


4.   Your average Joe?  John McCain made Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher the star of the debate when he mentioned him 21 times to attack Barack Obama on taxes.  Before Joe even knew what happened, he had his own campaign merchandise, hundreds of new friends on Facebook, remixes on YouTube, the most searched name on Twitter, a Wikipedia entry, and Katie Couric on the phone.


5.   Bloggers were the first to burst the Joe bubble, discovering that he’s not exactly Joe, not exactly a plumber, not exactly caught up on his taxes, and not exactly a victim under Obama’s tax plan.  And a week of polls showed that Joe did not help McCain.


6.   Two local Portland, Oregon radio hosts used the Internet to come to Joe’s rescue, launching, www.savejoetheplumber.net to help Wurzelbacher pay back his taxes.  On Monday night, the hosts informed Joe they’d not only the $1,200 Joe the Plumber needed to pay back his taxes, but also the $500 he’ll need to get his plumber’s license.


7.   Wired broke news that, just when you thought we’d seen the end of Joe, the McCain campaign made him viral, inviting supporters to create 30 second videos of themselves explaining why they are “Joe the Plumber.”  The campaign will feature the winner in a televised ad.


8.   At CBS, Katie Couric continued her interesting use of videos and online content to cover the final debate.


9.   Tech President reported that an SEIU official “tweeted”  that the Google AdSense ad he bought for the term “Joe the Plumber” got almost 40,000 impressions.  This followed a Washington Post article explaining the science behind choosing keyword search phrases to determine advertising buys, and how both the Obama and McCain campaigns are spending millions on this new “art” in politics.  


10.   The New York Times used the final presidential debate to highlight the new trend of former campaign operatives using blogs to air their thoughts.   Elsewhere on the Web, Reason Magazine highlighted VoterWatch’s 2008 Presidential Debates Project that brought real-time blogging, commenting, linking, fact checking, and interaction to the presidential debate. 


11.   The American Prospect finally explained just what those squiggly lines on CNN mean, and the blogs caught what happens when even the anchor doesn’t understand them.


Bonus Item:  CNN political analyst Jeffrey Toobin was caught by the camera checking his Facebook account during the debate.



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