The Age: MySpace makes Impact with pollies

In Australia that is! The Age reports:

MySpace today launched its Impact channel for politicians and non-profit organisations, but don't expect to add the Prime Minister, John Howard, to your friends list.

Labor politicians outnumber Liberals two-to-one on the new channel, which MySpace general manager Rebekah Horne describes as an interactive tool that they can use to engage directly with voters, particularly younger ones who may feel alienated from the political process.

"The great thing about social networking is that it's an opportunity for them not just to be a prime minister, opposition leader or a treasurer ... but actually a real person," she said.

MySpace has over 3.6 million Australian users, which Horne said would be called on to answer political opinion polls. She said the number of MySpace "friends" a politician had would give an instant snapshot of their popularity.

It is understood Mr Howard refused an offer to create his own MySpace profile because he did not want to lend his identity to a commercial organisation. Instead, a "Howard Government" link with Mr Howard's photo directs surfers to a general Liberal Party page.

Why does this not come as a surprise to me...?

Read the rest of the article here.

The new Australian impact channel can be viewed here.

- Espen