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there. There's an issues page; people can see where we stand. I know that on my page I actually have my stance on issues. The other candidate does not have a specific stance on issues. I have a blog; the other candidate does not. I do donations, the other person doesn't. Everyone has their own style. I just feel like the Web is a very important tool for getting information out to people."

Roanoke City Council

On the other side of the country, Roanoke, Va., residents just elected Court Rosen as first-term city councilman. Rosen bested incumbent Brian Wishneff in a race rife with controversy. A day after Rosen won by a narrow margin, The Roanoke Times revealed that Wishneff may have violated state election laws by using a false name to purchase advertisements attacking Rosen.

But before the results - and the scandal - became public, Rosen spoke about the role the Web played in his campaign.

"I've got a list of about 700 people, which is not a lot," he said. "But in the scheme of things, when you e-mail somebody and they forward the e-mail on, or they start talking to folks, it starts multiplying. I've been using e-mail to direct people to YouTube, where I've put all my campaign commercials for people to see. So while they may not see them on TV, everyone by and large these days has access to the Internet either at work or at home. By directing people to YouTube and asking them to forward it on, there's no telling how many folks have seen the ad."

Rosen's Web page is modest; in fact, it's just a blog on the BlogSpot network. Rosen shared his views and opinions on his blog and included a link to his Facebook site.

Rosen readily admitted he wasn't well known in the community when he decided to run for city council. That reality motivated him to enlarge his online network of associates by expanding his presence on Facebook.

"The Facebook page has been very useful," Rosen said. "There is a network, and so joining the network opens up my Facebook page to hundreds of people who then share it. These folks are sharing it with their friends."

But it isn't all sunshine and puppy dogs for Rosen. He believes older voters aren't going to connect to his campaign through the Web, hence the blog-based home page. He also said tech-savvy younger voters found him through Facebook, so he didn't need to invest donated funds into a high-end Web site.

"A lot of the older folks - the middle-aged to more elderly - aren't going to by and large go to my Web site anyway," he said. "So I just didn't think that there was a huge need for one given that the people who would get online and visit are as likely to go to my Facebook page or my blog."

Idaho State Senate

In Idaho's 14th District, professor and attorney Saundra McDavid is running for state Senate. McDavid once ran for mayor of Eagle, Idaho, but otherwise has no history as an elected official. But she has a background in technology and runs her own technology consulting firm in Eagle.

McDavid's Web site is as polished as any campaign site. Donations can be made online via credit card and PayPal. Her blog is frequently updated. She has links to voter registration forms and polling places. The site links to all recent news items about her campaign and local news video reports. And McDavid has both a MySpace and

Chad Vander Veen  | 

Chad Vander Veen previously served as the editor of FutureStructure, and the associate editor of Government Technology and Public CIO magazines.