by NBC's Rehema Ellis
If you haven't gotten a political campaign e-mail so far, you're probably one of few Americans. You've probably read a blog on the 2008 election, or watched a candidate's speech or talk show appearance on YouTube. I know I have.
Many have coined the 2004 presidential election "the first Internet election" and I think the campaigns have taken the use of the Internet to new heights.
If you've signed up for one of the parties' newsletters, you're probably already bombarded by daily updates on what's happening inside the campaigns. You probably get multiple e-mails asking for donations. And it works! Thousands of voters have given to both candidates in record numbers this year, changing political fundraising forever.
You can't deny the campaigns are better organized on the Web this time around, but that's because they have hired experts to run Internet strategy and have staff that reach out to bloggers to get out their message. And who would have imagined that candidates would have thousands of friends on their Facebook and MySpace pages? Despite all this, experts agree that it's hard to measure at this point how helpful this is in gaining votes.
Even the debates this year saw an Internet connection: candidates took on questions via email. Talk about democracy!
But all of this freedom of information comes with a price. There are people out there posting the wrong information not only about the candidates, but about the voting process.
So I know everyone wants to get their information within the click of a mouse, but you really must examine that the information comes from an official source. I'm all for riding this Internet wave of information but I want all of us to do it the right way.