Clinton Is Yahoo; Obama Google
A reader writes in on the tech-analogy game:
You wrote about Clinton and Obama as two kinds of PC; Clinton as the PC, Obama as the Mac. I propose a different analogy: the candidates as search engines. In this comparison, Clinton is Yahoo, and Obama is Google.
Here's how the comparison works:
Clinton, like Yahoo, is a product of the 90's that is very focused on dominating the media. Yahoo has made lots of deals with content providers, while Clinton assumed that her fundraising prowess would allow her to run lots of ads in Super Tuesday states like New York and California. She was sort of right - she raised lots of money and won NY and CA. But, like Yahoo, she underestimated her opponent. Obama, like Google, is a 21st century phenomenon that is more technologically sophisticated and more focused on empowering users. Yahoo once had a chance to take the lead in the social-networking space, but botched it - they bought GeoCities years ago, but then basically abandoned it. Google, on the other hand, bought YouTube and Blogger, and have done good things with both (I use Blogger). And Gmail is much better than Yahoo mail. Which is better than Hotmail. You may have noticed that I am sending this email from Hotmail. That's because I use Hotmail for business (I get all my subscriptions at this email), but I use Yahoo and Google for personal email. I actually had to sign up for Gmail when I started volunteering for the Obama campaign, because my group was using Google Docs to share information. I also had to join Facebook for the same reason.
To extend this analogy to the general election, McCain is Microsoft - the establishment candidate that, despite all of its best efforts, still has not really figured out how to take advantage of the new technological environment. Microsoft has Internet Explorer, which most Internet users use, so it dominates the Net to that extent. But that's like the GOP's ideological embrace of capitalism - it's old news and so integrated into society that few people notice or dispute it any more.