Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Edwards SL Campaign

We have seen Denmark's Embassy in SL. Other European elections debates in SL. Now with the onset of our American 2008 Presidential Elections, SL seems like it is going to be a campaign battle ground. Especially since the cyber assault on the campaign headquarters. I have had a number of emails from my blog readers asking me to cover the Edwards Cyber SL Terrorist Attack. This story seems a little old, so Dembe decided to see how the Edwards camp is holding up after the attack. For those readers interested in the cyber attack details, The SL Herald has covered this story at

Hearing about this tragic event, Dembe decided to check out the headquarters to see the damage. She found two Edwards locations now in SL. First she checked out the Headquarters located at She was relieved to see that this location was at least set up in a PG sim. When she arrived, the first thing she noticed was that there seemed to be a lot of land for sale around the Edwards Camp.

There was nobody at the Edwards Campaign location on Onnuri to ask questions or even a mention the cyber attack. The only object Dembe could find at the location was a Blue Bird flying around the Headquarters. Object in this local seemed to belong to an avatar named Jose Rote.

She looked around and found a podium with TV Cameras. Dembe decided to do what every other avatar in SL would do. Try the podium.

The animations for this podium where very good! Dembe looked very presidential!

It was easy to use and was not locked. All Dembe had to do was click on the podium and sit and she was in speech mode.

Dembe felt she looked pretty good behind this podium and comfortable as well. Dembe Wellman for President!

Okay, Dembe decided it was time to get back to SL reality. She did not think 2,700 Lindens was enough to run a presidential campaign so she decided to look around further. She noticed she could get those free Edwards Tennis Shoes and T-Shirt as mentioned on the news. What avatar in SL would not take free clothing?

It was then that Dembe noticed what she thought was an addition to the Edwards Headquarters - or so it looked like from a distance. She flew over to check it out.

It turned out to be an anti-Edwards campaign right next door that was set up.

With an almost identical set up, but a Red Bird flying around the center. Hummm, any political messages here in these color birds? Dembe decided to check around this site further and found that the anti-Edwards campaign was offering many more items - seven in total - a t-shirt, button, Edwards Hat, Edwards Panties, an Edwards mug, badge and flag. Still there was nobody around this site either to answer questions about the anti Edwards campaign.

Dembe decided she needed to look at the other Edwards headquarters location set up at beach/219/113/23. Laguna Beach sounded nice and she hoped to be a little more successful in this local. She was also happy to see that this location was also set up in a PG sim.

Upon her arrival, there was nobody at this site at first. Only a few election signs and a box of free Edwards stuff that included a Landmark, t-shirt and two Edwards Presidential Election Buttons. I wonder if these will become a collectors item? However, Dembe turned around and there was a person from the Tomorrow Begins Today Group named Wyldshaman Shirabyoshi. I was greeted with a friendly, "Hello Dembe". This avatar was happy to show me around and get a visitor.

Dembe proceeded to converse with this avatar. She asked if this was the location of the cyber attack or the other base? Wyldshaman did not know, but expressed he is working for the campaign, but not "part" of the campaign. This avatar believes Edwards was in support of this SL site, but is not sure. He thinks he is working for a legitimate Edwards Headquarters because of the Greeter note cards, but has not received anything official.

At this location I was able to get the following note card:
This list will be sent out on a regular basis and will give you ideas for how you can help Senator Edwards win the presidency. Please contact Redaktisto Noble, Hervy Rikichi, Arc Karski or Jose Rote with any questions.

1. Volunteer at Edwards Campaign Central, located at beach/219/113/23.
Volunteering is very easy and you can do it on your own schedule. The basic job is to greet visitors. Find out more in this note card:
Thank you for volunteering your time to support Senator Edwards! Our innovative effort has already garnered a lot of buzz, both within Second Life and in real-world media. We want people like you to help us welcome guests and further Sen. Edwards' candidacy through the primaries and until he becomes our next President!
You can volunteer on your own schedule, and there is no minimum amount of time you can spend helping out. Ideally, we'll have several volunteers on site all day, every day!

- Greet visitors to our Second Life Headquarters.
- Provide a welcoming and orderly environment for guests.
- Invite visitors to participate in the SL and real-world campaigns.
- Handle questions and refer journalists to the right people.

- Senator John Edwards is a Democratic candidate for U.S. President.
- His main issues are fighting poverty, improving the environment, creating universal health care, ending the war in Iraq, and strengthening the middle class.
- The campaign in Second Life is volunteer-based and not run by the official campaign. However, they are aware and supportive of our efforts.
- The SL campaign has attracted numerous griefers (people who cause problems for visitors), vandals, and at least one parody site (saying it supports TV psychic John Edward for President).

Everyone who visits the site should be greeted by name. Identify yourself as a volunteer here to help guests. Offer to answer their questions and provide any other help they might need.

Many people will visit our site unsure of what to expect, or even why they are there. Your welcoming attitude can make the difference between staying and leaving. Everyone is welcome at our headquarters, regardless of their political opinions, and discussion is strongly encouraged.
At the same time, some people will come to disrupt what is going on. The general attitude towards such visitors is to ignore silly behavior until it crosses the line, and to warn once before punishing disruptive visitors by ejecting them. Here is a list of offenses for which someone should be warned, and then ejected on their second offense:
- Pretending to be with the Edwards campaign.
- Using highly offensive language.
- Vandalizing the headquarters (measures are in place to keep this from happening).
- Harassing other visitors.

If, after ejecting them, they continue to disrupt please report their behavior to Redaktisto Noble, Hervy Rikichi, Arc Karski or Jose Rote so they can be banned permanently.

Anyone who expresses interest in supporting or knowing more about the Edwards campaign in Second Life or in real life should be directed to join the group "John Edwards 2008" and to visit the official campaign website
Members of the SL group will receive updates on group activities.
Visitors can also be directed through the boardwalk trail where they can learn about Sen. Edwards and some of the issues that he is highlighting. There is also a stop called "How To Get Involved" with links to many ways supporters can help the Edwards campaign.

Many guests will want to know more about Sen. Edwards, his ideas, the SL campaign, and you. There is a wealth of information available on the campaign's website, You are strongly encouraged to become familiar with Sen. Edwards' background, his key issues, and campaign news. However. if someone asks a question and you are not sure of the answer, simply say you don't know but will find out and get back to them. It is much better to check than to take a guess and potentially misrepresent the campaign.
Many journalists and bloggers continue to visit the site, interested in the use of new media in political campaigning. Make sure they know you are a volunteer and that the effort is volunteer based. Refer any questions or interview requests to Redaktisto Noble,

Sen. Edwards announced his candidacy in late December 2006, and by the next day there was a group of SL supporters in a group called "Edwards for President." A few weeks later, another volunteer named Jose Rote started "John Edwards Campaign Central" and a group "John Edwards 2008". The groups merged under Rote's leadership and quickly grew to several hundred members.
The Edwards campaign has several firsts in SL - the official campaign set up an avatar for the candidate in May 2006 (though he hasn't used it yet as far as we know), the Edwards group was the first to support a US presidential candidate, and "Campaign Central" was the first SL headquarters for a US presidential candidate.
Being the first has drawn plenty of attention, good and bad. After a string of media articles about the SL headquarters hit the blogosphere, griefers and satirists came too. This has drawn further attention, and the site continues to draw many visitors each day.
Jose Rote has handed responsibility for the SL campaign to a steering committee of committed volunteers. To avoid some of the drawbacks of SL campaigning, supporters recently moved the SL headquarters to the Laguna Beach sim.

2. You can pick up some free campaign gear at our Campaign Central, but you can also help promote the campaign by going to and buying a John Edwards yard sign (for L$49) or flag (for L$99). There is a running tally of which supporters have purchased the most, and it is a fun way to show the level of support for Senator Edwards in Second Life.

3. Share your ideas on how our SL effort can join the official Edwards campaign effort to be carbon neutral. What can we do to reduce our carbon footprint from using SL, and to offset the environmental effects of the energy we do consume?

1. Vote for Sen. Edwards in the Daily KOS Straw Poll -

2. Contribute to the Edwards campaign on our Grassroots Fundraising Page "Second Life Residents for Edwards" -

1. Host (or at least attend) a John Edwards House Party on Wednesday, March 28. You can find out more at

1. Senator Edwards gave a stirring speech this week on "Transformational Change for America and the World." He laid out his plan to fight domestic and global poverty, including the creation of a Cabinet-level position to fight poverty. You can read the speech at

2. Our SL effort was part of a National Public Radio report on candidates' use of social networking sites. Hear it at

After reviewing the above note card, Wyldshaman showed me the path for Edwards campagin beginning with a PPT presentation at this location.

The above was very well done. However, I did not stay and read all the slides. We moved on to the next station of the campaign.

The path was broken up into the following areas - each with a note card.

Who is the Man

Ending Poverty - the blue box with the question mark contains the note card on his position.


Notecard from this location:
Notecard on Iraq - Feb 14, 2007

"Edwards calls on Congress to stop debating and take action: Cap funding for troops in Iraq at 100,000 troops and stop the surge; end war in 2008"

"Says Bush is acting without authorization"

Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Senator John Edwards today laid out a comprehensive proposal for Congress to implement his plan to stop President Bush’s escalation of the war in Iraq and begin an immediate withdrawal by capping funding for troops at 100,000, and requiring withdrawal of all combat troops over the next 12-18 months.

“Nearly a month ago, I called on Congress to block the President’s escalation of war. Unfortunately, while Congress has been debating Iraq, President Bush has been surging troops into Iraq. The escalation is underway, so blocking it is no longer enough – now we have to take the next step and cap funding to mandate a withdrawal,” Edwards said. “We don’t need debate; we don’t need non-binding resolutions; we need to end this war, and Congress has the power to do it. They should use it now. In order to get the Iraqi people to take responsibility for their country, we must show them that we are serious about leaving, and the best way to do that is to actually start leaving.”

Edwards believes that the only solution to the situation in Iraq is a political solution, which requires all the parties in Iraq to take responsibility for the future of their country. By leaving Iraq, the Iraqi people, regional powers, and the entire international community will be forced to engage in the search for a political solution that will end the sectarian violence and create a stable Iraq. Escalating the war sends exactly the wrong signal to the Iraqi people, regional powers and the world.

Edwards’ plan for Iraq calls for Congress to:

* Cap funding for the troops in Iraq at 100,000 troops to stop the surge and implement an immediate drawdown of 40-50,000 combat troops. Any troops beyond that level should be redeployed immediately.
* Prohibit funding to deploy any new troops to Iraq that do not meet real readiness standards and that have not been properly trained and equipped, so American tax dollars are used to train and equip our troops, instead of escalating the war.
* Make it clear that President Bush is conducting this war without authorization. The 2002 authorization did not give President Bush the power to use U.S. troops to police a civil war. President Bush exceeded his authority long ago, and now needs to end the war and ask Congress for new authority to manage the withdrawal of the U.S. military presence and to help Iraq achieve stability.
* Require a complete withdrawal of combat troops in Iraq in the next 12-18 months without leaving behind any permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq.

After withdrawal, Edwards believes that sufficient forces should remain in the region to contain the conflict and ensure that instability in Iraq does not spillover and create a regional war, a terrorist haven, or spark a genocide. In addition, Edwards believes the U.S. should step up our diplomatic efforts by engaging in direct talks with all the nations in the region, including Iran and Syria and work to bring about a political solution to the sectarian violence inside Iraq, including through a peace conference. He also believes the U.S. must intensify its efforts to train the Iraqi security forces.

John Edwards has a bold plan to transform America's health care system and provide universal health care for every man, woman and child in America.

Under the Edwards Plan:

* Families without insurance will get coverage at an affordable price.
* Families with insurance will pay less and get more security and choices.
* Businesses and other employers will find it cheaper and easier to insure their workers.

The Edwards Plan achieves universal coverage by:

* Requiring businesses and other employers to either cover their employees or help finance their health insurance.
* Making insurance affordable by creating new tax credits, expanding Medicaid and SCHIP, reforming insurance laws, and taking innovative steps to contain health care costs.
* Creating regional "Health Markets" to let every American share the bargaining power to purchase an affordable, high-quality health plan, increase choices among insurance plans, and cut costs for businesses offering insurance.
* Once these steps have been taken, requiring all American residents to get insurance.

Securing universal healthcare for every American will require the active involvement of millions of Americans.

For more information check out

America's leadership role in the world has grown out of our compassion and moral strength, as well as our unparalleled economic and military strength. We can be proud of our long history of using our strength to fight for the freedom of others, but our standing in the world has been badly tarnished. America can once again be looked up to and respected around the world. The first step is by immediately withdrawing 40,000-50,000 troops from Iraq, with the complete withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq within 12-18 months -- allowing the Iraqis to assume greater responsibility for rebuilding their own country. It also means working to restore our legitimacy by leading on the great challenges before us like the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the genocide in Darfur, extreme poverty, and living up to our ideals in the fight against terrorism.

Universal Healthcare

Protecting the Environment

Restoring America's Moral Leadership In The World

Getting Involved in the Campaign

Wyldshaman seemed to be able to discuss Edwards campaign issues. However, this early in the election process, Dembe is not even sure what Edwards campaign platform is. Or any other presidential hopeful for that matter. It would be interesting to compare this well done SL Edwards campaign exhibit to his RL campaign. What Dembe saw seemed pretty on target. However, Dembe is only a voter in the SL 3-D world and her user reserves the right to make different voting decisions in RL.

Regardless, Edwards Campagn Headquaters on Laguna Beach was much more informative and well done than on Onnuri. My only suggestion: Hilary and any other Democratic hopefuls - You need to get your SL Game on!

Regards to my next blog,

1 comment:

Chris said...

An incredible post!! Really appreciate your site... Made a note of it in my blog today ;-)

-Chris (Topher Zwiers)

About Me

Cyber, World, United States
Dembe is an international educator that is a member of ISTE and EDUPODCASTING. SHe has created this blog for research and development as well as to document and make SL easier for other educators. Below, please check out the Educator's Survival Pack. It is designed to help new educators entering SL and Teen SL to Teach.

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