I can’t believe this site – you just have to go there. What you are looking at is the very first online candidate debate where you get to decide how to match up the issues and the performances. To quote from the site:

Welcome to the first online debate. Charlie Rose interviews the candidates, but you get to compare them. Step 1, pick as many candidates as you want; Step 2, pick one issue. Then, watch your MashUp. Don’t forget to vote for who you like best.

How great is that? The comparisons that you always wanted, but could never get are all there for you to make. This makes some of my previous blogs about my hopes that the new online world would really change politics by making it possible for more people to participate more fully in a more transparent process look good. Actually to be truthful I really didn’t see the possibility to compare debates in this way, instead I thought more of virtual worlds permitting a return to the old ‘on the stump’ meetings.
Now I have seen the ‘art of the possible’ from this site it gets me thinking; I have already blogged on how I see the MashUp as the new ‘killer app’, meaning that just as the spreadsheet allowed the user to create a personal view from excessive amounts of numerate data, so the MashUp allows the user to achieve the same effect from the overwhelming amount of ‘Content’ available.

What I didn’t figure was quite how the MashUp can be used in this manner with presentations on issues. Let’s take the consulting industry as an example where various subject matter experts from all the big firms have probably been videoed at various events giving their point of view on topics such as Supply Chain, etc. A prospective client could now download these video presentations and using the same technique make a direct comparison to decide who to shortlist, maybe even to make a final choice.
Well, it’s certainly going to work at the level of being ‘green’ in saving on carbon footprints for travel, but it’s not bad for time management either. In fact the more you look at it the more you realise there is quite a lot going for this as we shift more and more towards all being part of a ‘people’ centric online Web 2.0 to Enterprise 2.0 World. Just a shame that the first example that I have seen has to be politicians!
What this site illustrates very clearly is the shift from studying brochures, in the case of the Politicians I guess they call them prospectuses or something similar, to understanding people through their views. This puts some new values on the old concept of Knowledge Workers as it repositions them from their value being internal, in supporting how something is done, to becoming external, in explaining why something should be done a particular way.
Try thinking through different industries and what you might want to know from the knowledgeable people in the various companies. Intriguing!