AOL has launched a syndicated online political widget – called “Hot Seat” – on AOL News.
“Hot Seat” features daily political poll questions from some of the biggest political bloggers on the Internet, including The Huffington Post, Time’s Swampland, Slate, The Politico, Crooks & Liars, Power Line and Captain’s Quarters. The questions address current political issues and events as a way to stimulate a dialogue between voters, pundits and politicians. “Hot Seat” also features responses from major presidential candidates to specific questions posed to them by bloggers and pundits.
“Hot Seat” will be displayed on all AOL News, Elections and Political Machine pages as well as participating sites outside the AOL network. The “Hot Seat” widget showcases real-time poll question results on both a national and state-by-state level, while letting users share and discuss their views with users of various sites. Through “Hot Seat,” candidates will be given an opportunity to respond to questions and comment on the results of the various polls while providing an outlet that allows the public to become deeply engaged and integrated in the political blogosphere.
“AOL News has created a unique experience for the upcoming election unlike anything else on the Web,” said Lewis Dvorkin, Senior Vice President, AOL News and Sports. “By syndicating the polling, ‘Hot Seat’ creates a forum where voters can participate in an ongoing debate with the 2008 presidential candidates – regardless of which site they use.”
“2008 is going to be the first truly 21st Century election, with more and more of the campaign waged online,” said Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post. “Thanks to the Internet, the public has the ability to become more engaged in the electoral process – and in a national conversation about the issues that matter most – than ever before. By bringing together candidates, bloggers, opinion makers, and voters from all across the web – and all across the ideological spectrum – ‘Hot Seat’ has the potential to promote a new and exciting kind of debate. The Huffington Post is delighted to be part of this innovative new feature.”
In addition to “Hot Seat”, AOL will provide comprehensive coverage of the campaigns. AOL’s Political Machine blog, http://news.aol.com/political-machine/, provides political coverage that combines blog posts from academics, journalists and the voting public. In the coming months, election coverage will also feature a Straw Poll that will house weekly candidate polls with real-time results and track the races for both parties. General election results will include additional local information, including county data, interactive maps and mobile distributions.
During the 2006 elections, 26 million Americans used the Internet on a typical day to gather information.