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Barack Obama still generates more online buzz, but John McCain is gaining ground

August 21, 2008 |  9:30 pm

According to the latest campaign trail gossip, we'll know Barack Obama's vice presidential pick by sunrise.

There have been whispers that Obama will reveal his choice to everyone whObamablackberry_4o's signed up for text or e-mail alerts around 4 a.m. EST Friday.

Of course, VP announcement rumors have been wrong before.

Our friends over at the LATimes.com Technology blog aren't wasting their time speculating about when the announcement will be made or what its message will be.

Instead, Jim Puzzanghera has an interesting analysis of what the text message/e-mail strategy says about Obama's campaign.

Puzzanghera points out that that the tactic will make supporters feel like they're an integral part of the campaign -- and, perhaps more importantly, create a database of mobile users for future campaign communications. (In other words, if you've signed up for the VP notification service, don't be surprised to receive a text from the Obama campaign on Nov. 4 reminding you to vote. And no doubt several money appeals in the meantime.)

We've said before that Obama is technology savvy. And as Puzzanghera also points out, new data from Nielsen released today confirms that the Illinois senator has been generating more online buzz than his opponent, John McCain.

According to the date, there were 3.3 million unique visitors to BarackObama.com in July, compared with 1.6 million unique to JohnMcCain.com. But McCain picked up some ground there, gaining 353,000 unique visitors in the month, compared with 239,000 by the Obama site.

The place where McCain gained ground was website video streams. Total streams viewed on JohnMcCain.com more than doubled in July to 1.01 million.

Hmm, could those numbers have anything to do with McCain's controversial ad comparing Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears?

-- Kate Linthicum

Photos: Barack Obama holds his BlackBerry in St. Louis last month, before a conference call with supporters. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

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