Yet San Francisco Mayor fears being always accessible and watched
At his re-election campaign last year, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom found himself amid an audience of strangers, not the "usual suspects," he said. Upon asking who the new faces were, someone replied that they were his Facebook friends. His response: "What's Facebook?"
That was 12 months ago. Today, Newsom has embraced it. “I'm proud to say that I have more Facebook friends than any other politician outside presidential candidates. I'm obsessed,” he said.
Newsom was part of a panel on politics and the Internet on Friday, the last day of the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. He was joined by moderator John Heilemann, author and writer for New York magazine, and panelists Joe Trippi, political strategist who worked with Edward Kennedy to Howard Dean, and Arianna Huffington, founder of Huffington Post. All of whom agreed that it was a breakthrough year for Internet politics.
Indeed, many say that Barack Obama will be the first president who is part of the Internet generation. Obama, at least, very much gets it, if his campaign is any evidence.
Newsom himself has nearly 12,000 supporters on his Facebook profile.
But while there’s an upside to this newfound accessibility, there is a downside. “Here’s the fear,” he said. “It’s the YouTube-ification of the world.”
There's not downtime, he suggested. "We're in reality TV series in politics," he said.
Whatever is said and done is recorded.
“I left my heart in San Francisco on YouTube… and I can’t get it to go away.”