June 26, 2008

MySpace, the world’s most popular social network, together with NBC News and msnbc.com, two of the most globally-respected names in news, today announced the Decision ’08 Convention contest. Decision ‘08 (http://myspace.com/decision08) is available to more than 117 million active MySpace users worldwide and is an essential component of MySpace’s IMPACT Channel, the site’s popular hub for civic and social engagement.

The contest invites MySpace users over the age of 18 to submit short video pieces, which will then be judged by a panel comprised of representatives from MySpace and NBC News and narrowed down to five finalists. The MySpace community will then cast votes for their favorite finalist, eventually choosing two winners to be citizen journalists. One winner will attend the Republican National Convention in Minnesota and the other will attend the Democratic National Convention in Colorado.

Participants may begin submitting their video entries on June 25 at 3:00 p.m. (EDT) / Noon (PDT) by posting their videos on the Decision ‘08 page using the video submission tool. The videos should be less than two minutes long and answer one of the following questions:  “Why do you vote?”  “Why are you the best person for this job?”  “How will you stand out in the crowd and get the scoop no one else can?” The submission period closes on Wednesday, July 16 at 3:00 p.m. (EDT) / Noon (PDT).

A panel of judges from MySpace and NBC News will convene to review entries and select 5 finalists, which will be announced on Friday, July 18. Each submission will be judged on content, presentation and relevance to the call-to-action. The panel of judges will be Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist from MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, along with Tom Anderson, President and co-founder of MySpace, and Lee Brenner, Director of IMPACT and Executive Producer of Political Programming at MySpace.

The MySpace community is encouraged to vote for their favorite finalist starting Monday, July 21 through Monday, July 28. The two contest winners will be announced on Tuesday, July 29,2008. They will be awarded a trip to either the Republican or Democratic conventions where they will visit the NBC News media center. The two winning video and text-based reports will be featured on the Decision ‘08 community and in MSNBC’s convention coverage.   

“MySpace is a significant forum for political discussion today and we’re empowering MySpace users with a unique opportunity to express themselves from the most important political events of the summer,” said Lee Brenner, Director of IMPACT and Executive Producer of Political Programming at MySpace. “As the leader in fostering user-generated content, we’re privileged to be partnering with the leader in professionally-generated news content for this exciting project.”

“The ‘Decision ‘08 Convention Contest’ will give everyone in the MySpace community and all of msnbc.com’s users the chance to experience the political process first-hand, and share that experience with their peers during this crucial election,” said Mark Lukasiewicz, Vice President of Digital Media at NBC News.

Decision ‘08 is a key component of the MySpace IMPACT Channel (http://impact.myspace.com), which empowers MySpace users to make a difference in the world and allows politicians, non-profits, and civic organizations to connect with MySpace’s global audience. The IMPACT Channel houses the official MySpace profiles for the 2008 Presidential candidates, as well as tools to enable voter registration, fundraising, and volunteering. On January 1 and 2, 2008 the IMPACT Channel hosted the first MySpace Presidential Primary with more than 150,000 MySpace users voicing their choice for the nation’s highest office.

The Decision ’08 hub also offers interactive opportunities for the online community to actively engage with NBC News and msnbc.com content, anchors and reporters throughout the election season. There, users can get up-to-the-minute election coverage, news feeds and daily videos from NBC News and msnbc.com, user-generated content from the MySpace community, links to profiles of NBC News and MSNBC anchors and reporters. In addition to offering its content via MySpace, msnbc.com links to and integrates Decision ‘08 into its own Politics home page (www.politics.msnbc.com).  

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