Editor's Note: Since this article was published, the mentioned website was subsequently taken down. A screen shot of the page is available to the left.
If you try going to RickPerry.com, you’re in for a surprise. You don’t end up at the Texas governor’s website, but rather at fellow Texan, Rep. Ron Paul’s campaign website.
No, Perry hasn’t dropped out of the race (yet). No, he is not endorsing Paul. Perry’s official website is RickPerry.org. While candidates and corporations often buy all domains similar to their own in order to ensure that supporters who mistype are redirected to the correct website – Perry and other GOP presidential contenders have neglected to do so.
In Perry’s case, this neglect is going to cost him – mistyping supporters aren’t just left hanging as is often the case (try newtgingrich.com) – but they’re redirected to another candidate who they could lend their support.
This amusing campaign mischief is telling about the changing landscape of campaigns and how candidates are going to fall behind if they don’t get on board with the internet, and quickly.
While a TV or print advertisement can tell you why Paul is better or why Perry is worse, that is all it can do. With this website however, we aren’t being told which candidate is better or worse. Instead, when people go searching for Perry, they just end up finding Paul.
Further, what is particularly interesting thing about RickPerry.com is that the Paul campaign claims that it isn’t their work. Whomever owns RickPerry.com controls where the website is forwarded to. This means that anybody with the foresight to buy these domains also has the power to influence and redirect supporters.
While this mishap and redirect don’t necessarily point in favor of the Paul campaign, they are yet another sign that some of the current GOP candidates could learn a lot about how to use the internet to their advantage – just take a look at Romney’s sponsored tweets and Jon Huntsman’s daughters’ viral YouTube video.
Photo Credit: Ron Paul Campaign