What is PeekScore?: PeekScore is a rank from 1 to 10, assigned to every person. The higher someone’s score, the “more important” they are on the web. In calculating your PeekScore and updating it often, PeekYou takes into account your known presence and activity on the Internet, including but not limited to; your blogging, participation in social networks, the number of your friends, followers, or readers, the amount of web content you create, and your prominence in the news.
Although the 2012 presidential election is nearly 18 months away, Republican candidates – possible, presumed, and announced alike – have already begun to emerge as the stage is being set for the first primaries early next year. This entry is the start of what will be a new regular feature here on PeekYou, where we will rank the GOP candidates according to their PeekScores. As candidates drop in and out of the race, we believe it will be enlightening to observe who among them is the most well adapted to, and involved in, the online sphere. There’s little question that the internet will play a huge part in this upcoming election, so we believe it will be tremendously useful to see who’s using it best to their advantage. Observing how certain candidates’ online presences increase as their campaigns evolve and the field grows more competitive, and conversely how others may decrease their digital footprints as their campaigns begin to wane, will give readers a unique perspective on the contemporary political landscape.
As is probably the case in most workplaces throughout the country, the political inclinations of the PeekYou staff run the gamut. These rankings are entirely objective and impartial.
Please check in regularly to see how the PeekScore race is shaping up. (Beneath the list, further commentary can be found.)
AND NOW, A LENGTHY DISCLAIMER OF DUBIOUS VERACITY AND NECESSITY, FROM THE GOOD MEN AND WOMEN OF THE PEEKSCORE BLOG (who, it must be noted, are not synonymous with PeekYou, per se, but more sort of merely tolerated by them) :
It is often said that you should never discuss religion, politics, or sex when in mixed or polite company, as doing so is a surefire recipe for conflict. What we’ve done today, as you can see, is bravely toss whatever caution or restraint we ever possessed straight to the wind, wriggling on our bellies into the thorny thicket of difficult discourse; getting our knees all bloodied, and the underside of our fingernails caked in the filth of the unkempt garden path of ill-advised blog topics. These horrendous metaphors are being employed simply to convey our awareness of the risks we’re courting in our tireless pursuit of keeping vital and timely the only thing we were put on this planet to do; take lists of people grouped together, according to one common trait or association or another (some seemingly arbitrary, some more logical, but all groups of “peers” in some sense), and sequence them – from greatest to least great – according to the size of their “online footprint” as quantified, from 1 to 10, in the form of what we like to call their PeekScores.
We surely don’t hope for conflict nor do we ever seek it out, as we’re a humble company and blog and will never trade in cheap sensationalism for its own sake. It is our m.o. not to divide, but to always be celebrating and embracing all of the Earth’s citizens as equals; be they a very possibly sour smelling plebeian, or a vaunted public figure perhaps emitting the aroma of lavender and cinnamon. We seek only to bring all of us naked apes together as one big, hairy, sweaty, blotchy ball of humanity. No matter how lowly one’s lot in life, and no matter how cockamamie one’s ridiculous beliefs, no one is anyone’s better in the eyes of PeekYou (you know, apart from the whole “ranking people according to PeekScore” thing, where such hippie-dippy rhetoric and relativism would kind of queer the central conceit; “everyone’s PeekScore is 10 in the Creator’s eyes,” is lovely, but renders the blog obsolete).
Do not mistake our dedication to creating a user experience here at PeekScore which will appeal to the broadest cross-section of users. When it is brought up in our weekly meeting that we should maybe do a potentially controversial PeekScore list – one which might cause even a single user to blanch or blush, or even to clear his or her throat or cock an eyebrow – we fire whoever made the suggestion, and return to leaving well enough alone; instead opting to do a rundown of the cast list of whatever crap sitcom Fox has premiering in the fall. We believe it wisest to let the difficult PeekScore lists be compiled by you readers, amongst yourselves, in the privacy of your own homes. Keep this in mind as you proceed. Our feelings on these matters are generally clear.
While I could see us maybe one day doing a list of ten global religious leaders, we really shouldn’t, as it’s obviously a dreadful idea. With this in mind, I can absolutely promise here and now that we’ll never do a list of the world’s Ten Best People at Sex. But, of the above-referenced and historically respected trio of taboos, there is one topic – let’s call it “the Stooge in the middle” – of which we simply can’t, nay shan’t, steer clear, and that’s the steaming pile of mess we call politics. It’s too important to ignore, and we’re far too important to ignore it.
As mentioned above, and as you may have already caught wind of yourselves, a year from this upcoming November the American president is up for re-election, and therefore his big, fancy, presidential seat could at that time go to an opponent. It’s assumed at this early date that his incumbentship will secure his party’s nomination handily. However, members of the opposing party (the Republicans, in case you’re not one for paying attention), drunk with visions of their own destinies to lead us, have begun to sniffle and flinch, toss some money around to see what’s what, and in some cases even out and out already announce their candidacies. Others, who’ve feigned humility or disinterest in attaining naked power when asked, are strongly suspected to be planning their desperate grasp for the reins when the time is right. Above, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to compile a list of the more prominent names among the announced, exploring, presumed, or believed to be possible candidates for the Republican nomination for president in 2012 (some of whom, by the time this list goes live, will have already withdrawn their candidacies). PeekYou will step-aside, no matter how worrisome or desirable the results, and let the PeekScores do at least some of the talking.
The PeekScore blog has no interest whatsoever in taking sides in the great Team Red vs. Team Blue culture war which has come to dominate political discourse in this country. While as individuals we may each have a point of view, or perhaps for some of us even an outright partisan allegiance, for the most part when it comes to the pop culture demagogue, simple-minded polemicist, opportunist shock jock, crazed blogger, and comedian led political dialogue in this land PeekYou calls home, we stay well the heck out of it.
Within the context of this blog, we extend this impartiality to all talk of policy and legislation. These things are what they are, they are divisive, and are not of much concern where digital footprints are concerned. This sentence here will be the first and only mention in this entry of the Tea Party, neoconservtatism, or any of modern conservatism’s assorted offshoots and strains. This feature is, and will continue to be over the next year or so, a look at where the most prominent of the Grand Ol’ Party’s current presidential hopefuls are in their engaging with the technological realities of modern politics, and pressing the flesh with the great unwashed in the wilds of cyberspace; kissing virtual babies, shaking @hands (or #hands), and familiarizing themselves with emoticons, strange acronyms, blogs, the cats both LOL and keyboard, and Annoying Orange. Where the candidates differ in ideology or worldview is best debated elsewhere.
It is very important that you not interpret this list as a show of bias in any possible direction. Hypocrisy and ignorance are abundant on all conceivable sides of the aisle, and in fact run furiously down the aisle’s dead center like the proverbial, putrid creek one is sometimes said to have to navigate without a paddle. At this time, there’s no call for a list of this sort for the Democrats, as we can safely presume their nominee is already more or less decided upon. The president and his cabinet are every bit as reproachable as every candidate on the above list. There is not discrimination in this regard.
A lot of people are accused of a lot of isms these days, and sometimes those hurling the accusations (and other times the accused) proudly cling to other isms still. We here at the PeekScore blog – who, it should be stressed do not speak for PeekYou as a whole – will come clean to our own prejudices (as we understand the term, as outlined for us in childhood here) and confess to a sometimes nasty case of politicianism, having encountered very few of those who would seek executive, legislative, or really most public office, who didn’t strike us as at least a little bit concerned first and foremost – beyond any ideologies, or senses of righteousness or duty to serve their communities or fellows – with the pursuit of their own greatness. We’re not headshrinkers – not Jungian, Freudian, Reichian, or of any variety you can name – but anyone seeking to lead mankind out of the darkness has, by necessity, got to be more than a touch narcissistic. And anyone who can endure the road to election, with its countless indignities, humiliations, and compromises, and remain anything other than destroyed by the experience, perhaps even has to be a touch sociopathic.
That said, even when fools, even when objectively evil or rotten, many of our past (and, to again suggest no bias we’ll add, possibly current) “fearless leaders” have been compelling and charismatic individuals; people who, for all the wrong they may have brought to the world, and all the disdain and disgust they likewise may have earned, still commanded our attention and even at times, on a level, our grudging respect (albeit sometimes in ways different from the respect they desperately sought). This above list may or may not contain a few individuals of whom it appears this could ever be the case. Only time will tell if among this rag tag bunch of crazy kids – each just looking for his or her shot at the title, a chance to be a contender, and an opportunity to prove that he or she is not just another bum from the neighborhood – we will find a great statesperson, or a formidable foe, an evil genius, or an individual so operatically tragic and damaged that even for all the deception and duplicity, there’s something about the sheer Shakespearean-scale drama of it all that captures our imaginations. Right now, at this stage, this is just a list of career politicians, cranks, wonks, and empty suits, peppered with a smattering of upstarts, and some more interesting sorts whose novelty candidacies may add some vital talk to the debates, but who probably have no honest shot at actually being nominated.
A lot can and will change in the next 18 months, but for the moment it’s difficult to imagine any of these candidates ousting the president. Should our economy and current unemployment rate not significantly improve, this will be the Republican’s election to lose. We’re not speaking to the president’s culpability nor lack thereof in the current state of things, simply to the fact that under such circumstances electorates often will seek change. With this crop of GOP candidates, though, it seems that things may have to get a lot worse before a single one them would have an honest shot.
But, it’s all pointless blather and speculation, isn’t it? Polls at this stage mean nothing, analysis at this point establishes nothing. It’s distinctly possible that the woman or man who will ultimately get the nomination isn’t even on the above list. Whatever happens, things are about to get very weird, intense, and interesting around here. It’s a circus, and it’s all rather ugly, but we love presidential election years and the madness of primaries, straw polls, scandals, rumors, sound bites, surprises, debates, and buckets and buckets of well and fully slung mud. It’s a mess, as it’s been for over two centuries now, and we’d never have it any other way. Send in the clowns.
Whatever their shots of winning the presidency, one of them will for certain win the nomination, and – more relevantly to now – one had to come out on top of our PeekScore list, and it’s arguably the worst of the bunch. But he’s gone now. Please keep coming back and see in subsequent lists who may have taken his place, and see how the members of this party – so famously decried for their perceived backwardness – function in the theoretically progressive (not in the political sense) milieu of all things cyber.