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MTV Wants Its Youth Voters

YouTube has a gone political with its "YouChoose" page. So has MySpace, which features the "Impact" site on its homepage and will co-host a presidential forum next week.

Not wanting to be outdone, MTV has launched Think.MTV.com -- an online social community that focuses on the young, Web-savvy electorate. The site reads (and flatters the readers its courting): "The last time we checked, you are the best-informed, most technologically-advanced, inspired, on fire, creative generation this planet has ever seen." It's the latest effort from the once unsinkable MTV, whose hip, cool, in-the-know factor has suffered a serious blow in a popular culture dominated by the likes of MySpace and YouTube.

In partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others, Think.MTV.com looks like a combination of MySpace and YouTube, except it's all very serious. It builds on MTV's "Choose or Lose" campaign, the cable network's 15-year-old get-out-the-youth-vote drive. Officials at MTV say Think.MTV.com aims to be a hub of young social involvement, giving users the opportunity to get involved with campaigns, non-profit groups and various organizations.

"Young people these days have an expectation of being able to participate at higher level," said MTV President Christina Norman. "It's what they've been able to do."

On the site, users can upload videos, register to vote, sign petitions, contact their elected officials and volunteer. And it wouldn't be MTV if there wasn't some sort of prize. There's a $500,000 reward up for grabs on the site. All someone has to do to win? Figure out how to use new media to transmit news and unite communities.

-- Jose Antonio Vargas

By Washington Post editors  |  September 20, 2007; 12:01 AM ET
 
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