Cyberspace soapbox

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Some Beltway bigs are launching a social-networking site that aims to steal ad money from Sunday TV talk shows. The Hotsoup.com team includes Mark McKinnon of President Bush's Maverick Media team; the campaign's chief strategist Matthew Dowd; Al Gore strategist Carter Eskew; and Joe Lockhart, press secretary for Bill Clinton. "The idea was to narrow in on an audience of 30 million opinion-drivers for business, pop culture and politics," said venture partner Allie Savarino, who likened it to an ad-supported town meeting on the web.

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