No sooner had the echoes of “Sarah *who*?” faded than the blogosphere was on the job, showing that even for an unknown person from a remote area, there was plenty of readily accessible information available – and not only perhaps doing a better job of vetting than the McCain campaign itself had done, but beating out the mainstream media as well.
In a sort of open-source research group, people quickly started collecting the following:
People from Alaska : Alaskans who were familiar with Palin were quick to express their views about her.
Wiki : Sarah Palin's Wikipedia entry was reportedly heavily edited -- on the order of 100 changes -- just before McCain announced his choice, and since then, the page has come under so many modifications that all changes have been frozen for two weeks.
Video and newspaper articles of her past performances: such as why she wouldn't endorse McCain for President, laughing at an opponent with cancer, and calling Hillary Clinton a whiner. People also researched and brought up her attempts (and, in some cases, successes) at firing other government workers, such as law enforcement personnel and librarians, as well as her positions on sex education (abstinence only) as espoused in 2006. Past profiles of her were also ferreted out, as were videos from her church.
Negative video and newspaper articles by Republicans about people with similar amounts of experience: such as Karl Rove's appearance in August criticizing Governor Tim Kaine.
Wandering eyes video: After her first speech, after McCain chose her, a video quickly went up on YouTube that appeared as though he was checking out Palin's...assets -- along with the tell-tale body language of playing with his fingers and wedding ring.
Facebook: Palin didn't join Facebook until after McCain chose her, and she's steadily increased from 27 to 30 to 60 to 133 to 145 as of Friday morning. Her page and updates are pretty pedestrian, though, along the lines of 'Feeling overwhelmed but staying focused!' and her trials of shopping for shoes.
The pregnant daughter: the Internet broke the rumor that Palin's youngest child was actually her daughter's (with the additional information that the daughter had been out of school for months the previous year reportedly due to mono), and once the daughter was revealed to be pregnant, numerous photos of both mother and daughter were posted to discuss their relative appearance of being pregnant -- as well as discussions of the statutory rape laws in Alaska and whether Palin's future son-in-law could be charged and whether it had been safe for Palin to have flown when she was in labor with her youngest child.
It all goes to show how quickly in this age of online news and video how much information can be dug up about someone with any degree of media prominence.